Potholes can cause more than just damage to a vehicle; they can also cause severe or fatal injury accidents. Potholes are, unfortunately, common road defects. If a road defect is the root cause of a serious accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and property damages.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a serious accident caused by a road defect, you may not have to pay for damages out of your own pocket. Victims hurt in road defect accidents have legal rights and may be able to pursue compensation for their injuries.
Determining who is liable in a road defect case can be complicated. The legal team at DeMayo Law Offices, Your North Carolina Law Firm™, has experience handling road defect cases and can help guide you through the process of filing a claim.
The North and South Carolina car accident lawyers at DeMayo Law Offices have the resources to investigate the circumstances of the accident and determine the negligent party to blame for the dangerous road conditions that caused your collision.
If you believe that a road defect was to blame for your accident, contact DeMayo Law Offices, Your North Carolina Law Firm™, today. Call to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation, and let us help you earn the compensation you deserve.
What is a Road Defect and How Can it Cause an Accident?
Road defects are issues with any part of a road, street, highway, or construction site that does not meet the standards of what would be considered a safe roadway. A road defect results from poor infrastructure maintenance, poor road conditions, or poor logistical planning. Road defects resulting from poor maintenance can include damage to roads, streets, guard rails, or construction sites that pose a danger to motorists.
Road defects lead to accidents because they pose as safety hazards to motorists. If a stop sign is overgrown with vegetation because of a lack of proper maintenance, a driver may miss the sign and cause a serious accident.
An inadequately installed, broken, or missing guardrail could mean a car slipping on an icy spot takes a plunge over a bridge. Many serious auto accidents can happen as a result of poor road maintenance or a flaw in the road’s design.
Types of Common Defects on North Carolina Roads
Potholes are some of the most common road defects that drivers encounter, but they are not the only defects that can be a danger to North and South Carolina motorists.
Some of the most common types of road defects include:
- Potholes or defective roads
- Uneven lanes
- Unsafe road design
- Inadequate road shoulders or dangerous shoulder drop-offs
- Poor road construction
- Missing or improper road signs
- Malfunctioning traffic lights
- Poor lighting
- Inadequate safety features such as a lack of guardrails
- Overgrown vegetation that obstructs lights or traffic signs
- Road debris like defective auto parts that have been left on the road
- Standing water problems caused by poor drainage
- Poor drainage leading to standing water issues
Defects can happen in several different ways. A fault may result from a lack of proper roadway maintenance by a government or an independent contractor. These types of defects can include overgrown vegetation obstructing signs, potholes, road debris, even pools of standing water caused by poor or blocked drainage. Other road defects such as inadequate lighting, uneven lanes, and a lack of crosswalks or guardrails are the result of defective road design.
In either case, a road defect can lead to an accident with serious repercussions for the victim.
Who is Liable for a Road Defect Claim?
A road defect accident is unlike other types of car accidents. It can be much more complicated to pursue a road defect claim as opposed to a standard accident claim. Why? It’s because in road defect cases, the root cause of the accident is about the condition of the road itself, not just the drivers’ behavior.
It can be relatively easy to point the finger at a negligent driver for talking on the phone or drinking alcohol, but, it is much more challenging to prove negligence by government agencies or contractors.
Identifying the source of liability for a road defect claim can take intensive investigation because several different parties may have been responsible for contributing to the conditions that led to the accident. In general, liability for a road defect claim may fall on one or more of the following parties:
- City or local government
- State government
- Federal government
- Public agency
- Private construction firm
- Private landscaping business
The location of the accident, the type of defect at play, various other factors may all play a role in determining exactly who is at fault for the circumstances that led to your accident. In fact, depending on the situation, more than one party may be responsible for the conditions that caused the accident.
If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a road defect, your best course of action is to contact an experienced law firm to review your case. Drivers can file a lawsuit if a defective part caused the car crash or if the county or state failed to properly design or maintain the road.
The skilled North and South Carolina attorneys at DeMayo Law Offices will have the knowledge and the resources to investigate the circumstances of your collision.
Our attorneys can identify the parties responsible for the road defect and help you hold them accountable for their negligent actions. The best way to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve is to hire an attorney with the experience to hold powerful agencies responsible for their actions.
Do I Need an Attorney to Pursue a Road Defect Claim?
Yes, you absolutely need the experience that a road defect attorney with DeMayo Law Offices can provide if you are going to pursue a road defect claim.
Road defect cases can be very complicated and extremely difficult depending on the party that is responsible for the defect. It can be notoriously difficult to hold a government agency accountable for the dangerous road conditions they contributed to creating.
The government has teams of lawyers and representatives at their disposal to help them fight claims that could cost them money. In many cases they will resort to tactics that chip away at your case, cast doubt on the seriousness of the defect itself, absolve themselves of creating the problem in the first place, or direct the blame for the accident onto you.
Any driver involved in a road defect accident should strongly consider getting a DeMayo Law Offices attorney on their side immediately following a serious accident. Our attorneys will be able to protect your rights and help you navigate the complicated process of filing a claim, either with your insurance company or filing a lawsuit against the negligent party responsible.
Successful claims require strong, supporting evidence. A personal injury attorney has the power to track down critical paperwork, records, and proof that can help validate your claim for accidents caused by bad roads.
Injuries caused by Road Defect Accidents
Injuries from traffic accidents can range from minor lacerations and bruises to catastrophic injuries.
Injuries sustained in a car accident caused by poor road conditions include:
- Sprains, strains, and soft tissue injuries
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Bone fractures
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ dysfunction
- Injuries to the chest
- Sprains, strains, and soft tissue injuries
- TBI (traumatic brain injury)
- Amputations and limb loss
Steps to Take After a Road Defect Accident
Road defect accidents vary slightly from other types of car accidents. While there are common steps that you need to take in the event of any accident, there are additional notes you should make if you suspect a road defect. These additional notations can help substantiate your claim that a road defect was the root cause of your collision.
If you are involved in a serious car accident, try to remain calm and follow these helpful suggestions:
- Call law enforcement or emergency services – This is a must if there are serious injuries are involved in the crash and victims are in need of medical attention.
- Collect contact information – Collect the contact information of other drivers involved and witnesses to the accident.
- Document everything – If you are physically able it is important, especially in road defect claims, to document as much as you can about the accident. You should take as many pictures as possible from different angles of the crash, the damage to your car, and the road itself. Take photos of potholes, an obstructed sign, or any sign of damage or defects to the road. Make sure you also document the name of the road and nearby landmarks.
- Contact your insurance provider – You may wish to contact your insurance provider following the accident. Stick to the facts when talking to insurance adjusters.
- Contact a law firm – Securing legal representation is the best way for you to secure your legal rights and get the compensation you deserve.
How Can a North Carolina Road Defect Attorney Help?
Both private firms and the government are responsible for maintaining roadways and creating a safe environment for North and South Carolina motorists.
When they fail to uphold that responsibility, and it causes a severe accident, they should be held accountable. We can figure out how the crash happened by collaborating with investigators, cops, and traffic reconstruction experts.
Should you be financially on the hook for an accident caused by another’s improper maintenance and negligence? At DeMayo Law Offices, Your North Carolina Law Firm™, we don’t think so. That isn’t justice.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a road defect accident, contact DeMayo Law Offices for help getting the compensation you need. Call (877) 333-1000 today for an initial free consultation.