Guardrail

This is a discussion on Guardrail within the Accidents and Injury Law Questions forums, part of the Legal Questions & Answers Forum category; I was involved in a single vehicle accident with a guardrail. There was a drizzle rain and it was about 4 in the afternoon. I was on a Missouri highway ...

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  1. #1
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    Guardrail

    I was involved in a single vehicle accident with a guardrail. There was a drizzle rain and it was about 4 in the afternoon. I was on a Missouri highway taking a cloverleaf exit onto another highway. The back end of my car started to slide and I was then headed towards the guardrail. By the time I regained traction, it was too late to correct and I hit the guardrail. About 30 minutes later, a Highway Patrol Officer arrived. He filled out an accident report and informed me that I would receive a ticket in the mail for the damages to the guardrail. While he was on scene, another person slid in the exact same spot and he wound up in the ditch on the other side of the road.
    I received the ticket in the mail, but it did not contain a fee for the damages, instead it just contained a court date. The offense it said I committed was "Fail to slow to a reasonable speed for conditions/stop for yield sign".
    The officer was not there at the time of the accident and there is no witness as to my speed other than me. I did not say anything to the officer about how fast I was going, and it is not in the accident report. My insurance company has already taken care of the damage to the guardrail and the state has already repaired it. And to be honest, the only damage was about a 4 foot section that had a 6 inch dent in it.
    My questions are: Does the state have a case against me? Do I need to hire a lawyer? Seeing as someone else slid in the same spot within the hour, is it possible that there had been some substance on the roadway at that time causing that particular section to become slicker than would be expected, even with the rainy conditions?

    Thanks for any and all assistance.


  2. #2
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    You can definitely fight this offense if you wish, although sometimes it is cheaper and makes sense to just plead guilty, depending on the fines/points/penalties. Also whether you obtain an attorney depends on what time of penalties you are facing and how much the attorney will cost you. If you are able to have that other person who got into an accident come in as a witness, that would certainly strengthen your case. For example, if the ticket only carries 2 points with it, it may cheaper to plead guilty and take a DMV safe driving course to remove the 2 points than to hire an attorney. A lot of people choose not to hire lawyers for traffic court, but lawyers usually know the opposing counsel and can usually work out a better deal and have a higher chance of success if it goes into its little trial.
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