Poor road conditions are a common hazard many drivers face. These hazards include potholes,
shoulder drop-off, construction zone, icy roads, snowy roads, and wet roads. These hazards can sometimes cause serious injuries.
When poor road conditions cause an injury, a governmental entity such as the city, county, or state, who are charged with maintaining the road, may be responsible for any injury or damage caused by poor road conditions. It is the government’s job to maintain the roads and they are responsible for any damage that results when roads are not kept reasonably safe.
If you are injured and your vehicle is damaged due to poor road conditions, try and obtain the following information:
the general location of the poor condition;
the name of the road;
the direction you were traveling;
the exact location of the poor condition in the road;
the physical characteristics of the poor conditions, e.g. size and depth of a pothole and;
the names and contact information of any witnesses.
The governmental entity will not always be responsible simply because an injury occurred due to the questionable condition of a road. The government is given a reasonable amount of time to discover poor road conditions and to repair them. The one exception is if the dangerous condition has been around long enough that the government should have discovered it. In that case, the government may still be responsible for your injuries even if it did not actually know about the poor road condition.
Normally, there is a two year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit, but for a claim against the governmental entity, notice must be given within 6 months of the injury. If you do not meet this deadline, you may be barred from bringing a claim and could end up with no compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage.
Whether or not you decide to make a claim, you should report the poor road condition. There is a good chance you will help prevent the poor condition from causing damage to someone else’s vehicle. You may even help prevent someone from being seriously injured. If you are not sure who to report the condition to, contact the local police department.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to poor road quality, the Thistle Law Firm is experienced in these claims and can help you understand your legal options and answer your questions at 215-568-6800.