Although most of us assume that a motor vehicle accident is our fault, there can also be another very hazardous factor at play: dangerous roads. When several accidents consistently occur in the same location, it is likely that there may be a flaw in the road’s construction and condition.
Dangerous roads can cause accidents in the area that you are driving, but it can also be a dangerous road elsewhere that affects you, such as a bridge collapse. These cases can be daunting since the government would be liable. But we will discuss your options and how you can still recover from the accident.
At Mike Agruss Law, our car accident lawyers have helped thousands of clients to seek justice and compensation for personal injuries, and you won’t owe us a penny for our services unless we win your case. If you or a loved one has been injured on a dangerous road, contact our office today for a free consultation.
Types of Dangerous Road Conditions
Dangerous roads do not only encompass the roads that we drive on, but it also includes features of the road that we drive past or around. Some common conditions of dangerous roads include the following:
- Harsh or improperly placed speed bumps or curbs
- Excessively icy, wet, or snowy roads
- Roads with little to no shoulder
- Lack of traffic control signals such as stop signs or traffic lights
- Improper or no warning signs of upcoming road conditions
- Lack of proper drainage systems on roads
- No guardrails next to cliffs or ditches
- Bridges with unposted or incorrect height warnings
- Improperly maintained and/or weak roads and bridges
- Lack of bicycle lanes due to poor road design
How Do I Proceed with My Claim?
There are state and federal regulations in place that govern the construction and design of public roads. After taking a look at these public regulations and guidelines, you may find that one or more has been violated on the road on which you had an accident or were injured. The important part about having a successful claim filed against the government is whether or not they are liable for resulting damage when the roads are not kept reasonably safe. It is also important to find which government agency was responsible for the specific defect in the road condition.
Once you find the liable party with the help of an attorney, you should be able to prove that the agency was negligent and this resulted in your accident. This means you must be able to show that the agency had reasonable notice of the problem with the road and a reasonable opportunity to fix it, yet did not. Government agencies are notified of poor road conditions through their routine surveys of the road or by reports from drivers. If they had enough time that they should have discovered the defect in the road to be able to do something about it, then they may be liable. For instance, if an environmental condition or a nearby project will inevitably cause some changes to the road, the agency should be taking the necessary steps to maintain the road and its safety. If they do not, they are likely liable. In a random accident that affects the road’s conditions, they will likely not be liable since it was not foreseeable.
It may be difficult to go about, but suing a government entity may be possible. Many governments have immunity from some legal action. But in Illinois, according to the Illinois Compiled Statutes Chapter 705 section 505, you may be able to continue with the lawsuit as a premises liability claim. This kind of claim says that a dangerous condition on government property causes injury and those in charge of it were on proper notice of the problem. Again, the key here is foreseeability – did they have enough time to know of the issue and try to fix it? The claim must be filed within the statute of limitations, which is one year of the date of the injury. So, speak to one of our lawyers today so that we can help you recover from this accident.
Damages That Can Be Recovered
Dangerous road conditions can damage your car, leave you with injuries, and cause you more stress than was expected. It can also be a financial burden to handle all of this. With a successful legal claim, you can be compensated for your damages and losses. Some common damages that you can recover include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
If you or a loved one has been injured on a dangerous road, contact our personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.