Over 40,000 people are fatally injured on our nation’s roadways each year. Accidents occur along the roadway and many at intersections, which are points of conflict for vehicles. Roadway accidents can result in injury to drivers and passengers which can then become involved in the litigation process.
When evaluating roadways it is important to note that many of these pathways have evolved over time. What was once an animal trail became an Indian path, which became a dirt road, and then a paved road.
An engineering evaluation of the roadway where the incident occurred, the adjacent areas, and the vehicles, if required, is essential in the litigation process. From this evaluation, engineering conclusions and opinions can be reached regarding the actions of the drivers, vehicles, and the design, construction, and maintenance of the roadway itself.
Roadways should be designed in accordance with established codes and standards. Each state has established its own codes and standards. If a roadway is upgraded or rehabilitated, then certain aspects of that roadway may be required to be upgraded to the standards and codes in place at the time of the upgrade or rehabilitation. An engineer trained and experienced in highway/roadway design is an essential asset in the evaluation and preparation of the roadway matter that is involved in, or has the potential for litigation.