By: Allan M. Siegel
A Metrobus accident that shut down the 600 block of H Street NW, Sunday
afternoon and injured several victims may have been caused by a defect
in road construction, officials are reporting. According to authorities,
the incident occurred at the intersection of 7th and H Streets NW, near Gallery Place, when a Washington Metropolitan Area
Transit Authority (WMATA) bus crashed into parked vehicles and a motorcycle,
and almost struck a building. Eight passengers aboard the bus were transported
to a local hospital.
At the time of the crash, the WMATA bus was traveling over a steel plate
meant to cover a hole created by roadway construction. That plate gave
way under the weight of the bus, causing it to jackknife and make contact
with vehicles parked on the side of the street. Photos from the accident
scene show the steel plate had been covering a hole roughly half the width
of the lane.
Officials from Metro have indicated that the crash appeared to have been
caused by a defect in road construction, and are conducting further investigations
into how and why the steel plate failed to support the weight of the bus.
Bus Accidents, Roadway Defects & Victims’ Rights
As the investigation continues, it will be critical for public officials
to look into whether Sunday’s accident could have been prevented.
Their focus will likely fall on who was responsible for performing work
on that area of roadway, whether proper precautions were taken to cover
the open hole, and whether standards and regulations were followed.
In accidents involving public entities, including both WMATA and the agency
or contractor responsible for the roadway construction, post-crash investigations
are essential to public safety. They also provide the information and
evidence victims need should it be discovered that negligence played a
role. If there were critical errors made that resulted in the roadway
defect, for example, victims may be able to pursue personal injury claims
against the at-fault party and a recovery of their damages.
As a law firm with extensive experience representing clients harmed in
public transportation accidents, including
bus accidents and
train accidents, Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is available to help victims
injured in this incident. Because cases involving publicly operated transit
and local governments responsible for roadway conditions entail unique
legal concerns, they demand the attention of proven attorneys who understand
the laws and liability involved.
If you have questions regarding your rights as a victim,
contact our firm for a FREE and confidential consultation. Our nationally recognized personal
injury lawyers serve clients throughout Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.