Representing the Rights of Injured Individuals Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos
Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos

Damaged Guardrail Deemed Responsible for Deadly Prison Bus Accident

bus-accident-prisonAccording to reporting from US News and World Report, federal investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have reached a final determination on the cause of a West Texas prison bus accident. The deadly crash, which occurred in January 2015, was blamed, in large part, on a damaged highway guardrail. Tragically, two prison employees and eight inmates were killed in the accident.

The Highway Authorities Failed to Act

The report from the NTSB, concludes that the highway guardrail was originally damaged in an accident that had occurred on the previous day. This finding confirms the initial findings that were made public earlier last year by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Conditions on that January day were less than ideal. The report also noted that the highway was abnormally slick from the cold weather. However, it does not appear that the weather conditions played a significant role in causing the accident. Multiple eyewitnesses were quoted stating that a large piece of the highway guardrail was displaced and was sticking out approximately two feet into the left lane of the highway. This section of highway was particularly narrow, as it was part of a bridge that was overpassing railroad tracks. The bus was attempting to pass an eighteen wheeler, using the left lane, when the bus struck that damaged section of guardrail. It caused the bus to veer sharply left and sent it down the embankment of the overpass. The Texas highway authorities have a legal responsibility to keep the state’s roadways in reasonably safe condition. Based on the findings of this report, it is difficult to believe that authorities did enough in this case to remove unreasonable safety hazards.

When Can You Take Legal Action for Unsafe Road Conditions?

When someone is serious injured, all negligent parties need to be held accountable. This includes local and state highway agencies. Negligence can be challenging to prove in these cases, but you should take legal action if you, or a family member, was injured by the negligence of highway authorities. In road maintenance negligence cases, your attorney will need to answer two critical questions:

  • Did the authorities know, or should they have known, about the existence of the safety hazard?
  • Could the authorities have taken reasonable action to have alleviated the safety risk?

If the answers to both of those questions are yes, then you may have a valid case. If it is true that the guardrail on the bridge was sticking out on to the left lane of the highway for an entire day, then that would strongly suggests that the authorities would have had time to gain knowledge of the risk and would have had an opportunity to take reasonable action to alleviate danger. They could have removed that section of guardrail from the road, or they could have closed off access to that lane. Ultimately, if you have been injured because of a preventable roadway hazard, an experienced auto accident lawyer should review your case as soon as possible.

Need Legal Assistance?

Our firm works aggressively to help injured car accident victims recover full and fair compensation. If you have been injured in a Texas car accident, please contact our San Antonio office today. Let our experienced legal team review your case free of charge.

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I was in a minor car accident when I first moved to San Antonio. I wasn’t sure if I needed a lawyer but I eventually contacted theLaw Offices of Ronald A. Ramos, P.C. and I’m glad I did. I highly recommend this firm! A.W. - Online Review
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Mr. Ramos (Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos, P.C.) and his staff were GREAT!! I went to their office after a major car accident, and I was not getting anywhere with the insurance company, He and his staff helped me [get] way more than what I was offered by the insurance company its self. N.G. - Online Review
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Mr. Ramos has secured a spot as one of the best trial attorneys in San Antonio. His extensive knowledge of the law, ability to connect with jurors, and his admirable reputation among both judges and attorneys make him an absolute asset to the legal community. If you have the opportunity to retain him as legal counsel, consider it a huge privilege. Daniel J. Palmer - Lawyer in San Antonio, TX
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Mr. Ramos and his staff are very diligent and effective in litigating personal injury claims and other torts. His representation of clients have resulted in successful outcomes. I myself will refer any cases that will require litigation and a greater expertise. Jesus Vargas - San Antonio, TX Attorney