When considering a car accident, it’s common to assume that it happened due to one driver’s negligence. However, there are instances where neither driver can be blamed for the collision. In some cases, an accident can arise because of a road hazard. A road hazard is something that an individual encounters while driving. This includes but is not limited to rough roads, broken guardrails, animals, ice, debris, standing water, and uneven expansion joints. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a road hazard you may be wondering whether you can take legal action to collect monetary compensation for your damages stemming from the collision. Keep reading to learn who may be liable for this type of auto accident and discover how our skilled Washington, D.C. Car Accident Lawyers can help you secure the fair compensation you deserve.
Who is liable for a car accident caused by a road hazard?
The cause of your accident may be attributed to a road hazard, and in such cases, it may not be possible to hold anyone liable for it. This is the case when a wild animal or natural condition such as ice causes a collision. You cannot take legal action against an animal or the weather. Therefore, when blame cannot be assigned, you will have to work with your insurance company rather than pursue legal action against another party. However, in other cases, a road hazard can be attributed to a particular person or entity.
In some cases, public entities such as the federal government, the state, the city, and other municipalities can be held liable for a car accident caused by a road hazard. However, this is only the case if the accident was caused by the municipality’s negligence. The government is responsible for maintaining roads and ensuring they are safe for motorists to drive on. If they fail to maintain the roads and an accident is caused due to poor road conditions, legal action can be taken against the municipality.
Moreover, the same applies to public agencies and private businesses such as construction companies. If a construction company is doing construction on a road, they are responsible for implementing certain safety measures such as displaying warning signs and reducing the speed limit in a particular area to prevent accidents in the construction zone. If the construction company fails to take these measures, they can be held liable for any damages that occur as a result of their negligence. Furthermore, it is critical to note that the District of Columbia is a contributory negligence state. Therefore, if you are partially to blame for an accident arising out of a road hazard, you will be barred from recovering any compensation for your losses stemming from the accident.
Establishing liability following a car accident caused by a road hazard can be challenging. However, rest assured, with years of experience, a dedicated attorney at Trombly and Singer, PLLC can help you understand your legal options. Allow our firm to assist you in seeking reasonable compensation for your damages.