Dealing With an Accident Caused by Government Neglect of Road Maintenance
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is responsible for maintaining the nation’s highways and avoiding government neglect. Unfortunately, the agency has been chronically underfunded, leading to a deterioration of roadways nationwide. This lack of maintenance can lead directly to traffic accidents, as potholes and other road hazards can cause vehicles to lose control. In addition, poor visibility due to overgrown vegetation can also lead to accidents, as drivers may not be able to see oncoming traffic or potential hazards in the road.
The FHWA has acknowledged the government neglect problem and has taken steps to improve highway maintenance, but the agency is still struggling to keep up with the demand. If you are injured due to a hazardous road condition, you may be able to hold the government responsible and obtain compensation for your damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and help you pursue the maximum recovery.
Types of Government Neglect That Make a Roadway Dangerous
There are many ways in which the government can negligently fail to maintain a roadway, making it dangerous for drivers. Some of the most common examples include:
- Allowing potholes to form: Potholes are a common hazard on neglected roads. They can cause serious damage to vehicles and even lead to accidents if a driver hits one at high speed. The government entity is aware of the danger posed by potholes and has a duty to repair them in a timely manner.
- Failing to clear vegetation: Overgrown vegetation can impede driver visibility and lead to accidents. The government entity in charge is responsible for keeping the roads clear of vegetation, but this task is often neglected due to a lack of funding.
- Poorly designed roads: In some cases, a road may be poorly designed, making it more likely to cause an accident. For example, a curve in the road may be too sharp or there may be inadequate signage warning drivers of hazards ahead. Government neglect in the roadway design can lead to an injury claim.
These are just a few examples of government neglect that can make a roadway dangerous. If you were involved in an accident caused by a hazardous road condition, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your legal options.
What to Do if You Are Involved in an Accident Caused by Poor Road Maintenance
If you are involved in an accident caused by poor road maintenance, there are specific steps you should take to protect your rights:
- Call the police: The police will create an accident report, which can be used as evidence in your case. In addition, the report may contain information about any citations that were issued.
- Get medical attention: If you are injured, it is important to get medical treatment right away. In some cases, injuries may not be immediately apparent, so it is always best to err on the side of caution and see a doctor.
- Take pictures: If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and any damage to your vehicle. This can be helpful evidence in your case.
- Speak to witnesses: If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information so they can be interviewed at a later date.
- Contact an injury lawyer: Do not give a statement to the other driver’s or contractor’s insurance company. The insurance company may try to get you to give a recorded statement or sign a release of liability. You should never do this without first speaking with an attorney.
An experienced attorney can help you negotiate with the insurance company to get the compensation you deserve.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. When roadway negligence has caused your injury, you may be able to place a claim against the government entity for compensation. However, because the deadline to file is merely six months, getting help from an injury lawyer can be a positive move. Contact us for free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. We also offer an online contact form.
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