What happens when a pothole causes a car accident?
All auto accidents in Florida are held to the same standard of fault. While Florida has a “no fault” automobile insurance program (called PIP, or Personal Injury Protection), this coverage typically only applies to initial injury claims for accident victims. PIP coverage minimums are relatively low, especially when the cost of healthcare is considered, and accident lawsuits involving serious injuries must be approved by the court system before your can pursue financial damages from a negligent party.
However, some accidents aren’t caused by drivers at all.
Sometimes defective road designs and faulty highway maintenance, including failure to post proper danger notices along the highways in hazardous locations, are the real culprit behind a crash.
All drivers should be appropriately informed of approaching road hazards. What many drivers don’t realize is that these issues can be a major component in their accident claim settlement, and it can often alleviate another driver from fault in connection to an accident that produces significant damage.
Were you or a loved one involved in a car crash involving dangerous or defective road conditions?
You may be eligible for financial compensation.
Learn more about your rights by completing our free case review form today.
What Makes a Road Dangerous?
There are many different factors and reasons why a highway can become dangerous. In Florida, potholes are one of the most common hazards. Potholes can be a danger on both community streets with low speed limits and major interstates or highways, as punctured tires and abrupt changes of direction in a vehicle can cause a collision.
Other common types of road defects in Florida include:
- Pavement cracking
- Depressions & water puddles
- Oil spots
- Uneven surfaces
- Improper signage
Florida’s highways, in particular, present a very real and serious threat to the public when roads deteriorate and the government agency responsible for maintaining them (using our tax dollars) fails to repair them in a timely manner.
Even the design of a roadway can be a component of fault in certain accidents if it can be proven that negligence extends to the approval process for developing the unsafe section of a highway or interchange.
Who’s Liable for a Defective Road Accident?
When it comes to car accidents caused by a road defect, a local or state government agency is typically held liable since they are responsible for the maintenance of the highway. Fixing road disrepair is often a state or county responsibility, but serious problems can occur in residential communities as well.
Even road defects that were temporarily repaired may still result in liability claims against the government agency responsible for the repairs and failure to properly address the problem.
For instance, a driver might make an unusual driving maneuver to avoid a pothole in a state highway and accidentally collide with another vehicle in the process. In such cases, the appropriate government agency would share in fault.
The central challenge in any auto accident case involving a road defect will be getting the government to admit any level of fault. Liability is often the most complicated and well-defended aspect of an accident case.
What To Do After a Defective Roadway Accident
First and foremost, you should call the police and seek medical attention. Even if you don’t feel injured, we encourage you to get checked out by a doctor to ensure there are no hidden injuries that will arise later on. Next, contact an attorney who specializes in these types of cases.
It’s never a good idea to try to handle your auto accident case on your own, and especially when a defective roadway could be the ultimate culprit. You’ll need to consult an experienced car accident accident attorney who has represented defective roadway cases before and who can conduct an independent investigation into the accident, including inspecting the roadway and government agency records regarding failure to repair.
Never assume that a road defect cannot be part of your accident injury claim. Even the design of a roadway system can be called into question by an experienced accident attorney who can build your case for government responsibility. Always choose a diligent and detail-driven Florida auto accident attorney who has a solid track record of excellent results for their clients.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Florida caused by
a road defect or hazard, contact the experienced attorneys at
Tragos Law for your free case consultation today.