Car accidents often occur due to driver negligence. However, they can also result from poorly maintained or badly designed roads. A lack of guardrails, potholes, erosion, potholes, faulty design, and other poor road conditions can all cause a collision. In such cases, injured individuals often have difficulty allocating fault as they are unsure who is liable for their damages. Determining responsibility for these incidents can be difficult, as multiple parties may be responsible for your injuries. Nevertheless, determining fault is vital as you may be entitled to significant compensation for your losses. Please continue reading to learn who can be held accountable for injuries caused by dangerous road conditions and how our skilled Washington, D.C., Car Accident Lawyers can help effectively represent your legal needs in pursuing maximum compensation.
Who is responsible for road maintenance?
In the District of Columbia, when the appropriate parties fail to exercise reasonable care by maintaining safe roadways for users, devastating accidents and injuries may occur. D.C.’s state, city, and counties are responsible for road maintenance. They must take the necessary steps to fix hazardous road conditions within a reasonable timeframe. If they fail, they can be held liable for any damages due to their negligence. Some roadways require various types of maintenance, which can lead to shared responsibility between government agencies.
For example, the state may be responsible for paving the roads, while the city may be responsible for snow plowing. If an accident occurs due to erosion, meaning the road surface is worn away or broken down by natural forces such as water, both the state and the city share responsibility as the city is responsible for paving and fixing the roads, while the city is accountable for clearing weather-related hazards that if left uncleared can result in erosion in the future.
In the event of an accident caused by erosion, whether the road surface has been worn or damaged by natural forces like water, both the state and city share liability. The city is responsible for paving and repairing roads, whereas the state is responsible for addressing weather-related hazards that could lead to erosion in the future. In such cases, these government agencies can be held liable for your damages as they were responsible for this road maintenance.
Can I pursue legal action against a government agency for injuries caused by poor road conditions?
If you have suffered injuries in a car crash caused by poor road conditions, you can pursue monetary compensation by following the strict guidelines and requirements in filing a claim against a government agency. Federal and state governments are protected from lawsuits under sovereign immunity. Essentially, you cannot file a lawsuit against a municipality without permission. Fortunately, government entities can waive their sovereign immunity. This is the case when injured individuals file a Notice of Claim. A Notice of Claim is a legal document that, before the commencement of a lawsuit, provides the government with notice of your intent and that they may be subject to a claim for damages. A Notice of Claim must be filed within 90 days of the accident date. If you fail to meet this strict deadline, you will relinquish your right to pursue legal action.
To ensure you file your claim within the right timeframe, it is in your best interest to contact an adept lawyer from Trombly & Singer, PLLC. Determining fault can be challenging under these circumstances. With years of experience, our firm is prepared to help you investigate the circumstances of a collision and gather evidence to help you prove your case.