Can You Recover if Your Car Accident was Caused by a Road Defect?
While negligent drivers are a common cause of traffic accidents, some people might crash due to dangerous road defects or hazards. If your accident happened without fault on the part of another driver, who can you hold liable for your losses? Is compensation available? It is important to discuss what happened with an experienced car accident attorney in St. Louis as soon as possible.
How Road Hazards Cause Accidents
We trust that our roads and highways throughout St. Louis will be properly inspected, maintained, and repaired to prevent accidents and keep drivers safe. However, defects and hazards can develop for many reasons, putting you and your loved ones at risk of harm. Some common defects include the following:
- Poorly maintained roads – When the state or localities fail to maintain roads, many hazards can result. These include potholes, large cracks, crumbling pavement, and more.
- Failure to warn drivers – Not all defects can be repaired immediately. When an agency discovers a road defect, and it cannot be addressed right away, there should be signs posted to clearly warn drivers to slow down and be cautious.
- Items left in the roadway – Construction crews, property owners, and other parties might leave items in the road or on the highway that can cause a driver to crash.
- Adverse weather – MoDOT should take steps necessary to prepare the roads for ice and snow, as well as to repair roads if they were damaged by changing weather. When road crews do not do their jobs properly, unnecessary accidents can happen.
- Improper road design or construction – Designing roads is a technical process, and professionals should take into account many safety factors. When a road is inherently dangerous by design, or when construction crews fail to properly follow the design, accidents can be common in these areas.
- Other factors – Other possible defects can include poorly-timed traffic signals, speed limits that are set too high, lack of necessary signage, crosswalks that are not marked, dangerous bike lanes, dangerous onramps or exits, and more.
Liability for Your Losses
If a road defect caused your accident, who can you hold liable for your medical bills and other injury-related losses? The answer will depend on the type of road hazard involved and who was responsible for creating it or allowing the hazard to persist. Some parties that might be liable include:
- MoDOT and other public agencies
- Construction companies
- Private engineers
- Private property owners
The process of seeking compensation will differ depending on the type of party who is responsible, especially since there are specific procedures for filing a claim against public agencies. If a road defect caused your crash, you want to speak with an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible.
Contact our St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers to Discuss Your Options
After a car accident, the personal injury attorneys at Bruntrager & Billings, P.C., are ready to help. Call 314-646-0066 or contact us online to speak with a member of our legal team today.