Traumatic Brain Injury Due to Alleged Negligent Roadway Maintenance

This case study examines a severe head injury incident caused by alleged insufficient roadway maintenance on a heavily trafficked bridge.

ByZach Barreto


Published on February 6, 2024

Road with debris

Case Overview

This case study delves into an incident involving an individual who sustained a traumatic brain injury while traversing a heavily trafficked bridge from a bustling city to its neighboring state. The injury occurred when roadway debris was hurled over the median, causing their vehicle's windshield to shatter and subsequently striking them in the head.

It is alleged that the maintenance of this busy bridge was substandard, with claims suggesting that debris removal should be conducted more frequently than once per month due to the high volume of traffic and consequent debris accumulation. An expert witness specializing in bridge and roadway maintenance was enlisted to scrutinize the case details and provide an opinion on liability.

Questions to the Civil Engineering expert and their responses


Could you describe your experience in bridge and roadway maintenance, particularly in areas with heavy traffic?

I have been engaged as a public works engineering professional for three decades. My expertise encompasses infrastructure maintenance and design, which includes roadways and bridges within the transportation system, along with their upkeep operations.


What industry standards are there regarding the frequency of debris removal on a heavily trafficked bridge to prevent incidents like this?

Several factors determine the frequency of debris removal on a bridge or roadway. Regular street sweeping is standard practice, with crews deployed to collect items. The individual responsible for maintaining the bridge should analyze historical data on how often debris accumulates and devise an operational system accordingly.

Most roadways and bridges should have some form of notification system where individuals can alert the agency about potential hazards such as debris or potholes via call-in, email, or app systems.

About the expert

This expert boasts over 25 years of experience in civil engineering, with a focus on traffic engineering and public works. They hold multiple professional licenses, including as a civil engineer, land surveyor, and traffic engineer. Their extensive career includes roles such as traffic engineer for a state Department of Transportation, senior civil engineer for various cities, and currently serving as a city engineer and director of public works for a major municipality in northern California. This expert's vast experience makes them highly relevant to the case study involving roadway maintenance.

Expert headshot



About the author

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto is a distinguished professional in the legal industry, currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Research at the Expert Institute. With a deep understanding of a broad range of legal practice areas, Zach's expertise encompasses personal injury, medical malpractice, mass torts, defective products, and many other sectors. His skills are particularly evident in handling complex litigation matters, including high-profile cases like the Opioids litigation, NFL Concussion Litigation, California Wildfires, 3M earplugs, Elmiron, Transvaginal Mesh, NFL Concussion Litigation, Roundup, Camp Lejeune, Hernia Mesh, IVC filters, Paraquat, Paragard, Talcum Powder, Zantac, and many others.

Under his leadership, the Expert Institute’s research team has expanded impressively from a single member to a robust team of 100 professionals over the last decade. This growth reflects his ability to navigate the intricate and demanding landscape of legal research and expert recruitment effectively. Zach has been instrumental in working on nationally significant litigation matters, including cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, toxic chemical exposure, and wrongful death, among others.

At the Expert Institute, Zach is responsible for managing all aspects of the research department and developing strategic institutional relationships. He plays a key role in equipping attorneys for success through expert consulting, case management, strategic research, and expert due diligence provided by the Institute’s cloud-based legal services platform, Expert iQ.

Educationally, Zach holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and European History from Vanderbilt University.

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