Wrongful Death On A Roundabout: Who Is Responsible And Who Do You Sue?


Wildly popular and successful in Europe for decades, roundabouts are now popping up in the U.S. in the strangest of places. Roundabouts appear in front of hospital entrances where ambulances need to go, in front of schools where large buses have a difficult time making the tight turns, and even in the middle of nowhere on rural roads where four-way stops and yields were once sufficient. So what happens when a loved one gets into an accident on a roundabout and dies? Who is responsible and who do you sue? Is the state government responsible? The following answers should help.

Trying to Determine If the State Government Should Be Held Responsible

The state government has the final say on road construction. These officials determine when and where traffic signals will be removed and replaced with roundabouts. If you can prove that the roundabout where your family member was killed was both unnecessary and the cause of your loved one's death, you might have a case. This starts with showing the judge how much safer the intersection was before the traffic lights were replaced with a roundabout. If there have been significantly more accidents on the roundabout since its installation than there were when this particular area was a four-way controlled by traffic lights, you may have a valid argument that could hold the state government responsible for your family member's death.

The Traffic Caused the Fatality

In another example, if your family member was riding in the back of an ambulance and the ambulance was racing toward the hospital when the traffic in the roundabout caused the death, that could be a wrongful death suit against the state. Since the ambulance could not get through the traffic on the roundabout and get to the hospital on time, your family member expired. On a typical road, most cars are able to move over and out of the way of an oncoming ambulance, but on a roundabout there is no such maneuver for emergency vehicles. Hence, the fatality in this case could have been the cause of road design, an issue that you can pursue against the state with a lawyer's help.

Another example of how roundabout traffic can cause a fatality is when the person in the ambulance does not reach the hospital. As the ambulance tries to make its way through the traffic on the roundabout, another car or truck causes a collision with the ambulance. As a result, the patient dies. Since it is easier to see ambulances coming and see where they are going on straight roads, versus the numerous blind spots on a roundabout, your lawyer could argue that the death of your family member was caused not only by the collision, but also by poor road design by the state officials responsible for it.


28 March 2016

My Day in Court

When I sued a product manufacturer after a disfiguring accident, I never expected to actually go to court. I assumed that the case would eventually be settled, like most personal injury cases are. To my surprise, they wouldn't budge, and we ended up having to go all the way to court. I was pretty nervous about testifying, but I had a great attorney that prepared me well, and everything went smoothly. In the end, the jury saw things my way. I realized that I probably wasn't the only person to ever experience an unexpected day in court, and that's how I got the idea to start this blog. If you're looking for tips to help you prepare or wondering what to expect when you go to court for a lawsuit, this blog contains important information for you.