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Stephen Bulzomi John Christensen Jeremy Johnston James McCormick Gemma Zanowski

Negligent Highway Design & Maintenance in Washington

As fall gives way to winter, many residents of the Pacific Northwest have to drive in weather that could result in unsafe driving conditions on potentially dangerous roads. The Washington State Climatologist is predicting an increase in a chance for a “La Nina” this winter, which could mean wetter than usual conditions and increased snowfall.

Highway in Washington

In the state of Washington, the government agencies are tasked with the maintenance of our roads and highways. In fact, government agencies have a duty to maintain their roads in a reasonably safe condition for ordinary travel. They can potentially be held liable for accidents caused in part by defects in highway design or lack of maintenance. There are several conditions that can be attributed to negligence on the part of the government:

Unsafe Road Conditions in Washington

The Washington State Department of Transportation states that: “removal or prevention of snow and ice accumulation on the roadway is a top priority”. Most of the time, the state/city/county does an excellent job in clearing snow and ice and maintaining the public roadways.  However, this is not always the case.  When the government has notice of a dangerous condition and a reasonable opportunity to correct the dangerous condition, the law recognizes that the government may be liable for damages caused by the condition.

Defects in Highway Design

Over the years, poor highway planning and defective road design have caused countless accidents in the state of Washington. Here are just a few instances of what could be considered defective highway design:

  • Lack of guardrails or barriers along certain stretches of highway
  • Improper or absent traffic control devices
  • Improper or inadequate posting of signs
  • Poorly marked construction signs (or lack thereof)
  • Failure to maintain the integrity of roadways and shoulders
  • Dangerous highway on/off ramps or highway curves that are too share
  • Neglect in protecting motorists from roadside hazards (e.g. rock and mud slides)
  • Insufficient road drainage
  • Architects, engineers and even contractors can also be held liable for defects in the design and construction of highways.

Highway Defect & Negligence Law Firm in Washington 

It can be challenging to prove neglect on behalf of the government with regards to highway defects and unsafe road conditions. This is why you need an attorney who’s successfully litigated these types of cases before. If you or a loved one suspects the accident they were in was caused in part by a defective highway or unsafe road conditions, give us a call at (253) 472-6000 to schedule a free consultation.

At Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel, we have helped motorists seek justice for injuries and property damage sustained in road and highway accidents due to negligence on the part of the government. We will fight hard for you to get you the justice you and your loved ones deserve.


Read more articles from Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel:

Dram Shop Liability in Washington
Understanding Road Rage Accidents
What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP?) 
Staying Safe in a Construction Zone