01.23.15

Auto Accident Fatality in Kansas City Caused by Guardrail

Highway Guardrail Safety in Kansas City

A December 28, 2014, article in The Kansas City Star (Missouri at center of highway guardrail safety debate) highlighted a recent safety issue regarding highway guardrail systems. The Missouri Department of Transportation suspended the use of ET-Plus guardrails on Missouri highways after a recent fatal accident near Kansas City.

Bradley Abeln was traveling south on Interstate 35 toward Kansas City last January when his 1987 Ford Bronco was hit by another car and slammed into the “end terminal” of an ET-Plus guardrail. The end terminal is designed to absorb the energy of the crash and push the guardrail away from the vehicle, but in this case, it allegedly “locked up” and forced the guardrail into the driver’s seat. According to a Clay County lawsuit, Mr. Abeln was killed because of changes made to the design of the ET-Plus guardrails in 2005.

After commissioning a study that found that the ET-Plus guardrail increased the likelihood of a fatal accident by nearly 400% over previous models, Missouri stopped all installations of the system on its highways. The ET-Plus guardrail is currently undergoing additional federally-mandated crash testing to determine the safety of its use going forward.

This guardrail safety issue illustrates the importance of consulting an attorney after a car accident. Mr. Abeln’s family had no way of knowing of the dangers created by the changes to the ET-Plus guardrail system. But fortunately they hired an attorney, whose investigation led to the discovery of the problem and action by the Missouri Department of Transportation. Not only did Mr. Abeln’s family receive the compensation they were entitled to, but they also helped guarantee the future safety of the citizens of Kansas City and the state of Missouri.

At Wendt Law Firm P.C., our experienced legal team of Kansas City car accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate your auto accident to determine if you have a claim, and then negotiate a settlement or represent you at trial to ensure you receive the full monetary compensation you deserve. Contact a Kansas City personal injury attorney today for a free consultation. We will only receive a fee in the event of a successful resolution of your case.

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