Road Hazard Accidents

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

March 18, 2022

Experienced Car Accident Attorneys in Colorado Springs

CLAIMS INVOLVING ROAD HAZARDS IN CAR ACCIDENTS

When a road hazard causes your car to lose control, the resulting accident can result in serious or fatal injuries. Take a closer look at the circumstances before reporting the accident to your insurance company as being your fault. Regardless of who was driving, a serious road hazard can make an accident unavoidable.

Accident-causing road hazards are usually the result of someone’s mistake, omission, or negligent act. They’re risky because they’re not always easy to spot or anticipate before they send your car spinning out of control. When road hazards cause accidents that result in serious injuries to you and your passengers, the person or entity that caused the hazard may be liable to you for damages.

THOSE WHO INJURY OTHERS ARE HELD FINANCIALLY LIABLE.

We use our experience and resources at Warrior Car Accident Lawyers to hold people and companies financially responsible for their actions have caused our clients. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable car accident injury lawyers is dedicated to assisting injured Floridians in recovering the compensation they deserve.

When necessary, we fight for our client’s legal rights in state and federal courts, and we’ve taken on some of the country’s largest corporations and insurance companies.

THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF OUR COMPANY

Warrior Car Accident Lawyers handle only plaintiffs’ cases. Our focus on representing clients who have suffered serious injuries has allowed us to hone our investigative and analytical skills, as well as our litigation and negotiation skills.

We’ve dealt with a variety of complex injury and insurance coverage issues before. We prepare our cases to achieve the best possible results. Our efforts for previous clients have resulted in total recoveries worth millions of dollars, both in and out of court, including:

$1.75 million: When a semi-truck collided with our client’s car, he suffered a rotator cuff injury as well as a traumatic brain injury. We discovered evidence that the truck’s poor maintenance record contributed to the accident, making it liable.

$1 million: Our client suffered a concussion, a shoulder tear, and herniated discs after rear-ended by a driver. Our attorneys were able to settle our client’s case before going to trial.

$750,000: A driver rear-ended our client’s car, resulting in a traumatic brain injury and resulting in liability.

For drivers, road hazards are frequently unavoidable.

A road hazard is any condition on the road that could endanger a driver. Road hazards frequently cause car damage. When they send a car out of control or cause a collision, they can cause serious injuries and even death.

Of course, drivers have a responsibility to operate their cars safely for the conditions. On the other hand, road hazards are extremely dangerous when a driver is unaware of their presence, making it impossible for the driver to assess the risks. Unexpected road hazards can easily cause a driver to lose control or create an obstacle that the driver cannot avoid due to a lack of reaction time.

Large potholes and sinkholes Heat-warped road surfaces

Road flooding and washed-out bridges Sunken or raised manhole covers Construction site obstacles

Grooved pavement

Cargo that fell off of commercial trucks

Fallen trees and downed tree limbs are all common road hazards that become especially dangerous when drivers are unaware of them.

ACCIDENT INJURIES CAUSED BY ROAD HAZARDS

When a driver loses control due to a road hazard, the number of injuries and severity of those injuries is determined by what happens after the driver loses control. When a car traveling at highway speeds collides with a barrier, a tree, or other hard surfaces, serious or catastrophic injuries are often the result. When a driver collides with an oncoming car, both drivers and passengers are injured. The following are examples of possible injuries:

Paralysis

Trauma to the spinal cord Traumatic amputations Internal organ damage Nerve damage

Traumatic brain injury Multiple fractures Severe burns

Injuries to the discs and spine

 

Muscle sprains and strains Whiplash

Injuries that result in death

Serious and catastrophic injuries, such as those listed above, profoundly impact a person’s life. They necessitate immediate treatment, lengthy hospitalizations, and ongoing care for the rest of their lives. Serious car collisions are responsible for 39.3% of spinal cord injuries and 51% traumatic brain injuries.

These and other catastrophic events have long-term consequences. They disrupt family relationships and shorten the life expectancy of the injured person.

A serious or catastrophic injury also injurys a person’s ability to earn a living. Because of their disabilities, injured victims are unable to earn a living. If their injuries force them to change careers, they will suffer long-term financial losses.

In short, the financial ramifications of a road hazard injury can be devastating to accident victims and their families. If the road hazard was caused by someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior, that person or entity should be held accountable.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR INJURIES CAUSED BY ROAD HAZARDS?

When an unexpected road hazard causes an accident, determining who is to blame and, if so, who is to blame can be difficult. Some road hazards are entirely the result of human activity. Natural processes cause others, but they could be avoided with proper maintenance or adequate driver warnings. Others are simply natural disasters that no one could have predicted.

Here are some of the parties who could be held financially responsible for any injuries caused by a road hazard.

GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

The majority, but not all, public roads in Colorado are the legal responsibility of local and state governments. Of course, everyone recognizes that road maintenance takes time and money and that road hazards can arise at any time. Even so, if a government entity fails to maintain a road, warn drivers about dangerous road conditions, or close a road that is too dangerous to travel, it may be liable to anyone who is injured as a result of those road hazards.

CIVIL ENGINEERS AND CONTRACTORS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

People and companies responsible for designing, building, and maintaining roads are responsible for doing so responsibly. If an engineering firm creates an inherently dangerous road, it may be held liable for any injuries resulting from the danger.

 

Suppose a road crew contractor uses substandard materials or techniques to construct a road or fails to post warnings about hazardous road conditions during construction. In that case, he or she may be held liable.

ROAD MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS

Suppose the material used to construct a road or equipment installed as part of the road, such as guardrails, signage, and other features fails to meet minimum safety and performance standards due to a defect. In that case, the manufacturer may be liable to anyone injured in an accident caused by the defect.

OWNERS OF REAL ESTATE

Property owners along a roadway who fail to prevent an object or obstruction from leaving their property and entering the roadway may be liable to anyone injured on the road as a result.

OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF CARS.

When another car causes a road hazard, such as a commercial truck dropping its cargo at highway speeds or a passenger car’s roof box flying off, the owners and operators of those cars may be liable to those injured in the resulting accident.

YOUR ROLE IN A ROAD HAZARD REPORT

Anyone involved in an accident caused by a road hazard should make every effort to document the hazardous condition as soon as possible, ideally while still at the accident scene.

Road hazards are frequently transient, meaning they disappear shortly after an accident while the scene is being cleaned up or the road is being repaired. The hazard will be gone by the time insurance companies, or others arrive to investigate, making it more difficult for accident victims to prove how their injuries occurred and who should be held responsible.

Of course, the primary concern at any accident scene is staying safe and receiving proper medical attention. If you can address those issues while still having the time and opportunity, documenting the scene can help preserve evidence of how the road hazard caused the accident.

Photographing or filming the road hazard from all angles with a cell phone. Taking notes that describe what happened exactly as it happened.

Speaking with witnesses about what they saw and obtaining their contact information for further investigation.

Ensuring that the presence of the road hazard and its role in the accident is noted in any official report.

 

IN A ROAD HAZARD ACCIDENT, YOUR PIP BENEFITS ARE STILL PRIMARY.

When you are injured in a Colorado car accident, you do not always have the right to file a personal injury claim against those who may be legally responsible for your injuries.

If you drive a car registered in Colorado, your medical payments coverage, or MedPay, will serve as your primary insurance, covering at least some of your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.

The right to file a personal injury claim for car accident victims covered by PIP insurance in Colorado is limited to situations in which the victims have died or have sustained:

Permanent or significant loss of vital bodily function. Injuries that are permanent

Scarring or disfigurement that is significant and permanent

WHAT KINDS OF DAMAGES CAN YOU RECOVER IF YOU’VE BEEN INJURED?

Colorado law allows for a wide range of potential damages in legal claims involving fatalities and non-fatal car accident injuries. These are divided into two categories by the law: economic or special damages and non-economic or general damages.

The fixed bills and expenses incurred due to an accident and injury are known as economic damages.

Wage loss Medication

Medical and hospital bills

Mobility assistance structures and devices Physical and emotional therapy

Home care and assistance expenses Funeral and burial expenses

Damages that aren’t monetary are more subjective. They compensate an injured victim for the cost of permanent physical changes, as well as emotional, social, and relationship injury, such as:

Anxiety and distress

Damage to spousal and familial relationships Loss of bodily functions

 

Disabilities and impairments Permanent scars

Punitive damages may also be awarded to a plaintiff. A plaintiff must show clear and convincing evidence of a defendant’s intentional misconduct or gross negligence to recover punitive damages.

LIABILITY DEFENSES IN ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS

Unfortunately, parties legally responsible for a road hazard accident rarely come forward and willingly pay the damages they owe. Instead, those parties and their insurers frequently fight liability and raise every possible defense to gain negotiating leverage and reduce their financial risk. They frequently make the following arguments:

SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY

When a government entity faces legal liability, Colorado law, in most but not all cases, limits that liability.

LACK OF NEGLIGENCE/NOTICE/ACT OF GOD

In road hazard cases, parties often try to argue that the hazard could not have been prevented by any reasonable means, that it arose too quickly for them to receive notice of it, or that an unavoidable Act of God caused it.

COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE

Because drivers must always safely operate their cars for the conditions, defendants in road hazard cases frequently argue that the plaintiff’s carelessness, not the hazard, was the real cause of the accident.

We have a lot of experience representing victims of road hazard accidents at Warrior Car Accident Lawyers. In these types of cases, we know what to expect from defendants and counter their arguments with legal precedent and expert evidence.

WARRIOR CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS IS A FIRM THAT SPECIALIZES IN CAR ACCIDENTS. FOLLOWING A CRASH DUE TO A ROAD HAZARD

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to a Colorado road hazard, don’t settle for just any car accident lawyer. An attorney with particular skill and diligence must investigate and prove liability in road hazard accident cases.

We have the experience and resources at Warrior Car Accident Lawyers to handle even the most complex road hazard car accident injury cases. Call us at 719-300-1100 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation to discuss your case. Aventura, Boca Raton, North Miami Beach, Doral, and Fort Lauderdale are among our locations.

 

Warrior Car Accident Lawyers

1902 W. Colorado Ave., Suite 100

Colorado Springs, CO 80904

719-300-1100

Free Consultation

NO FEE UNLESS WE WIN

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