Who Might Be Liable For Injuries Sustained As A Result Of Poor Public Roadways?
Dangerous road conditions often contribute to a number of auto accidents across the nation. The Washington Post reported in 2015 on the poor state of American roads, which costs the average driver an estimated $515 in extra operation and maintenance on their car and contributes to car accidents.
Analysis from the transportation research group TRIP found that 28% of major roadways in America are in such a poor condition that they “need to be completely rebuilt.” In California alone, 51% of the highways were rated as poor.
Cracks and potholes can take a massive toll on your car, and the damage can sometimes be very severe. Earlier in February, one person was injured when their car fell into a sinkhole in the Los Angeles area. Fire crews pulled the victim out of what was estimated to be a 20-foot sinkhole.
What Constitutes A Poor Roadway?
Generally, citizens we expect our taxes to pay for roads that are properly maintained. Road defects could include poor lighting during construction, improper placements of guardrails, inadequate traffic signals, shoulder drop offs, poor line striping on highways, or physical defects like potholes, grooves in the pavement or loose gravel.
What Happens If I Am In An Accident?
If you are in an accident that occurred due to a road defect, you may be able to take legal action. However, cases that center around poor roadways can be very complex, as road responsibility can vary between the federal government, the state, and county agencies depending on the area.
You will want to work with a personal injury attorney, as they will be able to counsel you on your options, and potentially help you build a case to hold those responsible accountable. The right attorney knows where to look for evidence of defects and will know how to handle witness statements that might be contradictory or vague.
It is usually not enough to simply prove how a roadway damaged your car. Rather, you must generally be able to show:
- The government had acted unreasonable in maintenance and upkeep of the road, and
- The government knew or reasonably should have known the road was in poor shape
What Else Do I Need To Know?
If you are considering a case, you need to act quickly. The timeframe to file a case can be very short. You will most likely need to draw on the knowledge of industry experts and conduct some sort of investigation into the accident as part of your case.
A reputable personal injury lawyer will be able to help you file a claim quickly and help you organize your case. Government and state entities often draw upon a large amount of resources for these types of cases.
The best personal injury attorney will be one who is a skillful negotiator but also understands when to be aggressive.
If you have been injured or incurred property damage from poorly maintained roads, call our office today for a free evaluation of your case at 888-806-6722.