- November 5, 2015
Not all automobile accidents are caused by the negligence of one of the drivers. Sometimes accidents are caused by road hazards. According to a report entitled, “On a Crash Course: The Dangers and Health Costs of Deficient Roadways,” more than half of the fatalities on the country’s highways were due to deficient roadway conditions.
Our highways and roadways are maintained by local, state, and federal government agencies; however, they have fallen short on protecting drivers and passengers from dangerous road hazards. States do not budget enough money to cover repair and maintenance of roads and Congress has failed again to pass long-term funding again. As a result, many of the roads across the nation have dangerous hazards that cause individuals to be injured and killed each year.
Uncontrollable Road Hazards
Some road hazards are due to elements beyond anyone’s control but are dangerous and cause many accidents. Ice and snow make driving during the winter extremely hazardous while flooded roads during the spring and summer can make for treacherous road conditions. Oil and other substances dripping from other vehicles cause slick spots on roads that can quickly cause another vehicle to lose control and crash into oncoming traffic or collide with another stationary object. Unfortunately, these types of road hazards are unpredictable and unavoidable at times.
Failure to Maintain Roads or Defective Maintenance
Some of the dangerous road conditions are caused by a failure to maintain roadways and highways. Over time the surface of roads erode causing potholes and cracks to develop. When a driver is traveling at speeds of 70 mph on a highway, running over a pothole can cause a tire to blow or the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Failing to maintain traffic lights, traffic signs, guardrails, painted markers on roads, and the shoulder of roads are another cause of many accidents. Drivers fail to take precautions because warning signs have been destroyed or faded or a driver swerves to miss a road hazard and loses control when his car runs off the road into loose gravel. All of these conditions could be avoided if government agencies properly maintained the roads.
Defective Design of Roads and Highways
Some intersections are poorly designed with trees or other obstacles blocking the driver’s view of oncoming traffic. Improper draining can lead to standing water that causes cars to hydroplane into oncoming traffic or off the road. In some cases, the roads have been laid out in a manner that causes a dangerous curve, dips, or slopes in the road.
Work or Construction Zones
Work and construction zones create hazardous road conditions, especially if they are not labeled with the proper signage and warnings. Machinery and barriers partially blocking the road or debris from construction can easily cause a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle in a construction zone. The work performed in construction zones can also lead to accidents when contractors use poor materials or perform substandard work.
The placement of utility poles, signs, and other roadside obstacles can reduce driver visibility. These objects are also dangerous if a driver swerves or loses control of the vehicle and collides with an obstacle. Trees and other roadside vegetation should be kept from encroaching on roads.
Filing a Claim for Damages Caused Due to Hazardous Road Conditions
If your vehicle accident was due to a dangerous road condition that occurred because of a government agency’s failure to design, build, and maintain safe roads, you may have a claim against that agency. However, lawsuits and claims against government agencies for hazardous road conditions are complex and complicated. You need a law firm that has experience investigating and handling these types of automobile accident claims.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney For Assistance
When you have been injured in an automobile accident, your first priority is to seek the medical attention you need to help you recover from your injuries. However, you may also need the assistance of attorneys experienced in handling automobile accident claims to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve to reimburse you for your expenses and damages.
Our personal injury lawyers can help you receive a just and fair settlement. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.