Who is Liable If a Roadway Defect Causes My Car Accident?August 17, 2022
Poor road conditions due to various roadway defects are not just frustrating – they can also be extremely hazardous. They leave behind potholes and other dangerous obstacles that create a host of driving hazards. When a roadway isn’t maintained or constructed properly, it can lead to car crashes and devastating injuries.
But liability in motor vehicle accidents caused by road defects can be difficult to establish because of the multiple potentially liable parties involved.
Common Types of Roadway Defects
You have probably encountered different roadway defects when out on the road. Apart from damaging your vehicle, they can likewise cause severe crashes and injuries. Certain defects may be difficult to detect before it is too late, and a crash has already occurred. Common examples of roadway defects include the following:
- Poor or inadequate lighting
- Insufficient or missing signs
- Uneven or bumpy pavement
- Poorly marked ramps or intersections
- Defective or missing guardrails
- Uncleared ice or snow
- Dangerous construction zones
- Malfunctioning spotlights
- Faint, missing, or poorly painted lane markers and road lines
Liability in Car Accidents Due to Roadway Defects
Owners of roads, including municipalities, have a legal duty to maintain roads regularly and properly and can be held responsible for a car crash resulting from a hazardous roadway defect. Let’s say the municipality had knowledge of a road defect and didn’t repair it or resolve the issue that caused the crash. In this case, the municipality can be held liable for the crash. Similarly, if the municipality created the road defect, liability follows.
Potentially liable parties in car accidents resulting from roadway defects can include:
- Government agencies, such as cities or towns
- Businesses hired to do road construction or repairs
- Manufacturers of defective products used on roadways, like guardrails
- Other entities responsible for the roadway defect
Government entities may be held legally responsible for injuries and losses that occur due to their negligent actions based on the state’s government tort liability rule. Likewise, if you suffered injuries in California because of a government entity’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a claim against the liable party if the California Tort Claims Act applies to your case.
But you should know that suing a government entity could be tricky and challenging. It’s crucial to consult with a skilled Santa Barbara car accident lawyer to see if you have a solid claim. Your lawyer can examine the circumstances of the accident to establish fault for the crash. If a roadway defect caused the crash, your lawyer will also figure out which party must be held liable for your injuries and related losses.
Seek Legal Advice From a Skilled Santa Barbara Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you have suffered injuries and other damages in a car accident caused by a roadway defect, get in touch with the Santa Barbara car accident lawyers of Bamieh & De Smeth today. We will fight and work hard to ensure that you get fair compensation for your losses. Please dial 805-643-5555 or send us an online message to arrange your free case review with our Santa Barbara car accident lawyer.