Wed 3rd Mar | 2021

Tiger Wood’s Crash – A Case of Defective Road Design

Personal Injury Road Design Error BY

The news of Tiger Woods being severely injured in a rollover crash outside of Los Angeles has many fans concerned. The accident occurred around 7 am on Tuesday, February 23rd, when the new Hyundai Genesis G70 SUV he was driving struck a median, crossed over into the opposite lane of traffic, striking a “Welcome to Rolling Hills Estates” sign, and hitting a tree as it flipped over before landing in a grassy area.

Moments after the crash, emergency workers transported Woods to Harbor U.C.L.A Medical Center where he received treatment for severe injuries to his lower right leg and ankle. Shortly after, the golfer’s manager stated that Woods was “currently awake, responsive, and recovering in his hospital room.”

The Scene of the Crash

Sheriff Alex Villanueva of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department stated that Woods was driving downhill near the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, a road where most people drive over the 45 mph speed limit.

According to the University of California Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIM), the long winding road alongside Hawthorne Boulevard in Rancho Palos Verdes is a common place for auto accidents to occur. In recent years, the TIM System recorded over 440 accidents resulting in 569 injured victims and eleven fatalities.

Could the City Be Responsible for the Crash

According to Neil Shouse, a former District Attorney for Los Angeles County, two cities responsible for the road design and its maintenance could be liable for the Tiger Woods accident. Shouse cited 13 accidents that occurred on the same dangerous stretch of road in Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates. The types of accidents documented vary from rear-end collisions, to head-on collisions, to vehicles colliding with a fixed object. In Wood’s case, the “Welcome to Rolling Hills Estates” sign and a tree.

While the exact cause of the crash is yet to be determined, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods did not seem to be impaired by drugs and alcohol at the time of the accident.

Recent video footage of the area further supports that Hawthorne Boulevard and nearby roads could be a case of poor or defective road design leaving drivers and pedestrians at risk for catastrophic injuries and fatalities.

Injury Attorneys Specializing in Negligent Road Design, Construction and Maintenance

Companies and municipals that design, build, and maintain roadways have a duty to design in such a way that motorists have sufficient time, distance, and notice of any hazardous conditions to be able to safely maneuver their vehicle in reasonably foreseeable traffic and environmental conditions. Our firm has a history of successfully litigating cases involving negligent roadway design, construction and maintenance failures. Some of these cases include:

  • Improperly designed traffic control devices at busy intersections;
  • Signage that fails to warn of curves or other dangers;
  • Inadequate drainage design causing flooding, and in winter, icy roads;
  • Negligent traffic light design and programming;
  • Improper or poorly designed lane markings (etc., for passing);
  • Speed limits that are too high for the topography and curvature of the road;
  • “Blind” cross streets or driveways that are not marked;
  • Failure to provide for guardrails in areas where they should be present;
  • Designing two-way instead of four-way stops at dangerous intersections;
  • Visibility triangle violations;
  • Road edge drop off variations;
  • Tree, pole, and landscape placement;
  • Negligent maintenance and wheel path rut water retention;
  • Clear zone violations;
  • Improperly configured merge lane and road shoulder;
  • Negligent traffic flow maintenance during construction;
  • Roadway drop-offs;
  • Negligent placement of roadway lighting poles;
  • Negligent maintenance of traffic

Firm Secures Sovereign Limits for Fatal Tractor-Trailer Rollover Crash Due to Negligent Roadway Design

After settling a motor vehicle accident claim, a South Florida law firm referred the case to Clark Fountain to review for possible road design negligence. Our client was a passenger in a tractor-trailer traveling in Martin County. While attempting to follow a left curve in the road, the truck driver lost control, and the truck exited the roadway and overturned in an adjacent ditch. Our client died in the accident.

The Clark Fountain team hired an engineering expert and pulled records to establish that the site of the accident was a known dangerous curve with prior accidents. The county paved the road without completing any additional traffic engineering plans, or placing any additional warnings, creating a hazardous condition for motorists attempting to navigate the sharp left curve.

Partners Donald Fountain and Ben Whitman overcame sovereign immunity and obtained the sovereign limits, which will help to provide financial security for the surviving spouse.

Start Your Free Consultation with our Legal Experts

If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a defective roadway the attorneys at Clark Fountain are here to help. Our board-certified attorneys specialize in complex injury cases that require an in-depth investigation, access to industry experts, engineers, and medical specialists. Call for a free consultation today!