There are some circumstances in which the primary cause for a car accident may be the conditions of the road, rather than the actions of any of the drivers sharing that road. Examples include potholes, shoulder drop-offs, icy or snowy roads and poor road design.
In such circumstances, who can be considered legally liable for accidents? Here’s a quick overview of what you should know.
Road maintenance and government liability
The most likely liable party will be the municipality (city, county or state) that is tasked with road maintenance where your accident happened. If the government fails to maintain the roads, then it follows that the government will be responsible for any accidents and resulting injuries directly caused by poor road maintenance.
Cities are typically responsible for city streets. Counties and states will divide liability for highways. Counties will typically maintain control of roads that run through park systems and other county property.
Governments must conduct regular inspections of the roadways, and take prompt action if they find dangerous road conditions or are alerted to such conditions by individuals.
The dangerous condition must have been present for an extended period of time for the government to be considered liable. The government must be given a reasonable amount of time to repair the condition after being alerted. If the government is alerted to the condition and fails to act within a reasonable amount of time (a vague standard, but an important one to consider), then you may be able to recover compensation in an injury claim.
For more information about liability for auto accidents caused by poor road maintenance, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.