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Driving in Philadelphia can be frustrating at times, dealing with traffic, poor road conditions, and drivers that ignore the rules of the road. However, even drivers who abide by the traffic laws and obey traffic signs can be victims of motor vehicle accidents. While most accidents are caused by other drivers, some accidents are caused by faulty or poorly programmed traffic control devices. When a traffic control device causes an accident, it may be the city that is responsible for your medical bills, vehicle damage, and lost wages.
We are so used to traffic control devices that we rarely give them a second thought. There may be hundreds of stop signs, yield signs, speed limit signs, traffic lights, warning lights, and temporary traffic signs our daily commutes. These devices are supposed to be adequately checked, properly calibrated, and placed to ensure they do not compromise public safety. However, these devices are regularly found to be defective or faulty.
There are a number of ways that a defective traffic control device could lead to a traffic accident. When a stop sign is knocked down, turned around, or blocked by a tree, it does not notify drivers that they should stop at an intersection. This could lead to driving into an uncontrolled intersection and colliding with another car.
When a traffic control sensor is not working, the driver may not be able to set off the sensor to get a green light. If there is traffic behind them, there is no safe way to turn around, and they may be forced to drive into traffic without a proper signal. This could cause an accident with other unsuspecting drivers.
Another common problem with traffic control devices involves the timing of traffic lights. Some lights are timed to allow vehicles to pass through a green light for a given amount of time. However, these times do not always reflect the traffic necessities of the time of day. They can also malfunction, allowing less time than they should to deal with traffic. When drivers are used to traffic lights giving them a green for a certain amount of time, they may not expect a light to suddenly turn yellow after it turned green. This may leave some cars in an intersection when the light changes, leaving them susceptible to car accidents.
Traffic Accidents Involving Defective Traffic Control Devices
Accidents involving defective or poorly programmed traffic control devices can range from minor to major. A serious car accident may involve multiple vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. This can require emergency medical treatment, surgery, a lengthy hospital stay, ongoing medical care, and in some cases, lead to permanent disability.
Even minor automobile accidents can lead to serious injury. A fender-bender or rear end accident could result in a driver that feels fine at the time. However, after a couple of days, they may notice neck pain, headaches, reduced mobility, or back pain. Neck and back injuries can be deceptive, and should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible.
After a car accident involving a faulty traffic signal, the driver may face an uphill battle with the insurance company. In many cases, the insurance company may not believe the driver that there was a problem with the traffic signal. Additionally, an accident may involve a claim against the City of Philadelphia or PennDOT, which can be more complicated than other car accidents.
When a police officer responds to a vehicle accident, it is important to point out that there was a problem with the traffic signal. The officer may not believe there was a problem with the traffic signal but it may be important to your later claim against the city or Commonwealth.
Insurance and Legal Claims
If your insurance company does not believe that the accident could have been caused by a defective or poorly programmed traffic control device, it may be time to contact an attorney. Your Philadelphia personal injury attorney represents you and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
An accident involving a defective traffic control device may require a claim against the government. A claim against the City of Philadelphia or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has special requirements, including a limited time for filing. You only have 6 months from the date of the accident to file your claim, otherwise, you could be barred from compensation.
Traffic control device malfunction cases can be more complicated than traditional traffic accident cases. If you have to file a lawsuit to get compensation, your attorney may have to get expert reports and testimony from engineers and traffic control experts who can support your claim.
Defective Traffic Control Injury Attorneys in Philadelphia
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a faulty traffic control device, the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian may be able to help. Claims against the government can be more complicated than simple claims against another driver. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with automobile accident cases against the City of Philadelphia or PennDOT. We will fight for your rights to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.