Guardrails are such a common sight on New Jersey roads that most of us no longer even notice them.  However, guardrails are a critical safety feature.  Effective guardrails can reduce the severity of a car accident dramatically—and, in some cases, can even prevent your accident entirely.  On the other hand, guardrails that are improperly maintained, constructed or damaged can actually increase the severity of your injuries in an accident.

At The Epstein Law Firm, P.A., we have over 120 years’ combined experience fighting to protect accident victims’ rights.  Establishing liability when an accident was caused by a defective, damaged, or ineffective guardrail is not always easy.  Our lawyers have the skills and financial resources needed to successfully handle even these complex motor vehicle accident cases. 

Time is of the essence in cases involving the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, NJ Department of Transportation (NJDOT), and other public transportation authorities.  If you were hurt, our experienced lawyers will go to work immediately to file the necessary notice of your claim which is required when you want to sue a public entity and preserves your right to pursue a claim for financial compensation. 

We offer a free case evaluation for every client so that you can talk with an experienced, compassionate accident lawyer about getting fair compensation for your injuries.  If you were injured in an accident caused by damaged or ineffective guardrails, contact us today to tell us what happened in your case.

Damaged Guardrails Can Create Dangerous Road Conditions

The New Jersey transportation authorities are responsible for maintaining the roads in a reasonably safe condition.  When accidents happen or damage occurs, NJDOT is required to make repairs or install warnings to keep drivers safe.  Failing to take these steps can create dangerous conditions that cause accidents and injuries.

A dangerous or defective guardrail can make a car accident much more serious.  Rather than cushioning the blow of an accident, a damaged, defective, or misplaced guardrail can pierce the vehicle and cause much more extensive injuries.  Unsafe guardrails can cause:

Both state and federal law regulations provide safety guidelines for the installation and maintenance of guardrails.  Some guardrails may be defective in design—or ineffective for the particular roadway.  Guardrails can become dangerous under any of the following conditions:

  • The guardrail was damaged in a prior accident and not properly repaired
  • The end cap on the guardrail was damaged or ineffective
  • The transportation authorities failed to provide adequate warning of a roadway hazard created by damaged, ineffective, or missing guardrails
  • The guardrail was improperly placed or maintained

Establishing Liability in Accident and Injury Cases Involving Guardrails

At The Epstein Law Firm, P.A., our experienced lawyers understand the technical and scientific evidentiary issues involved in highway guardrail cases.  

Accidents involving guardrails on the New Jersey Turnpike, I-80, Garden State Parkway, or other highways can be extremely serious.  Our lawyers will conduct a full investigation to determine whether a faulty guardrail caused or contributed to your injuries.  We will:

  • Analyze all police reports and documentation related to the crash
  • Interview eyewitnesses, including passengers in other vehicles, toll workers and others who may have information about the accident scene
  • Work with accident reconstruction experts and investigators to determine whether prior guardrail damage increased the severity of your injuries
  • Work with scientific experts who can testify to the efficiency of the guardrail involved
  • Locate and evaluate any surveillance footage or in-vehicle detection systems to get evidence about what happened to cause your accident

Understanding the 90-Day Notice Window in Accident Cases Involving Guardrails

Accident and injury cases related to guardrails are complex because there is usually no “at fault” driver to hold responsible.  Most often, it is necessary to proceed against the New Jersey transportation authorities or the manufacturer of a defective guardrail.  Cases against public entities, including the New Jersey transportation authorities, are handled differently than typical car accident cases. 

An initial notice of tort claim must be served on the entity within 90 days of “the accrual of the cause of action”.  In most cases, this means a 90-day “clock” begins to run on:

  • The day the accident happened, or in some circumstances, 
  • The day that you reasonably could have known about the defect in the guardrail, given all of the evidence in your case (a “discovery rule”)

Hiring an experienced injury lawyer greatly increases your chances of getting the fair compensation you deserve after a crash involving a guardrail.  At The Epstein Law Firm, P.A., we have already recovered millions for clients injured in complex accidents.  Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can put our skills to work for you.

Hurt in an Accident Involving Highway Guardrails?  Call Our Experienced Lawyers Immediately to Protect Your Right to Compensation

Under N.J.S.A. 59:8-8, you have only 90 days from the date of your accident to serve an initial notice of tort claim upon the public transportation authority responsible for your accident.  After 90 days have passed, these public entities can assert failure to file the required claim as an absolute defense.  This means that you can lose your right to financial compensation.

At The Epstein Law Firm, P.A., our skilled injury lawyers will go to work to fight for the fair compensation you deserve.  This could include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  We can also help you pursue damages for the wrongful death of your loved one.  Call or contact our office to schedule your free case evaluation today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Accidents and Injuries Related to Guardrails

Can anyone besides the New Jersey transportation authorities be held responsible for injuries caused by guardrail accidents?

Yes. In some cases, the company that made the guardrail could be partially to blame. Companies are responsible for designing products that are reasonably safe. Ultimately, a guardrail is a product. If a company changed its design to make more money, but that design failed to provide needed protection or even made accidents more dangerous, the company can be held financially responsible.

Are there any cases where I might get more time to serve the transportation department with the required notice?

Yes. Under extraordinary and limited circumstances, the 90-day period might be extended to one year after application to the Court. For an extension to apply, we must also show that the public transportation authority was not “substantially prejudiced” among other things.


We want to express our deepest gratitude for the exceptional work you did to insure that our father’s unfortunate accident did not go unrecognized; my dear dad would have appreciated your professionalism, unstoppable work ethic and most of all your compassion every step of the way. Please know we have the highest regard and the utmost respect for you.

Deb & Joe

Thank you so much for everything. Thank you for always responding so promptly and for really going to bat for me. I believe that your heart is big for your clients on many levels.

G. C.

A friend of a friend referred me to this firm. I was blown away by the amount of professionalism, courtesy and care. I highly recommend this firm to anyone seeking a personal injury attorney.

David L.