What If Poor Road Conditions Cause an Accident in California?
Not all accidents are caused by human error. Poor road conditions result in dangerous accidents that may harm individuals in a single vehicle or affect multiple drivers on the road.
If poor road conditions caused your accident, you might be led to believe the accident was “nobody’s fault.” This simply isn’t true. An experienced car accident injury attorney at LA Century Law can help you determine whether poor road conditions were a factor in your accident and whether the city, county, or state government may be liable for related injuries and damage to your vehicle.
Poor Road Conditions that Cause Accidents in California
According to data from the Department of Transportation, California’s roads are ranked the worst for roughness, with 44% of roads in poor condition. Some of the most common road conditions that cause accidents include:
Items on the roadways can be difficult to spot when traveling at high speeds on roads congested with traffic. Common road debris includes tires, parts of vehicles, trash, household items, construction debris, or even pieces of road infrastructure. In these situations, liability depends on the entity responsible for losing the debris and how long it’s been a hazard to road travel.
Potholes, uneven pavement, damaged guardrails, deteriorated medians, etc., can all be responsible for serious vehicle accidents. All too often, the government agencies responsible for maintenance have fielded multiple reports regarding a single road issue.
Government agencies are responsible for replacing damaged or missing infrastructure that keep the roads safe. Every piece is positioned for a reason, from signage to guardrails, to maintain safety. Missing signs or faulty traffic lights can be responsible for collisions. Damaged or missing guardrails cause injuries and fatalities. Inadequate street lighting can lead to accidents in the evening or at night.
Government agencies are responsible for maintaining the roads within their borders. Failure to keep up with maintenance requirements can make roads unsafe. For example, overgrowth that hasn’t been cut back restricts visibility and can damage passing vehicles. Faded street markings or obstructed signs prevent drivers from seeing the rules of the road. When agencies don’t fix these problems, they’re liable for the accidents they cause.
How to Determine Liability in Accidents Caused by Bad Road Conditions
In order to get compensation for your injuries in an accident caused by poor road conditions, you must first determine who is at fault. For instance, building materials that slid off of a truck in front of you is the responsibility of that driver. On the other hand, a pothole that caused your tire to blow out is likely to be the responsibility of the local or state government.
To establish liability, you also have to prove that the party in question was negligent. In other words, they knew about the issue and didn’t take the proper steps to help drivers avoid injury. Additionally, if you suspect a government agency is responsible, you have to file a special claim, called an administrative claim, before you can file in court. In California, this claim must be filed within six months of your injury.
The procedure of establishing and proving negligence or liability for bad road conditions can be complicated and time-consuming. As a result, it can be challenging to achieve on your own. Time is of the essence when attempting to prove such a complex case. That’s why we recommend speaking with an experienced injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact the Attorneys at LA Century Law
If you were injured in a car accident due to poor road conditions in California, you have the right to claim compensation from the responsible party. The experienced car accident attorneys at LA Century Law are familiar with the process of filing administrative claims and other essential documents involved in cases surrounding unsafe roads. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to determine who is at fault for an accident caused by poor road conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do first if I’m involved in an accident caused by bad road conditions?
Safety is the most important objective after any car accident. Assess the injuries of those in your vehicle and immediately call 911 for medical assistance. If you’re uninjured, you can assess injuries sustained by any other individuals involved in the accident. If you’re uninjured and it’s safe to do so, you should take pictures of the scene to provide as evidence in your case.
Why do I need an attorney to prove my case?
There are very specific regulations about how to prove liability in an accident caused by poor road conditions. Experienced accident injury attorneys are familiar with the procedure and can handle your case accurately.