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
- 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
- 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!