Who Is Liable for a Car Accident Caused by Bad Road Conditions?

Car Accidents | October 31, 2023

Most people think of vehicle accidents as occurring between two or more vehicles, but the reality is that bad roadway conditions can also cause accidents that lead to major injuries and property damage.

However, recovering compensation after an accident caused by roadway hazards can be challenging. Here, we want to discuss who could be held liable after an accident caused by bad road conditions, as well as the importance of reaching out to an attorney for assistance with these types of car accident claims.

Who Is Liable for a Car Accident Caused by Bad Road Conditions?

Common Types of Hazardous Roadway Conditions

Some of the most common dangerous roadway conditions that cause accidents include:

Direct Road Damage

The roadways can sustain damage due to bad weather, natural disasters, normal wear and tear, along with vehicle accidents. The agency responsible for maintaining the roadway should conduct regular inspections and maintenance, but they often do not do this enough. Some of the main types of damage that can cause accidents include:

  • Uneven pavement
  • Potholes
  • Faded pavement markings
  • Missing reflectors
  • Damaged or missing guardrails or medians

Inadequate Lighting

Drivers need to be able to see, but there are plenty of poorly lit roadways in and around our area in California. Adequate roadway lighting falls to the municipality in charge of the particular stretch of roadway. This can include local or state officials.

Defective Traffic Signals

Traffic signals are programmed to keep vehicles moving in the right direction and safe from striking one another. However, in the event there are programming failures, or if a traffic signal is broken and is not promptly repaired, this can lead to severe accidents.

Missing or Damaged Traffic Signs

All drivers rely on road signs, but a damaged or missing sign can lead to confusion, which is certainly not a good thing when operating a vehicle.

Overgrown Foliage

Municipalities are typically responsible for trimming any foliage that could impede the view of drivers. Failing to cut back overgrown foliage in a timely manner could constitute negligence on the part of the municipality.

Poorly Designed Roads or Intersections

Significant planning and engineering go into constructing roads and intersections. This includes design studies before any type of construction gets underway. In the event a roadway or intersection is poorly designed, this can lead to long-term consequences for drivers of that particular area.

Contact a Lawyer for Help After an Accident

We encourage you to work with a skilled car accident lawyer as soon as possible after an incident caused by hazardous roadway conditions. In the event another party was at fault for the incident, your lawyer can work through the process of recovering compensation. This is not an easy process. This involves conducting a full investigation and handling complex negotiations with other parties involved. Your lawyer may need to file a personal injury lawsuit and take the case to court if necessary to recover the compensation you need.

One of the most complicated factors of these incidents has to do with claims against government entities. These are not exactly the same as personal injury claims against non-governmental entities. There are separate processes involved, particularly the parameters set forth under the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA).