Most accidents are caused by driver error. Such errors include speeding, distracted driving and not yielding properly. However, some accidents have nothing to do with driver error. Instead, they are caused by poor road conditions. As more and more studies show that the United State’s infrastructure is waning, a corresponding number of accidents are recorded. This lack of care by city and state agencies affects passenger car and truck drivers. Let’s take a look at America’s infrastructure and how it causes more than a bumpy ride.
Get Started with a Los Angeles Trucking Lawyer for Poor Road Conditions
LA truck accident lawyer David Azizi has practiced personal injury law in Los Angeles for 23 years. During that time, he has helped numerous clients obtain the compensation they deserve. He is compassionate and available to clients. On top of that, he wins 98 percent of his cases. It is clear why Super Lawyers calls him one of the top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles year after year. Call him at (800) 991-5292 to schedule a free case review. You can also reach him online. Don’t delay since time can cause witness memory to fade, and evidence can be lost.
Are Road Conditions Getting Worse?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes. There are about four million miles of roads and 600,000 miles of bridges. A little over half are in need of repair. Many require pothole repair and resurfacing. Rutting and cracking is common. Bridges do not fare any better. Of the 70,000 bridges in the country, one in nine has structural issues. Many bridges are closed to heavy vehicles such as big trucks, causing them to take detours that result in higher costs for the trucker and the consumer. Overall, truckers have rated the infrastructure as poor and getting worse all the time.
Other drivers are facing the same situation. Many passenger vehicle accidents are caused by defects in the road. This situation is being addressed in lawsuits against municipal agencies that are responsible for maintaining the roads.
What Are Some Defective Road Conditions That Drivers Face?
Some common road defects:
- Debris on the road
- Uneven pavement
- Lack of signage for approaching curves
- Overgrown foliage blocking signs
- Non-functioning traffic signs
- Pooled water due to road unevenness
- Exposed rebar
- Additional Reasons Bad Roads Cause Accidents
Aside from those listed above, there are other reasons the road’s condition can cause an accident. They are listed below:
- Placement of fixed objects: The placement of objects such as light poles and water drains can have an impact on the road’s safety profile.
- Intersection geometry: This refers to the design of the intersection. If it is faulty, the entity that built the intersection can be responsible for accidents.
- Temporary fixes: Sometimes, roads are repaired using a temporary fix containing oil. This can pose a hazardous situation. If it is not permanently fixed right away, the government entity can be considered liable.
- Shoulder drop off: If the shoulder of the road drops off, it can pose a danger to drivers. In this case, the shoulder drops more than two inches from the road surface.
- Absence of signage indicating a wet road: Lack of this type of signage can fool drivers into thinking the roads are not slippery, leading to an accident.
- Work zones: These areas need to have signage that properly directs drivers. Confusing signage is a sure-fire way of causing an accident.
When roads are defective and pose a hazard to drivers, the municipality or government entity in charge of road maintenance can be held responsible in a lawsuit. The time frame for filing a claim against the government is different than the usual statute of limitations seen with other personal injury cases.
Usually, the time limit you have to file is two years from the time the accident happened. With a claim against the government, the injured party has six months to file a claim with the government entity. The government has 45 days to respond. If the victim’s claim is rejected, they have another six months to file a lawsuit. However, if the government entity does not respond, the plaintiff has two years to file a lawsuit. Your personal injury attorney will make sure all deadlines are met.
How Poor Road Conditions Affect Product Transport
Less than 1 percent of truckers say that roads are in good condition overall. This affects truckers by adding to the cost of a trip. For instance, poor roads can lead to truck damage and costly repairs. It also adds to the time it takes to reach the truck’s destination. This increases maintenance costs and the cost of fuel to complete the additional miles. Because of this, more truckers are leaving the industry as their livelihood is being affected. In the end, consumers are also paying higher costs for products as prices are increased to make up for transportation costs. In a nationwide poll, 60 percent of all truckers said the roads have gotten worse since they started driving, and 31 percent said they experience delays every day because of road conditions. Highways are rated higher than local or city roads.
Injuries Due to Poor Road Conditions
Life-threatening injuries can result from an accident due to poor road conditions. Injuries such as head trauma and brain injury along with neck and back injury can occur. Fractures and internal injuries are also common. Any of these injuries can result in emergency room care or a stay in the hospital.
Any injury should be checked out by a medical professional. Some injuries are not symptomatic when they happen and might not cause pain for several days. Being evaluated promptly makes it possible for the injured party to know what to expect. One injury that is prone to a late-onset is cervical sprain. This is also known as whiplash. Symptoms usually appear 48 hours after the injury occurred. While most people recover within a few months, some do not and have persistent symptoms.
Free Case Review with LA Trucking Law Firm for Hazardous Road Conditions
If you have experienced an accident due to poor roadway conditions, you have the right to be compensated. Insight from an experienced attorney can help you achieve that end. Just call (800) 991-5292 to get started. David will review your case and give you an estimate of what you can expect to win. You can also reach David by filling out our convenient contact form online.