Accidents Caused by Dangerous and Defective Roadways
Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on February 12, 2018 in Car Accidents News
Although there have been major advances in roadway technology, errors in roadway design and maintenance still continue to cause many auto accidents.
The Lynch Law Firm’s trusted New Jersey auto accident attorneys understand who is responsible for roadway development and maintenance and will help you identify the party liable for your accident.
Our compassionate personal injury lawyers understand the difficulties many victims face after sustaining an injury in an accident caused by a negligence. We will use our experience and resources to help you fight for the compensation you need. If you or someone you love was injured in an auto accident caused by a defective or hazardous roadway, contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Poor Road Design
A poorly designed road can create several types of hazards that may contribute to causing an automotive accident. Often, defective road designs can make a stretch of roadway dangerous to drive on and may be to blame when accidents keep occurring on the same part of a road.
Some examples of poorly designed roads include:
- Tight curves – Accidents may be more common on roads with tight curves that are difficult to handle within the posted speed limit.
- Narrow lanes – Some roads may have lanes that are too narrow and do not provide vehicles enough space to safely travel past one another.
- Lack of road signs or signals – A roadway may lack street signs that indicate an upcoming change in the road’s pattern or which actions the driver should make. This can include a missing yield sign or a sign that indicates a curvy road.
- Blind intersections – This refers to an intersection where you cannot clearly see what is coming from the intersecting roadway.
- Lack of guardrails – A roadway that lacks effective guardrails may increase the risk of rollover accidents, head-on collisions, sliding or rolling off of steep roads, or side-swiping vehicles in an oncoming traffic lane.
- Unclear road markings – Roadway markings that have faded over time can make it difficult to know where dividing lines between lanes are located.
- Visual obstructions – Shrubs or other visual obstructions may hide street signs that warn motorists of upcoming hazards, traffic directions or changes in the roadway.
- Uneven roadways – An uneven roadway can include newly paved lanes that sit higher than others or uneven patches on the road. This increase the risk of drivers losing control of their vehicles and running off the road or into oncoming traffic.
- Steep embankments – Dangerous drop-offs or embankments can be difficult for vehicles to recover from if their tire leaves the pavement.
Defective road designs may be the fault of the state-level transportation department or the local municipality. A car accident lawyer will understand which party is at fault and can help you explore your legal options to hold it accountable for your auto accident.
Poor Road Maintenance
Under certain circumstances, an auto accident may have been caused by a road that has not been properly maintained. Some maintenance-related conditions that may lead to an auto accident include:
- Debris in the roadway – Debris can wind up on the roadway because of cargo that falls out of vehicles, trash being thrown into the roadway, animal carcasses that have not been removed from the roadway or remnants from nearby construction sites.
- Potholes – Roads that have not been properly maintained may have holes and ruts in them that can lead to vehicle damage.
- Poor landscaping – Overgrown grass, bushes or other foliage may block a motorist’s view of oncoming traffic and road signs.
- Excessive gravel or oil – These factors can make the roadway slicker and more difficult to drive on.
- Poor salting – During the winter months, road crews are required to salt and plow ice or snow-covered roadways. This decreases the risk of black ice or other factors that cause serious auto accidents.
Liability for poor road maintenance could lie with the company contracted to handle the maintenance or with the state or local municipality. Your attorney will review the details of your accident to determine who could be held liable for your injuries.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
If you believe your auto accident was caused by the negligence of a state, local or federal agency, you must follow a strict procedure to file a claim to recover compensation.
In New Jersey, governmental agencies are typically immune to personal injury claims. This is referred to as “sovereign immunity,” and often makes it difficult to hold a governmental agency liable for causing an accident. However, a skilled personal injury attorney will know which steps you need to take to file a claim against the government in New Jersey.
First, you must provide formal notice within 90 days to the governmental entity you believe is responsible for causing your auto accident.
After filing the initial claim, you are required to wait six months before filing a lawsuit. During this time, the governmental agency may contact you or your personal injury lawyer to resolve your claim. Once the six-month limit has passed, you can file a formal claim against the government agency responsible for your accident.
However, it is important that you consult with your lawyer to understand your rights and decide if the offered settlement is fair compensation for the injuries or financial losses you have suffered.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a dangerous or defective roadway, it is important to contact an experienced auto accident lawyer in New Jersey.
Claims against governmental entities can be difficult for most victims to handle on their own. However, the Lynch Law Firm’s experienced personal injury attorneys have the knowledge and experience you need to hold a government agency liable for its negligence. We will help you pursue the compensation you deserve without charging you upfront legal fees for our services. We only charge our clients if we recover compensation for their claim.
Do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a case that entitles you to compensation.
Call (800) 518-0508 to get started today.