Some streets are not fit for motor vehicles. Cracked asphalt and uneven surfaces are common on many roads, making them more dangerous for drivers. Even if no drivers in the crash were obviously negligent, you may still be able to file an insurance claim if a hazardous road condition was to blame for the crash.
However, you may need the help of a vehicle accident lawyer to prove fault. If you were injured in an accident due to hazardous road conditions, the Indianapolis car accident attorneys at Vaughan & Vaughan can look into your claim and determine who is at who can be held accountable.
Road Conditions Can Cause Accidents
Road defects can be a major cause of accidents, particularly if they are not addressed by the responsible authorities in a timely manner. Such defects may be due to negligence on the part of the road designer, the manufacturers of a paving product, or a government entity responsible for maintaining the road.
Some common defects in roads that may cause accidents include:
Potholes form when water accumulates beneath the asphalt or concrete surface of the road, where it gets trapped and causes gradual degradation of the materials. If left unaddressed for long enough, potholes can become deep enough to cause significant damage to vehicles that run over them at speed.
If a deep pothole caused damage to your car or caused a crash, a lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation from the liable entity.
Utility cuts are areas cut into roads for the purposes of installing underground utilities such as plumbing or electricity wires. Utility cuts are often not properly repaired and can leave depressions that can cause a car to swerve out of control if driven over at high speed.
If these utility cuts become eroded due to weathering or other factors, they may even lead to flash flooding during heavy rains, which further worsen road conditions and increase the chances of an accident occurring.
If you lost control of your car and caused an accident, an auto accident attorney can investigate the roadway to identify if this defect may have been a factor.
The problem of loose junk and debris on roads is not only one of safety but also of liability. Landscaping crews or drivers moving furniture can often drop objects on the road and cause a hazard for the motorists behind them. When objects fall from a truck that had an improperly secured load, the driver can be held liable.
Many times, road crews focus only on maintaining the main lanes and forget to address the shoulder of the road, leaving them weak or eroding. Motorists often stop on the shoulder if they have an emergency or roadside need, which makes these fragile shoulders even more dangerous.
Shoulders that are left unpaved or allowed to be eroded over time increase the chances of an accident. This could be considered negligence on the part of the municipal agency responsible. Your car accident attorney can help determine if they can be held liable.
Other Road Defects or Lack of Signage
The design of a road can have an influence on the safety of drivers. Poorly designed roads can lead to an increased risk of accidents due to a variety of factors.
Sharp curves and steep grades often have inadequate sight lines making it difficult for drivers to adequately judge their speed and distance from other vehicles resulting in collisions or near-misses.
For example, when warning signs are not erected adequately or in the proper location, it can be difficult for motorists to notice subtle changes in the environment, such as bridge freezes that may cause icy patches on the road leading to dangerous driving conditions.
You may not be at fault if a hazardous road condition led to your accident. If another organization is responsible for creating the hazard, they could be held liable. A car accident lawyer can work with engineers and other professionals to determine the exact cause of your crash.
Liability in an Accident Will Impact Your Compensation
Knowing who’s at fault after a car accident is important for many reasons. First, it helps determine the extent of insurance coverage and damage payments that need to be made. You may be held partially liable for the accident as the state of Indiana recognizes the comparative fault doctrine.
For example, if you were traveling over the speed limit, the issue of liability might be a factor. in such an instance, a car accident attorney can work to protect you from allegations of blame when the insurance company contests its liability.
Insurance companies investigate and assign liability in road condition accidents to determine who is at fault. When you have legal representation, it ensures fair treatment and prevents unfair charges.
Who Will Pay for My Injuries and the Damage to My Car?
Depending on the type of hazard and who is at fault, you may have to seek recovery from more than one source. If the road hazard was caused by a city, state, or county agency, such as poor maintenance or faulty infrastructure, you may need to pursue legal action against them to recover damages.
Similarly, if the incident was due to a private third party’s negligence, there may be the possibility of filing a lawsuit against them. You may also need to claim compensation from your insurance company in cases involving personal injury or vehicle repairs.
Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm to Find Out If Your Crash May Have Been Caused by Road Conditions
If you have been involved in a car accident due to the negligence of a government agency, then it is important to hire an experienced car accident attorney. Government agencies often enjoy unique immunities from liability, meaning it is necessary to submit a notice of intent to sue before even pursuing any legal action.
Having an experienced lawyer with Vaughan & Vaughan on your side as you navigate through this process can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options and find out how we can help.