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Bridge collapse highlights dangers for drivers

Wisconsin is full of bridges, and a recent collapse in Washington State has some drivers wondering how safe the bridges in our state may be. The bridge collapse resulted in not only car accident injuries but also millions in property damage. According to the Federal Highway Administration's 2012 report, at least 11 percent of the nation's bridges are structurally deficient. While this may not mean imminent danger of collapse, it does mean that the bridges must be monitored carefully.

Wisconsin has installed high-tech sensors that record bridge deterioration so that it can be tracked by inspectors. However, the federal government has already stated that funding to repair these bridges may not be immediately forthcoming. With bridges in the United States averaging 42 years old, more problems are expected with bridge structures in the near future.

An independent study estimated that the federal, state and local governments would need to invest $8 billion annually in bridge maintenance to solve the deficiency issues. Without proper repairs, another accident like that of the I-5 bridge in Washington State could occur in which three people were hospitalized. Experts are urging the government to make bridge repair a top priority in order to avoid future tragedies.

Victims who have suffered a car accident as the result of a bridge collapse may be entitled to payment of damages for their injuries. A car accident attorney may represent the victim of such an accident in order to assist him or her in collecting these damages. Victims of car accidents may be entitled to payment of medical bills, sums for pain and suffering, and compensation for lost wages and living expenses.

Source: USA Today, "Bridge collapse shines light on aging infrastructure", Marisol Bello, May 24, 2013

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