A study conducted by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine says that a third of all motor accidents in the United States are caused by or related to poor road conditions. Whether it’s the missing guardrails, the presence of potholes and cracks, the lack of traffic signals and road warnings, or the poorly designed roads, these conditions can cost thousands of dollars worth in vehicular damage or, worse, the loss of lives.
Cities, towns, and counties—the ones required by state and federal laws to design and build public roads—need to partner with concrete leveling contractors in Salt Lake City or in other states to make sure that their roads are safe for vehicular traffic.
As much as you try to drive safely by obeying traffic rules and speed limits, poor road conditions can cause accidents to even the most skilled driver. Hence, who will be held responsible for accidents caused by unsafe road conditions?
Who Is Responsible for the Upkeep of the Road?
Generally, the maintenance of particular roads falls under the municipality where it is located. Several key agencies share the responsibility of maintaining public roads. These responsibilities tend to overlap because of the type of work that needs to be done. Before filing a lawsuit or a personal injury claim, it is important to determine whose responsibility it is to make sure that the road is safe for vehicular travel.
How to Prove One’s Negligence in Road Maintenance?
After you have determined which agency is responsible for the general upkeep of the road where the accident happened, the second step in filing a claim is proving the agency’s negligence. Is the agency aware that the road needs maintenance work? Has there already been a plan to repair the road but has been set aside because of other agendas?
The pressure of proving negligence falls on you, the plaintiff. You and your lawyer also have to prove that the accident was caused by the poor road conditions, and not by other elements such as the weather and your own driving. This can be difficult to prove, especially if there are no witnesses to the accident who can collaborate your statements.
Can You Sue a Government Agency?
Government agencies can be sued for gross negligence that results in injuries or damage to properties. Although the road to proving that there has actually been negligence on the agency’s part can be quite difficult and the process long, there have been many successes in this regard.
You have to remember, though, that there is a statute of limitations for claims from unsafe road conditions. Some states won’t even accept claims done six months after the accident. In others, the statute of limitations is two years.
The process of suing a government agency is complex since there could be many states and departments involved in the case. If you need to file a claim, consult an experienced attorney immediately. As for states, counties, towns, and cities, ensuring the safety of the roads for vehicular traffic is an obligation to the community that you govern.