Defective roads are a leading cause of vehicle crashes. A defective road can result from a variety of things such as defective design, poor construction, shoddy maintenance, or inadequate adaptation to changing traffic patterns. With many different potential causes, a proper investigation becomes critical to an insurance claim and if you decide to pursue a legal case.
Defective road cases can get very complicated and very expensive. With defective road cases, you are involving government agencies such as municipal workers, highway maintenance organizations, and government contracts with construction companies. Some of these parties will try to point the finger at each other in an attempt to remove their own level of liability; this is where a legal advocate can help. Plus, California is unique when it comes to defective road accidents.
In California, roads and highways are managed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), while the city or town agency typically manages residential streets. Often, these agencies may try to shift the blame to each other in an attempt to get out of paying claims. With so many variables, it is important to discuss the types of accidents and liabilities that can occur.Potential Causes of Defective Road Accidents
- Hazardous curves in the path
- Dangerous dips in the road
- Obstructed visibility on the road, turns, and intersections
- Highway on and off ramps that are poorly designed
- Ineffective or missing guard rails causing unsafe conditions
- Poor traction on the road
- Lack of drainage for wet roads resulting in flooding or hydroplaning
- Missing or defective road signs
- Construction not in accordance to approved plans
- Poor materials used to cut costs
- Poor or incomplete work on roads
- Poor maintenance of roads
- Not maintaining road surfaces, such as deep potholes
- Failing to fix guardrails
- Not fixing highway lights
- Continued erosion of markers, such as lane markers
- Not replacing defective or missing highway signs
Defective Failure to Adapt
- Sinking of roads due to repetitive traffic
- Road caving or buckling, sometimes due to extreme heat
- Ignoring changing traffic patterns, such as higher pedestrian or bike traffic
- Dismissing driver complaints or concerns indicating that a road is becoming dangerous
Injuries resulting from defective road conditions range from nuisance to quite serious.
- Bruised or broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Internal organ damage
- Head injuries
- Loss of movement
There are emotional injuries that can occur, as well. Both the physical and the emotional are important aspects of your case.What You Should do in the Case of a Defective Road Accident
Take Pictures: If you can, take pictures of your vehicle and injuries immediately. Additional pictures of the full scene may be helpful, as well. However, do not interfere if there is a police investigation happening at the scene.
Gather Information: Obtain the name, address, and telephone number of all involved in the accident, even passengers and witnesses, if they are willing to provide their contact information. Also, the insurance information for all vehicles involved is needed.
Report the Claim: Call your insurance company to file a claim immediately. Your insurance representative will provide some instructions; maintain those records, too.
Get medical attention: Some injuries are not obvious or visible right away and can take a few days to show up. Even if an injury seems minor, a medical professional can better assess any potential damage to your body that needs further treatment and prevents severe damage.
Protect Yourself Legally: An insurance company will want to rush through the claim and minimize their liability. Our attorneys can help. We can advise on fair settlements, the best medical treatment for your case, and proper compensation for this disruption to your time and family.How an Attorney can get You the Best Settlement
Insurance companies and government agencies will do whatever they can to minimize their involvement regarding the accident. However, we advocate for our clients to get the best settlement possible. At Bridgewater Law Group we know of many maneuvers by these parties, and we know how to counter them. Let our attorneys advocate for your case. We know when a fair settlement is on the table and when there is more to be won. We will fight for the best medical treatment regarding your case and compensating for this disruption to your time and family. Settlement payouts can range, depending on the circumstances of your case, with some reaching into millions of dollars. We will work on a contingency basis, which means there is no cost to you. Give us a call today for a free consultation, in less than 30 minutes; we will know if we can win together with you