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Proving Liability for An Accident Caused by Bad Road Conditions

For most car accidents, determining which party is liable is fairly straightforward. If someone rear-ends you at an intersection, the person behind you will more than likely be liable for the damage they caused to your vehicle. However, when it comes to accidents caused by bad road conditions, establishing liability is more complex. In this blog, we explain how to determine liability if you have been in an accident due to poor road conditions.

Road Conditions that Can Contribute to An Accident

The following are a few examples of common road conditions that might cause a serious accident:

  • Wet Roads
  • Shoulder Drop-Offs
  • Snowy or Icy Roads
  • Oil Spills
  • Potholes
  • Wheel Ruts
  • Work Zones
  • Poorly Painted or Broken Lines
  • Missing Road Signs
  • Uncovered Water Drains

When Is the Government Responsible for an Accident?

For many of the examples listed above, the government entity that's in charge of maintaining the safe condition of the road you were using can be held liable for the damages you incurred from an accident. Various city, state, town, and county agencies are responsible for taking necessary measures to ensure that roads are safe for drivers to use. Under the law, these government entities have a reasonable amount of time to discover and fix a hazardous road condition.

Government agencies usually find dangerous road conditions with the following two methods:

  • Routine surveys of the roads
  • Reports of hazardous road conditions

If the government does not have reports or surveys that contain information about the dangerous road conditions that caused your accident, the agency or entity responsible for the road likely will not be held liable for the damages you incurred in the accident.

How to Establish Liability

If you want to prove that the government is responsible for your accident damages, you will need to prove the following things:

  • The government entity in charge of maintaining the road was informed about the road condition, or should have reasonably been aware of it.
  • The government neglected repairs of the dangerous condition, or failed to fix the hazard in a reasonable amount of time.

Even if you aren’t in an accident because of bad road conditions, you should still report any hazards or dangers you notice that can contribute to poor road conditions that might put other drivers at risk.

Speak to an Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by bad road conditions, you should immediately consult with our experienced team of lawyers. At Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP, we are dedicated to pursuing compensation for accident victims throughout New York. Our skilled legal team has secured more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients, with at least 150 of these being over $1 million and 400 of these amounting to more than $500,000. We have the skills and resources that you need to hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries and other types of damages.

Call (646) 461-4009, or contact our New York City motor vehicle accident lawyers to set up your free case consultation today. You don’t pay unless we win your case!