Some car accidents occur because of obvious driver fault, but what happens when the problem is the condition of the road itself that led to a collision? This situation is more common than many people might think, causing almost 40,000 incidents annually, according to studies. In fact, roads are often not as safe as they should be.
Examples of Poorly Maintained Roadways
Roads can be considered defective for several reasons. For instance, they may have slick surfaces that make them harder to drive on during rainstorms or snowstorms. Or, they may be uneven because they have not been restored or repaired frequently. Roads without proper signage, or with older signage that is difficult to see, can also be deemed defective. Roads with potholes, too much gravel, weak guardrails, malfunctioning traffic lights, and lack of proper lighting may also be hazardous and create multiple car crashes.
In each situation, drivers must be able to prove that the road contributed to the car crash and that the government or private entity charged with maintaining the road was negligent. Negligence implies that the entity should have known that the road was defective and had time to act promptly to warn drivers of a problem or fix the issue.
What to Do Following a Defective Road Crash
The big question is to figure out what entity is to blame if a defective road leads to a crash. After all, roads can be maintained by the state or local government. Some roads are even the responsibility of private owners. However, car accident victims need to recognize that governments may have sovereign immunity, which can make suing them impossible or challenging. In Virginia, the state is immune from being sued, except in cases of personal injury. Therefore, if someone has been hurt because of a car accident that happened because of a defective road, they may be able to sue the state despite its immunity.
Whether a defective road car crash victim is certain about suing a state or local authority, the best course of action after this type of collision is to document the incident. Documentation should include photographs of the insufficient road conditions from the accident scene. Other documentation may include the official police report, eyewitness accounts, and medical invoices related to injuries sustained during the collision.
Virginia Beach Car Accident Law Firm Represents Victims of Defective Roadway Crashes
People who have been hurt in car accidents related to poor road maintenance may want to contact a Virginia Beach car accident law firm that specializes in helping victims recover damages, including from states and local municipalities. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we help injured drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians who have been hurt on poorly maintained roads. Call us today at 757-352-2237 or complete an online contact form for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we represent individuals nationwide, including those in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and throughout North Carolina.