Car accidents may occur due to the poor condition of roads, including potholes, missing guard rails, eroding roads, construction zones, oil spills, and more.
If you suffer from injuries related to a car accident that was, in part, caused by poor road conditions, you may require compensation due to missed work and lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Although seeking compensation due to poor road conditions is a complex issue, there may be options available to you.
Common Injuries Incurred In Car Accidents Due to Poor Road Conditions
There are injuries commonly associated with accidents caused by poor road conditions. For instance, you may suffer from minor injuries such as bruising, whiplash, and cuts and scrapes. More severe injuries, such as brain and spinal cord damage, broken bones, and back and head injuries can also occur.
The medical treatment you will need to treat your injuries, as well as the time at work and wages you will lose, depend on the severity of the injuries you suffer from due to your car accident.
Seeking compensation for personal injuries due to a car accident caused by poor road conditions requires the following tasks:
- Prove the road conditions actually caused the accident, and therefore your injuries
- Prove that the organization responsible for the road failed to keep it in good condition, or failed to warn drivers of a potentially hazardous road
- Determine that you are able to file a claim against the organization responsible for the road in question, and that it falls within a certain period of time
What are Poor Road Conditions?
Poor road quality can be a major factor in an automobile accidents. Even if they were not the cause of the auto accident, they can make the accident much worse. Roads can be affected by bad weather such as heavy snow and rain, which can cause the roads to be very slippery, especially if they are untreated
Another common poor road condition that can contribute to an auto accident is that actual condition of the road. Some roads aren't properly managed over the years and that negligence can be dangerous and can lead to auto accidents. That can include potholes, faded road markings, road debris and missing or damaged signs.
Your personal injury attorney will be able to help you prove that poor roads contributed to your auto accident.
What to Do if You Are Injured in a Car Accident as a Passenger
If you are injured in a car accident due to poor road conditions, you must first make sure to note all of the details involving the accident. These details include:
- The general area where the poor road condition is located
- The name of the road you were driving on
- The direction you were driving
- The physical characteristics of the hazardous conditions
- The contact information of eyewitnesses, if any
Calling the police and having them file a report may also be helpful in making your case.
Next, determine which organization is responsible for the road in question to see if you are allowed to file a personal claim against them.
For instance, most government agencies have immunity against personal injury claims. A state may be responsible for filling potholes on a certain road, but due to immunity, you will not be able to file a claim against them if that was why you were injured.
You must also be able to prove that the organization was negligent in keeping the road in proper conditions. This means that they must have had knowledge of the problem, yet did not take any action to improve it.
Finally, you need to prove that the hazardous road conditions directly caused your accident, and therefore your injuries. This is where the evidence you collected at the time of the incidence will be helpful.
Your claim must also fall within the time limit, or statute of limitations, for which you can make a personal injury claim in your state. For accidents caused by poor road conditions, this period is usually short, and can range from six months to two years.