Pedestrian Couple Struck in Crosswalk by Auto on 10/12/13 on Santa Rita Road, Pleasanton; Yizhen Zhou Dies at Hospital

CrosswalkOn Saturday, October 12, 2013, a couple walking in a crosswalk on Santa Rita Road at Francisco Street in Pleasanton were both struck by a car. Ms. Yizhen Zhou suffered injuries which led to her death. Her husband suffered severe injuries and remains in the hospital.

The flashing lights which had been previously embedded in the pedestrian crosswalk had been removed from the street. New embedded lights were scheduled to be installed, but this had not yet occurred.

The personal injury attorneys at the Weber & Nierenberg law firm are well-experienced in pedestrian and vehicle accidents, including those involving wrongful death, and have successfully handled claims involving similar circumstances. As well, we handle auto, bus, truck, and bicycle accident cases, and will work hard and competently to obtain complete compensation for your injuries and losses.

If you or someone you know needs to know their rights regarding a pedestrian accident or auto, motorcycle, bicycle, bus accident or other type of personal injury, call the attorneys at the Weber and Nierenberg law firm. Personal injury attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg will work hard to make sure your rights are vindicated. For a free consultation or to make an appointment, call 1-866-288-6010

Dangerous Road Design and Accidents

Contact Experienced San Francisco and Bay Area Auto Accident Attorneys

When an auto accident occurs, it’s natural to try to determine who caused it and to focus on the drivers involved. But what if the negligent party isn’t even at the scene?

The lawyers of the personal injury lawyers of Weber & Nierenberg are skilled at determining whether road design and road maintenance caused a car or truck accident, identifying plaintiffs and obtaining compensation for accident victims. For example did the accident involve:

  • The lack of a guardrail or other barrier?
  • A sightline issue involving a blocked intersection, dangerous curve or unsafe grade?
  • A dangerously designed on or off ramp?
  • A dangerous surface?
  • Poorly marked construction zone?

We work with experts to determine if road conditions, maintenance or design contributed or led to an accident. We also investigate whether counties, municipalities, states and other potential plaintiffs were made aware of potential dangers. Our experience and diligence has resulted in numerous successful cases. For more information regarding California your rights following an accident, browse the State Bar of California website or contact our firm.

It’s Important to Get Legal Help in Dangerous Road Design-Related Accidents

In some auto accidents, an insurance company may be willing to make a fair offer. When a dangerous road is involved, the relevant government agency may have legal protections. It’s important that you work with an attorney who understands how to build the strongest-possible case while navigating complex issues regarding plaintiff immunity, complex injuries or wrongful death.

At the law firm of Weber & Nierenberg, we can knowledgeably handle your dangerous road case and pursue the compensation you deserve while making roads and communities safer. For a no-charge consultation following a car or truck accident, contact us at 1-866-288-6010.

Dangerous Highways – California State Route 17

San Francisco Bay Area Dangerous Roads Attorney

State route 17 is a scenic road that runs through the Santa Cruz mountains. It winds its way through Scotts Valley in the south, all the way to Los Gatos and San Jose in the north. Along the way, however, it presents drivers with a number of hazards – sharp turns, blind spots, narrow shoulders, changes in speed, and slick highway surfaces after rains or snows. A number of sections of SR 17 are notoriously dangerous, earning nicknames like “The Valley of Surprise” or “Big Moody Curve” due to the visible evidence present that so many cars have hit the median along the curves in these sections of the road.

Understanding why State Route 17 is so Dangerous

State route 17 is particularly dangerous because of the number of sharp curves, blind curves, and sudden changes in speed along the road. As a result, drivers sometimes have difficulty negotiating unexpected sharp turns and careen off the median divider along the road. Depending on the time of year, road conditions are made even more hazardous by rain, fog, and snow. As a result, when a car hits the median and spins out of control it often involves other cars resulting in multi-car serious accidents.

Caltrans and Accidents along State Route 17

Given state route 17’s reputation as a dangerous highway, it’s only natural to ask what, if anything, is being done to improve safety along the highway. While Caltrans maintains the road, there are currently no major plans to redesign the most dangerous portions of the road. This raises questions of liability in car accidents caused by road conditions along SR 17.

Depending on the circumstances of a car accident along SR 17, it may be possible to hold Caltrans liable for injuries and fatalities that occur as a result of road design, lack of water drainage, improper signage, obscured signage, lack of reflectors, or an absence of rough road signal a need to reduce speed. Even in cases where a motorist is involved in an accident caused by someone else losing control of their car, dangerous road design may be a contributing factor.

Contact Bay Area Dangerous Road Design Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

If you’ve been injured in an accident along SR 17 or along another stretch of dangerous road in the Bay Area, contact San Francisco car accident attorneys at the personal injury law office of Weber & Nierenberg. We can evaluate your case and discuss the best legal options available to you.

Negotiating the S-curve — Caltrans Liability for Dangerous Roads

San Francisco Bay Area Dangerous Roads Attorney

On November 9, 2009, Hayward resident Tahir Fakhar lost control of his truck along the S-curve approaching the Bay Bridge. His truck, carrying a load of peaches, veered out of control and toppled over a three-foot guardrail, falling 200 feet to the Yerba Buena Island below.

Mr. Fakhar’s family filed a lawsuit against Caltrans, alleging that an improper road design in the S-curve contributed to Mr. Fakhar’s death. While Mr. Fakhar was traveling 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, his family’s attorneys have pointed out that there were 43 accidents involving the S-curve prior to Mr. Fakhar’s fatal crash.

The Response of Caltrans

Interestingly enough, after Mr. Fakhar’s accident, Caltrans added flashing radar signs, additional speed warnings, rumble strips and a raised barrier along the curve in question. On the day of the fatal accident, Caltrans claimed excessive speed was to blame, making it more difficult for Mr. Fakhar to properly negotiate the curve. According to investigators working with the California Highway Patrol, Mr. Fakhar was likely traveling at 50 mph at the time of his accident — 10 mph over the posted speed limit and 15 mph over the maximum speed recommended for the sharpest curves.

At the time of the lawsuit, officials for Caltrans had nothing to say regarding the fact that after Mr. Fakhar’s accident and Caltrans’ actions to increase safety, not a single accident occurred along the S-curve.

Unsafe Road Design — a Contributing Factor in Fatal Accidents

The extent to which a dangerous or defective road design may be a contributing factor in a car accident may not always be obvious. Accident investigators can evaluate the presence of certain risk factors like dips in the road, an absence of guardrails, posted speed limits, the grading of a road or an obscured line of sight approaching an intersection.

As in the case of Mr. Fakhar’s accident, Caltrans is unlikely to admit fault when defective road design is discovered as a contributing factor in an accident. For these reasons, it’s important to work with an experienced dangerous road design attorney who can gather information, work with investigators and expose negligence on the part of Caltrans.

Contact Bay Area Dangerous Road Design Attorneys Weber & Nierenberg

If you’ve been seriously injured or have lost a family member in a car, truck or motorcycle accident that involved a dangerous stretch of road, contact San Francisco personal injury attorneys Weber & Nierenberg today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

Dangerous Roads in California – Who’s Liable?

When an intersection, bend in the highway or stretch of road is repeatedly the scene of car, truck or motorcycle accidents, poor road design or faulty construction may be involved. Initially, design defects or construction flaws may not be suspected in a car accident, especially when more than one vehicle is involved in a crash. However, when reconstructing a car wreck, investigators may determine that various road design and construction defects contributed to an accident. Here, a municipality, construction company, county or Caltrans itself may be liable.

Poorly Designed Roads

When roads or highways are constructed, they must be properly graded to allow for water drainage and an even surface between roadway and shoulder. Differences in the level of pavement can cause a driver to suddenly lurch to the right or left. This propensity is especially dangerous when a driver inadvertently or intentionally pulls over onto the shoulder of the road. Alternatively, grading that results in water collecting on the road when it rains can lead to hydroplaning.

Sudden sharp curves or bends in a road should be properly marked with signs and reduced speed limits. Entry and exit ramps should be clearly marked and should not include sudden dips or unreasonably sharp turns. Intersections that sit at the bend of a curve or over the top of a hill should be properly marked and may need traffic lights to decrease the likelihood of collisions.

Additionally, lack of guardrails along bridges, slight bends in the road or embankments can lead to serious injury or death when accidents cause cars or trucks to leave the road.

Road Maintenance, Road Construction and Car Accidents

Municipalities that fail to trim back brush or tree branches along roadways may be liable when overgrowth obscures signs that warn drivers of steep grades, curves or dips in the road. Additionally, Caltrans or local counties can be held liable when potholes or broken pavement cause serious accidents. Here, it’s important to work with a personal injury attorney who can immediately take pictures of potholes or obscured signage before maintenance and repair crews fix the problem that played a role in an accident.

In accidents involving road construction, it’s important to determine whether or not construction crews were in compliance with applicable regulations governing road construction in the state of California. If traffic was diverted into an oncoming lane in order to make road repairs, was there sufficient signage warning drivers? If a construction crew was resurfacing an area road, were there grooves, uneven pavement or loose gravel that played a role in causing an accident? Did construction zone workers contribute to an accident by failing to properly use cones and signs to regulate traffic flow through a construction zone?

Contact San Francisco Dangerous Roads Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

If your accident was caused or complicated by dangerous road conditions, don’t expect Caltrans or the municipality involved to step forward and take responsibility. Since preserving evidence and gathering eyewitness testimony is crucial in these kinds of cases, it’s important to consult an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. To schedule a free consultation and discuss your case, contact San Francisco defective road design attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg today.

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