There are some circumstances in which poor road conditions can be the primary cause of a car accident and the damage and injuries that result. In these cases, there is a possibility that the victim could file a lawsuit for those damages.
The following are some questions to consider when determining if there is any entity that could serve as the defendant in an accident caused by poor road conditions:
Who was responsible for maintaining the road?
Roads are the responsibility of cities, counties and states, and a given road might have different maintenance responsibilities shared by multiple government agencies. For example, the state could be responsible for repaving roads, while the local municipality is responsible for ensuring there are no hazards in the road. You must be able to determine which agency is responsible for the condition of the road in question.
Was that party negligent?
Once you’ve determined the party responsible for maintaining the road, you must also be able to prove that party was negligent in its duty to maintain the road. The general standard is that you must be able to show the agency could (and should) have maintained the road to an appropriate standard, but simply did not.
Was the condition of the road actually the cause?
The third step is to demonstrate that the condition of the road was, without question, the cause of your crash. This can be difficult, as damage caused by potholes might not be noticed right away and it can be difficult to go back through the routes you took to determine exactly when and where the damage happened. You’ll need other evidence, such as witnesses or photos, to corroborate your claims.
Can the agency be sued?
Finally, you must determine if the liable agency can actually be sued. There are some government agencies that have immunity from these types of lawsuits. This does not necessarily mean you cannot recover compensation, but you may need to find a different route.
To learn more about your legal options after a serious Florida crash, consult an experienced Bradenton personal injury lawyer with Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh.