Dangerous Roadways: When Bad Roads Cause Accidents

by ShelbyW on May 24, 2013

Despite the best efforts of engineers and construction contractors, errors continue to occur in the design, development, construction and maintenance of our nation’s roads, highways and freeways. However, manufacturers and various government bodies are all required to do their part to protect the roads and promote traffic safety. Government entities are the parties largely responsible for car licensing, as well as overseeing the construction and maintenance of all of the nation’s roads.

Design Standards

Even though traffic conditions and vehicle designs change over the years, road and highway designs may fail to stay current with 21st century requirements. However, highway and road design standards are generally uniform from one region to another across the United States because highway design professionals all have access to the same kind of knowledge and education. This is one of the bases under which counties and states may be held accountable when road designs are defective and it results in a serious injury or death to the public.

Unsafe Road Conditions

Structures may fail due to ill-design, improper construction or lack of maintenance. Depending upon the type of structural failure, those responsible for designing, building, repairing or maintaining the structures could easily be held liable for injuries sustained by the public. Shockingly, a respected personal injury lawyer Syracuse New York website states that, “46% of New York’s major roads are in mediocre or poor condition.”

Local municipalities have a duty to provide safe roadways and are responsible for the proper design and maintenance of them. Unfortunately, budget cuts, simple oversights and emergency events can sometimes result in leaving roadways unsafe or in disrepair. However, these situations do not release any city, town or state from their liability for resultant injuries sustained due to negligent road design or lack of sufficient repair.

The following conditions are typically responsible for related road accidents:

1. Loose or crumbling asphalt
2. Inadequate drainage causing puddles or ice
3. Improper shoulder drop offs
4. Low intersection visibility
5. Insufficient guardrails on curves or near steep embankments
6. Lack of signs or notification
7. Deficient lane barriers
8. No traffic control signals or yield signs
9. Sharp curves
10. Hazardous weather

Legal Representation

Experienced personal injury lawyers who possess specific skills and legal knowledge are needed to help local injury victims pursue compensation for their losses. Accidents involving badly constructed or improperly maintained roads can cause major injuries that result in lifelong pain, suffering and even death. If you, a loved one or someone you know has suffered an injury or was killed as a result of negligent roadway design or maintenance, it is critical to consult with a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible to protect your rights.

In most cases, there are limitations as to how long claims may be made against a local or state municipality or property owner. Keep in mind that any insurance companies representing a municipality or a builder will not have your best interests at heart. In fact, they will do whatever it takes to minimize your damages.

Experienced personal injury lawyers understand what a case is actually worth. They also know about all of the tricks that an insurance company may use to lower their payouts. Therefore, only a competent personal injury attorney will adequately ensure that your rights are fully represented and that all of your present and future damages are properly compensated.

Shelby Warden is a legal researcher who posts this information to raise awareness of the conditions of our roadways. Since 1983, the personal injury lawyer Syracuse New York Firm of Bottar Leone, PLLC has helped over nine thousand individuals and families secure just compensation. The Firm’s practice and reputation has earned them a first tier listing in the inaugural edition of U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers Best Law Firms.

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