HWY 217 Accidents – Flyover Ramp & Tort Claims
Over the last 6 months, there have been dozens of car accidents on the Highway 217 flyover ramp where I-5 meets Highway 217 in Tigard, Oregon. The flyover ramp was constructed in 2001 and since then the expansion joint on the ramp has developed a gap that is approximately one inch wide. The gap in the expansion joint has caused numerous drivers to spinout and crash on the ramp. Experts speculate that the soil beneath the ramp could be partially to blame for the growing gap; however, this has yet to be proven. Officials from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) maintain that the Highway 217 expansion joint is within safety regulations and the high number of car accidents are due to drivers exceeding the designated speed limit. Motorists counter that the car accidents are instead a result of rain, which makes the flyover ramp increasingly slick and dangerous, and not irresponsible driving.
Tort claims filed against State of Oregon and Oregon Department of Transportation
Multiple car accident victims have filed tort claims against the State of Oregon and ODOT claiming negligence as they are seeking restitution for damages associated with the accidents, including for medical bills and car repair bills. If you have been a victim of the flyover ramp on Highway 217, it may be in your best interest to file a tort claim. Torts are essentially civil wrong doings and tort claims must be filed against the governmental entity within 180 days of the incident in order to preserve the right to file suit within the two year statute of limitations if you are unable to resolve your claim. These are negligence claims alleging that ODOT and the State have been negligent in the design, construction and maintenance of the 217 ramp.
Car accidents on HWY 217
There have been recent reports in the news of an ODOT official who expressed concern over the quality and stability of the ramp’s structure shortly after its completion. Furthermore, the company responsible for the construction of the flyover bridge has also been accused of finishing the bridge before the scheduled completion date, implying corners were cut, to receive a payment incentive from ODOT.
As a result of the dozens of car accidents on the Highway 217 flyover ramp, ODOT has installed large electronic warning signs to warn drivers to slow down as they go over the flyover ramp. This, however, does not compensate or address the victims of the car accidents; nor does it recognize the extreme damage and problems that result from the car accidents caused by the bad flyover joints. Automobile accidents are known to result in death, physical and emotional trauma, as well as expensive medical bills, missed work, stress and multiple other negative consequences. Victims of the Highway 217 flyover ramp are encouraged to consult a qualified Personal Injury Lawyer to discuss a possible tort claim and their legal options.