Accidents Caused by Poor Road Conditions: Where to Seek Compensation

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

July 20, 2022

INADEQUATE ROAD CONDITIONS ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS

When you’re hurt in an accident caused by bad road conditions, you have the right to full compensation. However, you must act quickly. Here’s all you need to know about it.

Dangerously Bad Road Conditions are Listed on This Page Where to Seek Injury Compensation

Filing Government Compensation Claims When to Hire an Attorney

How to Protect Your Claim From the Start

Road conditions contribute to the frequency and severity of motor car accidents in the United States. Poor road conditions are responsible for over a third of all car accidents, resulting in over two million injuries and 22,000 deaths.

Although state and federal regulations mandate cities, towns, villages, and counties to plan, develop, and maintain safe roads and highways, ensuring that every road and highway is safe is almost difficult.

When you’re hurt in an accident caused by bad road conditions, you’ll need financial assistance to cover your medical bills, connected expenditures, and missed income.

Here’s all you need to know about requesting reimbursement from road safety organizations.

POOR ROAD CONDITIONS ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

While speeding, distracted driving, and intoxicated drivers cause most accidents, poor road quality and conditions play a key role in many others.

In other words, even though bad road conditions were not the only cause of the accident, they very certainly contributed significantly to its severity.

The following are some of the most common road conditions that lead to car accidents:

Potholes and cracks in the road surface

Lack of rumble strips on highways Missing or insufficient guardrails

Faded paint markings, such as the centre line or road edge markings Road shoulder drop-off

Road debris

Poor traffic management around construction zones Untreated roads in the winter

POOR ROAD CONDITIONS MAY CONTRIBUTE TO AN ACCIDENT IN THE FOLLOWING WAY:

Mark was on his way home from work when he drove east on Chestnut Street. Mindy was driving west on Chestnut Street, heading to the mall to meet a buddy.

When Mindy’s right-front tire struck a pothole, wrenching the steering wheel and frightening her, she texted her buddy to propose they meet at the food court.

Mindy furiously overcorrected, swerving her car hard to the left and into oncoming traffic.

Mark had little time to react to Mindy’s sudden move, and the two cars hit head-on. Multiple fractured bones, internal haemorrhaging, and severe brain damage were among Mark’s injuries.

Mindy was the one who was texting and driving. Mindy, on the other hand, lost control of her car due to the pothole.

Mark has grounds to sue the at-fault motorist and the body in charge of keeping Chestnut Street in good repair.

FROM THE START, MAKE SURE YOUR CLAIM IS PROTECTED.

Knowing what to do from the outset can help you create a good injury claim, whether you’re in a single-car accident caused by bad road conditions or a multi-car collision.

To report an accident and request assistance: Dial 911.

Tell the dispatcher you’ve been hurt and if you know of any other people who have been hurt. Give your current location and any nearby landmarks.

Any risks or traffic issues on the site must be communicated to the dispatcher.

Medical treatment is important to the success of any injury claim. Don’t declare you’re “fine” or reject medical attention on the spot. If you aren’t sent to the hospital immediately away, obtain a medical assessment as soon as possible. Visit your primary care physician, the hospital emergency department, or a local urgent care facility.

After an accident, refusing or delaying medical care can jeopardise your claim. The insurance company will use the opportunity to deny your claim, claiming that your injuries are unrelated to the event.

If your claim is refused, don’t give up

To explore your compensation possibilities, speak with a personal injury attorney. Speak with eyewitnesses

Witness testimony may be very persuasive in proving a defendant’s guilt. Speak with witnesses to learn more about the collision and how the road hazard contributed to it. Compile a list of witnesses and their contact information. Ask witnesses to sign and date their written statements if they are prepared to write down what they witnessed.

Take photos and record videos

Photographic evidence is some of the finest evidence. Pictures aren’t deceiving. Take as many shots as you can from as many different perspectives as you can safely. You can’t have too many photos of the bad road that caused your accident. Take photographs of the cars and the surrounding area if another car was involved.

If possible, use a date-stamp option

Make sure your photos verify the accident’s location. You’ll also have to show where the pothole or other danger was at the time of the accident. Long before your injury claim is resolved, the unsafe situation that caused your accident may be corrected.

If another car is involved in the collision, exchange information with the other driver. Inquire about the Driver’s identity, contact information, and insurance coverage. Make a note of the car’s make, model, and year.

Use our free Car Accident Information Form to be prepared. Store a duplicate in your car, along with a pen, where you keep your proof of insurance.

KEEP GOING. COLLECT EVIDENCE

Your claim will not be successful unless you have medical verification. Keep copies of your medical bills and records, as well as receipts for out-of-pocket medical costs and mileage to appointments. Your medical records will show that your injuries were caused by an accident. The amount of your settlement demand is calculated using your medical bills and associated expenditures.

A documented salary statement from your company might be used to establish lost income and missed overtime chances.

Your claim will benefit by taking notes and keeping records. Make thorough notes regarding the disaster and the events that lead up to it. Keep copies of all accident-related communications. While dealing with the accident’s aftermath, keep a journal of your medical treatment, pain levels, and everyday problems.

RECORDS OF THE SURVEY: Regular surveys are conducted by government agencies to detect bad road conditions. If you can show that your accident was caused by a known danger that should have been rectified, it can enhance your claim. To find the survey documents you’ll need, contact your county commissioner’s office or the state Department of Transportation (DOT).

WHERE CAN I GET COMPENSATION FOR MY INJURIES?

Every car accident is different, and you may have more than one option for obtaining compensation for your injuries.

Your car insurance provider is: Even if the event was not your fault, you should always tell your insurance provider following an accident. Most plans include contract wording known as a “notice clause,” which states that you promise to inform the company of any accidents and to participate in the insurance company’s crash investigation.

The text of the notice clause will be as follows:

“Insured (you) agrees to report any accidents to the insurer (your insurance company) and to provide all information, assistance, and cooperation that the insurer reasonably requests, and agrees that in the event of a claim, the insurer and the insured will do nothing to jeopardise the insurer’s position…”

Your medical expenditures would be covered by your Injury Protection (PIP) coverage if your policy was purchased in a no-fault insurance state. PIP covers your medical fees and, in certain cases, lost earnings, regardless of who caused the accident. PIP does not include compensation for pain and suffering.

Aside from PIP, many plans contain optional medical coverage that may assist pay for medical expenditures outside of no-fault areas.

The insurance company for the at-fault motorist is: You must claim with the at-fault Driver’s insurance carrier if you are wounded in an accident caused by a careless driver, even if bad road conditions contributed to the accident.

You must show that the other motorist was negligent, that the Driver’s carelessness was the direct and proximate cause of the accident, and that the collision caused your losses before the Other Driver’s insurance carrier would pay.

You must pay for your losses if the Driver is at fault.

The evidence you gathered at the scene and afterwards will assist you in proving your case.

UNSCRUPULOUS THIRD PARTY: If the dangerous road condition that caused your injury was caused by the carelessness of a third party who was not a government body, you might be entitled to seek damages against that person as well.

Let’s pretend you were hurt when your car smashed into a tree after slipping on a large stretch of loose gravel on the road. You might have grounds for a lawsuit against the construction business if the gravel was spilt by dump trucks driving in and out of a nearby building site over the previous week.

AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT: A municipal, county or state authority may be in charge of the road with the dangerous condition. The federal government has control over a lesser number of roads, such as interstate highways.

Read our article on Filing Personal Injury Claims Against the Government for additional information.

CLAIMING GOVERNMENT COMPENSATION

A successful damage lawsuit against a government agency must demonstrate the following five elements:

The agency is in charge of the road where you were involved in an accident.

The road was in bad condition at the time of the accident. Dangerous road conditions caused the accident.

The agency was aware of or should have been aware of the risk of an accident due to bad road conditions.

The agency failed to respond to the terrible road conditions promptly. Watch out for the Statute of Limitations.

Unlike personal injury lawsuits against private persons, where the statute of limitations for making a claim is two to five years, a claim against the government may be filed in as little as six months.

Make sure you know what the filing deadline is for your claim.

If you don’t submit your claim before the government deadline, you’ll lose your opportunity to sue the agency for compensation, no matter how severely you’ve been wounded.

INVESTIGATE THE LAW

Look for cases filed against the Federal Highway Administration and the Department of Transportation in the federal courtroom. Look for cases involving the road quality and circumstances in the area where your accident occurred.

Look for lawsuits filed against particular state or local government agencies, as well as private contracting businesses, over the design, building, or maintenance of the route at the county clerk’s office. Look for comparable fact patterns, similar accidents, evidence the plaintiffs employed, and the amount of compensation in such claims.

Contact your state’s attorney general’s office and ask for copies of advisory opinions on road design and faults that the office has issued to state and local government bodies.

Investigate the many articles dealing with government litigation on the internet. You may narrow down your search to notifications of claims, administrative hearings, and lawsuits related to road faults as time goes on.

Remember that you have the legal right to employ a personal injury attorney to handle your government-related injury claim. Your lawyer will know how to submit your claim, demand reasonable reimbursement, and, if necessary, pursue a lawsuit.

Filing Your Claim Notification

If you want to sue the government, the first step is to file a Notice of Claim. You must file a claim with the government entity that is responsible for your injury.

A notice of claim informs the government agency that you intend to file a civil lawsuit against them. Each government entity responsible for the route must receive a separate notice of claim.

The claim form must be fully and accurately filled out. An incomplete form will be rejected. Thus it is critical to do it properly the first time.

Details concerning the accident, such as the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as a full description of the design, construction, or maintenance defect that caused the accident, will be required on the notice of claim form.

Your claim must include a summary of your losses and sufficient details to show that the agency’s carelessness caused your injury.

After you submit your notice of claim, it is normally reviewed by a government attorney. Your claim may be denied, or an administrative hearing may be scheduled at which you may state your case.

You may seek an administrative appeal if your claim is refused during the administrative hearing. If you lose your appeal, your only remaining option is to sue the government entity that caused your injury.

WHEN YOU NEED A LAWYER

You may not need to search outside your car insurance for reimbursement if you have adequate PIP or med-pay coverage to cover all of your medical expenditures. Even if bad road conditions caused your accident, it’s generally not worth your time or the cost of hiring an attorney to seek further compensation.

Severe personal injuries, on the other hand, are high-dollar claims. If your car insurance doesn’t provide adequate medical coverage, you can depend on your health-care plan, but you’ll be left with large deductibles and co-pays.

Serious personal injuries need a large sum of money. If you’ve suffered serious injuries such as shattered bones, closed head injuries, internal bleeding, spinal cord damage, or other life- altering disabilities, you’ll need the help of an attorney.

At-fault drivers, even when bad road conditions confuse the question of guilt

Negligent third-parties who produced dangerous road conditions With the aid of a qualified personal injury attorney, you may seek full compensation from:

Government agencies in charge of road upkeep and repair

Even if more than one person or entity is to blame for your injuries, your attorney will explore every potential source of compensation.

Time is running out if you’ve been critically hurt in an accident caused by poor road conditions. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get fairly compensated.

Now is the time to act. Finding out what a skilled attorney can accomplish for you is free.

 

Warrior Personal Injury Lawyers
1902 W. Colorado Ave., Ste. 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
719-300-1100

Free Consultation

NO FEE UNLESS WE WIN

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