Auto Accident Due To Poor Road Conditions: Who's Liable For Damages?
Automobile accidents aren't always due to the negligence of another driver. In some cases, the poor road conditions can lead to an accident, and if no one really did anything wrong, who's at fault? Potholes, watering pooling on roadways, and ice or snow makes driving hazardous for all drivers. If you've had an accident due to bad road or driving conditions, you cannot file a personal injury suit for damages unless you understand where the fault lies.
Road Maintenance Problems
Your state, county, and city all have the job of keeping roads safe for drivers in their area. But each has its own responsibilities. While your city may be responsible for clearing snow and ice from roads, your state is often responsible for filling in potholes and paving roads. The U.S. Department of Transportation has the responsibility of assisting with city and state department of following safety guidelines for roadways. Poor road conditions that can lead to accidents include the following:
- Broken guardrails
- Non-working traffic signals work
- Poorly placed traffic signs or signals
- Low bridges with incorrect height warnings
- Lack of appropriate road markings
- Vision obstructions due to poor landscaping
- Inadequate night lighting on roadways
- Slick roads due to inadequate preparation for bad weather
If you plan to sue for an accident that occurred due to poor road conditions, you must know what department may have been the negligent party. A personal injury attorney can be of help in determining who to file a lawsuit against.
Proving Who's At Fault
In most cases, state and local governments have immunity and you cannot bring a civil lawsuit against these entities. There are exceptions, and an injury attorney will know if and when your case may be an exception to the rule. If you plant to file suit against a state or local government, you must be able to prove gross negligence, which can be difficult when going up against these departments. This means you do need an personal injury attorney experienced at taking on cases similar to yours.
You'll need to so some research and gather as much evidence as possible to prove your claim. Once you and your attorney like one from Edward J. Achrem & Associates, Ltd. have determined who is at fault, you can begin gathering witnesses and police reports. Your attorney can choose which witnesses can be of help and assist in gathering any other information you may need.
Exactly who's at fault for your accident can sometimes be difficult to prove, especially when you believe it the state, city of other government agency is at fault. Discussing your situation with an experienced attorney is the best way to determine if you have a case and how to proceed.