Who Can Be Liable an Auto Accident Caused by Poor Road Conditions?
Although many auto collisions are attributed to driver negligence, poor road conditions are also a common contributing factor to many car accidents. When this occurs, there may be several parties at fault for your accident, including local, state and federal government agencies.
The Savannah auto accident attorneys at Roden Law have handled numerous car accident claims and know how to identify which parties can be held liable for the damages you suffered. Contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation as soon as possible after an accident. We will review your claim to determine if you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Below, our Savannah personal injury lawyers review several factors that may help us determine which party is liable for a car accident caused by hazardous roadway conditions.
Common Roadway Hazards
In Georgia, there are several types of dangerous conditions that create hazard for drivers. Although some hazards may seem common, they still increase the likelihood of causing a serious car accident. These roadway hazards may include:
When a vehicle runs into a pothole, it can cause serious damage to a vehicle and may even result in an accident.
Potholes are the result of expanding and contracting groundwater below the pavement. As this occurs, the roadway will start to give way, and the size of the pothole will continue to increase as cars run over it if not fixed.
Poor Roadway Maintenance
Failing to properly maintain roadways can lead to several hazards that increase the risk of an auto accident, including:
- Uneven pavement
- Faded lane markings
- Broken guardrails
- Missing traffic signs
Dangerous Roadway Design
Even with proper construction, poor design of a roadway can put motorists in danger. Flaws in roadway design can cause dangerous conditions that increase the risk of an accident, such as:
- Curves that are too sharp
- Merging lanes or on-ramps that are too short
- Poor lighting
- Inadequate warnings of dangerous conditions
Who is Responsible for Maintaining the Roadway?
In Georgia, cities, counties and state government agencies are responsible for maintaining roadways and ensuring any known hazard is fixed.
There are several factors that may determine which entity is responsible for fixing the hazard, such as the location of the roadway and type of hazard. However, there may be instances where multiple agencies are liable for the same roadway. For example, the state may be responsible for filling a pothole while the county or city is responsible for clearing the roadway of debris.
When a hazardous condition causes an accident, you must prove the responsible government entity neglected to maintain the roadway. This requires you to prove the at-fault entity failed to uphold its obligation to clear any known hazard, or adequately warn motorists of its existence.
Additionally, if a dangerous roadway hazard long enough for the liable entity to know of its existence, but failed to become aware of the hazard, the government entity may still be held liable for any resulting damages.
Can I Sue a Government Agency in Georgia?
If you are injured in an auto accident that resulted from a government entity’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault entity. However, filing a personal injury claim against a government entity in Georgia is very different than bringing legal action against a person or corporation.
This includes providing a written claim to the government entity responsible for causing the accident. Your claim should include the:
- Time and place of the accident
- Extent of your injury
- Amount of damages you intend to pursue
- Negligent action that caused your injury
Additionally, Georgia imposes a different time line for accident victims who are filing a personal injury claim against the government.
If you are filing a claim against a city or municipal county, you have six months to provide notice about your claim. Likewise, if you are filing a claim against the state, you must present notice of your claim within 12 months of the accident.
If you do not follow these strict deadlines, your claim will likely be dismissed and you cannot obtain compensation for your injury.
Contact an Attorney for Help
If you were injured in a car accident caused by poor road conditions, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The Savannah car accident lawyers of Roden Law will evaluate your case and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today and learn which legal options may be available for pursuing compensation for your injuries. We only work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront fees and you only have to pay us if we recover compensation for your claim.