Who Can I Sue if My Accident was Caused by Road Conditions?

Rainy wet road in Kentucky

If you’ve been driving around Kentucky, then you are sure to have encountered potholes, bumps, and other issues with road conditions. Whether you are cruising on the interstate or riding along a country road, you’ve probably dealt with conditions that have affected your driving. If you are unlucky, this can result in damage to your vehicle. For example, a pothole could cause you to have a tire blowout. If you are truly unfortunate, this can lead to a car accident caused by road conditions, as you lose control and your vehicle then careens into oncoming traffic. If this happens to you, you may need to consider whom you can sue to compensate you for your personal injuries and the damage done to your car. Experienced car accident attorneys can help guide you through the process, as you may need to sue a number of government agencies and contractors to get compensation.

What Are Some Examples of Hazardous Road Conditions?

There are numerous road conditions that can lead to a traffic accident. Perhaps the most common is poorly maintained roads. We get more than our fair share of inclement weather here in Kentucky. When it rains or snows, water seeps into the subsurface of roads and then freezes. If a truck or other heavy vehicle drives over this part of the road, it can crack and form a pothole. Similarly, trees can send roots under roads, causing ruts and bumps that also become hazardous to drivers. It is the responsibility of the government to maintain these roads. When they fail in this task, it could result in increased accidents.

When the government does hire a contractor to repair a damaged road, this can lead to hazardous conditions of another nature. While the roads are being repaired, the contractor needs to post signs advising drivers to reduce speeds and letting you know that you are entering a work zone. The reduced speeds are to protect the workers as well as the drivers, since the roads may not provide sufficient traction while they are being repaired. You also may encounter major bumps as sections of the asphalt are being replaced. 

Finally, some stretches of road are more dangerous than others. This may be because of poor drainage that can lead to flooding. It could involve a poorly designed and controlled intersection, which increases the risk of collisions with other vehicles. In some cases, curves are poorly banked, leading to some drivers leaving the road altogether. It falls to the government to rectify the situation of unusually unsafe roads.

Who Can I Hold Responsible if I Am Involved in an Accident Caused by Road Conditions?

It is the responsibility of the government to keep and maintain all roads in Kentucky in a safe condition. When it fails in this duty, the government can be sued under Section 231 of the state constitution. The level of government responsible for the condition depends on the type of road. In general, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is charged with maintaining the state routes and portions of the interstate highways within the state. If your car is damaged from hitting a pothole on an interstate, then you can file a complaint with the state for your injuries. 

However, local roads are under the jurisdiction of the local governmental body. So, if you hit a bump and damage your axle in Louisville, then you may have to sue the Department of Public Works. In other words, the government agency you sue will depend on the type of road. This also applies if your attorney finds out that the road in question is unreasonably hazardous, based on the number and scope of accidents that have occurred there.

Sometimes, your accident may have been caused by a hazardous condition created by construction on the road. For example, improperly placed traffic cones or debris left behind by workers can damage your vehicle or cause an accident as you or another motorist swerves to avoid this. If this is the case, then you can also hold liable the contractor responsible for road maintenance that created the condition. This may also include any subcontractors who are performing services under the particular road repair contract. The key is to name as many parties as possible, since they each may have contributed to your injuries.

If You Are Injured in a Car Accident, Call Our Firm Today

A substantial number of car accidents are caused by hazardous road conditions. However, unlike car accidents with other vehicles, your injuries and the damage to your car may not be covered by your own insurance. This is why it is vital for you to call the Dickman Law Offices today so that our team of experienced car accident attorneys can assess your situation. We will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve.

Posted in: Car Accidents