Who is liable in a car accident caused by poor road conditions?

Experienced automobile accident attorney, Douglas Lauenstein at the Lauenstein Law Firm provides information regarding liability for accidents caused by poor road conditions and how those involved can proceed with making a claim.

Typically, car accident liability can be attributed to one driver’s negligence. But, there are rare cases in which neither driver is specifically liable because the accident was the result of poor road conditions due to potholes, construction, ice, snow or rain.

In these unique situations, determining liability can be difficult. The reality is that a government entity (City, County or State) may be responsible for maintaining the road where the accident took place.  If the corresponding government entity is not able to keep the road reasonably safe, it can be held responsible for any damage that results from an accident in the unsafe area.

However, if the responsible government entity has not discovered the dangerous road condition, there is a good chance it will not be held responsible for any damage or accidents that have resulted. Further, the government may not be held responsible for damages if it has not had enough time to adequately repair the issue.

If you plan on making a claim against the government after a car accident caused by poor road conditions, you must prove two things. First, it must be clear that the government was aware of the condition that caused the car accident. This can be proved through survey records and determining whether reports regarding the road condition were made. Second, for a claim to be viable, you must be able to show that the government did not repair the issue in a reasonable amount of time.

In order to provide evidence of the items listed above, be sure to collect detailed records of the poor road condition. Make sure to note the exact location where the accident occurred, the name of the road and names of witnesses, among other details related to the accident. Next, you will need to find out which government entity is responsible for that specific stretch of road. This can be determined by calling your local county commissioner’s office.  It is then important to provide the entity with notice of your claim, as there may be a time limit on making such a claim.

Despite whether or not you decide to make a claim for accident damages resulting from poor road conditions, you should consider reporting the poor conditions to the appropriate authority. This will help to prevent any additional accidents from occurring. For more information on car accident laws, contact experienced attorney, Douglas Lauenstein.