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Who May Be Liable for Accidents Caused by Poor Road Conditions?

Posted on behalf of Anderson Cummings on May 11, 2022 in Auto Accidents

car driving over a potholePoor road planning or roads in disrepair are often the cause of accidents that leave victims with serious injuries. If you were involved in an accident due to poor roadway conditions, you may be wondering whether you can recover compensation for your damages.

Let our knowledgeable car accident attorneys in Fort Worth investigate your claim to see what legal options may be available to you. If we determine you have a valid case, we are prepared to help you pursue the compensation you need with no upfront costs to you.

The consultation is free, with no risk to you and no obligation to move forward with a claim.

What Road Conditions Can Cause a Crash?

Sometimes poor roadway maintenance may be the issue that causes a crash. Poorly maintained roads may have:

  • Potholes
  • Poor lighting
  • Uneven lanes
  • Pavement erosion
  • Hard-to-see lane markers
  • Lackluster clean-up efforts
  • Damaged or missing guardrails
  • Traffic signals that are missing or hidden from view

Other times, however, the issue of a road may be due to the design of the road when it was constructed.

For example:

  • Lack of guardrails
  • Lack of light posts
  • Excessively sharp turns
  • Short merge lanes or on-ramps
  • Insufficient/inadequate traffic signals
  • Lack of warning signs due to/during hazardous conditions 

At times, the responsibility of road hazards may overlap, such as if there is low lighting or missing guardrails. It can be harder in this situation to determine if a dangerous issue was due to substandard road maintenance or poor road design. In terms of assessing who may be liable for a claim, it is important to differentiate between the two circumstances.

In some cases, a crash is not the result of either poor roadway maintenance or poor road design.

Sometimes poor roadway conditions are caused by other hazards, such as debris from other vehicles or nearby construction sites.

How is Liability Established?

Just like all injury cases, liability for a poorly maintained road collision boils down to who acted negligently. Therefore, the cause of the crash must first be determined.

Did you crash because you ran over a hidden or deceptive pothole that caused you to lose control of your vehicle? If so, there are a few parties who may be liable for your damages. For instance:

The first thought may be that liability falls to a government entity or its road maintenance crew. However, if contractors were working on the road, their heavy machinery could also have caused the pothole. If so, and the road hazard was not brought to the attention of the road maintenance crew, then the construction company could be liable.

If another vehicle crashed into you to avoid hitting a pothole, the driver of that vehicle may be liable for failing to assure the lane was clear before moving into it.

This only goes to show how no two accident cases are the same. There are many car crash scenarios that could result from poor road conditions or poor road design.

Whether you were injured in a crash caused by poor road maintenance or poor road design, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your damages.

Can Multiple Parties Be Liable?

It is possible that multiple parties could be liable for your damages if you were injured in an accident caused by poor road conditions.

For instance, using the same scenario about hitting a pothole in the road, both a government municipality and another driver could share liability for your crash. The government, for failing to properly maintain the road, and the driver, for failing to look for traffic before moving into another lane.

Regardless of how the crash happened, we strongly recommend you consider seeking legal advice from our licensed attorneys. We have extensive experience representing car crash victims, and we are ready to help determine who may be financially responsible for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages.

How Can I Prove Liability?

The burden of proving liability falls on the injured victim, and for accidents caused by poor road conditions, this type of case quickly can become complicated.

The usual pieces of evidence may be helpful, such as a police report, witness statements and photos from the scene. However, you may need additional evidence to prove a government municipality, or other party charged with maintenance or planning of the road, acted negligently.

Our attorneys may be able to request records from these entities to review any potential irregularities or negligent actions taken.

For example, if there were multiple complaints from area residents about a tree branch blocking a traffic signal, your attorney can establish the entity knew or should have known about the hazard. If the municipality failed to follow-up on these complaints and rectify the issue before your accident, your attorney may be able to establish their liability.

When pursuing compensation from a public entity, like a government municipality, there are certain rules to be followed. There may also be a shorter time limit to file a claim.

Call a Knowledgeable Attorney

Pursuing maximum compensation for your damages after an accident can be complicated and stressful, especially if you suffered serious injuries and need time to recover. Let our attorneys help you through the process so you may focus on your health.

Our attorneys know what it takes to establish liability in poor roadway condition cases and what evidence is needed to prove fault. We have the resources to help you do this and charge you nothing while we work on your case.

Call (817) 920-9000 to schedule a free consultation today.