Most car accidents are caused by one driver operating a vehicle negligently, for example tailgating another car or running a red light. But another common cause of car accidents are road defects, which is a term to describe a wide variety of issues with the road itself, from potholes to missing signs. In such cases, an injured driver, passenger, pedestrian, or bicyclist would look to the government entity responsible for maintaining the roadway as a potential at-fault defendant.
Road defect cases against cities, towns, counties, states, and even the federal government can present different types of challenges from the typical negligence case, but an experienced personal injury attorney can take the steps necessary to bring your road defect claim and obtain the financial recovery for your injuries to which you are entitled.
Common Types of Road Defects
Again, road defects is a term that can refer to many types of issues with a street or freeway which are under a governmental agency’s scope of responsibility, including:
- Missing road signs
- Inconsistent or poorly designed road signs
- Improperly working traffic lights
- Lack of proper lighting
- Painted-over or missing lane dividers
- Poorly designed intersections and crosswalks
- Objects left in the roadway
- Inadequate safety, such as lack of guardrails
- Lack of crosswalks
Bringing a Road Defect Lawsuit
If there was a road defect which at least partially caused your injuries, your attorney may be able to bring a lawsuit for your full range of damages (including medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and potentially punitive damages) against the governmental agency overseeing the road in question.
Such cases, however, present different sets of challenges from typical personal injury suits. A common requirement of road defect lawsuits is that the governmental agency must be notified within a brief window of time after the accident occurred of the lawsuit. For example, lawsuits brought against the state of California (which includes the counties of California) must be noticed within six months of the accident. Other agencies and governmental bodies may have even shorter periods of time in which a suit must be noticed and/or filed. Thus, speaking with an auto accident attorney as quickly as possible after an accident is important.
Other Defendants May Also Be Liable
It is important to remember, however, that there may be multiple defendants in an auto accident lawsuit involving a road defect. Another driver or drivers may be liable as well if their careless action played a part in causing the accident. By speaking with an auto accident attorney after an accident, you can determine the proper defendants to bring suit against and proceed accordingly to maximize your chances of a speedy recovery.
Contact Geragos Law Group Law to Begin Pursuing Your Automobile Accident Claim
At Geragos Law Group, our personal injury team has decades of experience in successfully winning settlements and verdicts for our clients across Los Angeles and the greater Southern California region. We have built our lasting reputation as a champion of injury victims by always placing the needs of our clients first in providing compassionate legal counsel while aggressively pursuing the relief they are owed on their behalf. By contacting a member of the Geragos Law Group today for a free consultation, you can take the first and most important step to recovery in obtaining compensation for your automobile accident.