According to a White House fact sheet regarding the $1.2 bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in November 2021, in the United States, 45,000 bridges are in poor condition. According to the same data, one in five miles of major roadways is in poor condition. Sometimes this bad infrastructure can cause minor or devastating accidents. When road and various infrastructure damage is to blame, many victims are left wondering who is liable for the damages and injuries. In this article, we'll discuss what makes roadways dangerous, who may be liable, and various special considerations that may apply when government entities are liable.
If you've been injured in an accident due to unmaintained and dangerous road/infrastructure conditions, call or text our car accident attorneys at Impact Legal today for a free case review. You can reach us at 602-345-1818 if you're in Arizona and at 505-386-2807 if you are in New Mexico. You may also fill out this convenient online form, and we will reach back out to you to set up your case review.
Various Things Can Make a Road Dangerous
The most likely road dangers that cause accidents include:
- Missing or damaged barriers or guardrails
- Bad road design and structure
- Shoulder drop-offs
- Uncleared ice and snow
- Tire ruts
- Loose asphalt
- Faded road markings
- Missing or damaged road reflectors
- Temporary fixtures that become slippery if they remain for too long, like chip seal.
- Cracked, unmaintained, unrepaired roads
- Dangerous construction zones
- Inadequate or missing signage
- Rocks, gravel, dirt, and other types of debris
- Poor road visibility, like missing or inadequate lighting
Depending on the facts of your car accident case and what caused the accident, you may have a few legal options. It's important to consult a car accident lawyer in Arizona or New Mexico.
Who Can I Sue for Dangerous Roadways in Arizona?
There may be one or more liable parties when someone is in an accident caused by dangerous roadways. That is to say that after you've been hurt in an accident, don't rule out the possibility of obtaining legal compensation to help you recover. Some examples of liable parties include the owner of the property where the accident took place, government entities, or third parties.
Road maintenance is typically the responsibility of the city, county, or state. If you are in an accident because of poor road conditions, you may be able to file a claim against the responsible government entity. Additionally, sometimes, road construction makes a road dangerous. In these cases, you may have a claim against a negligent construction company.
Proving Negligence and Making a Claim
To win a car accident case against the government, a third-party entity, or property owner after an accident caused by poor roadway conditions, you and your car accident lawyer must prove negligence. Imagine that an infamous pothole develops in the middle of Phoenix. Multiple complaints have been submitted, the newspaper has covered the dangerous pothole, and many people have expressed concern at city meetings. Despite this, the pothole remains unrepaired for longer than six months. No action is taken by the city to remedy the situation. If your vehicle is, then, damaged by the pothole, you have a legitimate claim against the city. The people in charge knew about the issue, they had sufficient time to repair it, yet they took no action.
If the case is not quite so clear-cut, you may still be able to prove negligence. Your lawyer will collect important information to build onto your claim. Some evidence may include survey records, which are conducted frequently to find and highlight poor roadway conditions. Additionally, conducting a thorough investigation may provide more evidence. Sometimes local residents may be interviewed to understand more about the roadway damage. Police reports about other accidents that happened because of the damage may also exist. Contacting a lawyer to help you file and prove your car accident claim is the first step to seeking recovery.
To make a claim against the responsible government entity, you'll need to collect some information:
- The name of the road and exact spot where your accident took place
- Contact information of any witnesses to the incident
- A thorough description of the condition that caused your accident; it's a good idea to take photographs if you are able
- Other information that could help a personal injury lawyer with your case
Know there are special considerations when it comes to taking legal action against government entities, so you will want to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident so you don't miss any important deadlines. The claim process will likely also be different because of special government considerations. An experienced attorney in Arizona or New Mexico will be knowledgeable about these considerations and ensure that you don't miss the opportunity to recover.
Consult a Lawyer If You've Suffered Damages Due to Dangerous Roads
If you've been injured or sustained damages as a result of unmaintained and dangerous roadway conditions, there may be legal options available to you. Consult with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to understand if you have a reasonable claim. Taking legal action may help you physically or financially recover. You can schedule a free consultation and case review with our injury lawyers in Arizona and New Mexico today. You can call or text us at 602-345-1818 or fill out our online form.