Have you ever been in a car accident that you felt could have been prevented had the road been in a better condition? Maybe it’s crossed your mind before that if road conditions are poor, it’s possible that they could cause an accident. Motor vehicle accidents happen daily, and can stem from many different causes. While many causes of car crashes pertain heavily to the way someone is driving – from reckless driving and aggressive driving to texting while driving and distracted driving – what if the reason is out of your control? Who is responsible if an accident is caused due to poor road conditions?
There are different government agencies that are responsible for providing maintenance to the roads. Depending on what needs taking care of, the city, county or state will be responsible. The state may be responsible for paving a certain road while the city might be in charge of snowplowing.
If the government agency responsible for maintaining the road has failed to do so, it must be proven. Has the state cut back on government spending for road repair? If erosion or some other kind of damage has been happening to a road over time, it’s something the government agency should have addressed. If a car goes over a ledge because the road has crumbled or washed away, the agency could be held liable. However, if a tree falls across the road and there’s no way the agency could have fixed the issue, they may not be held liable to any damages to a vehicle.
If damage of any kind does occur, make sure you take photos right away. If you hit a pothole or any other large debris in the road, take a picture of what you’ve hit as soon as it happens. The damage that takes place within your vehicle may not be noticeable for some time, so it’s best to document what you’ve hit in case you begin having issues of any kind.
While state and the federal government have immunity from lawsuits, in many cases they’ll agree to make an exception to their immunity. While every situation and each state’s government are different, many will allow a person to sue in the event of a car accident if damage has been done or an injury has occurred. Often, the state will require a person to notify the government agency if they are going to sue within 6 months or so of the accident.
According to car accident attorneys at Gruber Law Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, motor vehicle accidents are some the greatest dangers to public health in the United States. Stay safe while you drive, and if you feel a government agency should be held responsible for a crash you’re a part of, document any damages and injuries, and contact a lawyer immediately.
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