Car Accidents Caused by Road Defects

Human error is the responsible for many traffic accidents and, in those cases, it’s fairly easy to allocate blame. Normally, the person who was responsible for causing the accident is liable for any damages he or she caused to other drivers. But what about accidents that were not caused by human error, but were instead caused by dangerous conditions on the road itself, such as potholes? In most cases, the entity liable for accidents caused by poor road conditions is the government agency responsible for maintaining the road on which the accident happened. However, suing a government entity is a bit more complicated than suing a person or a business.

Proving Negligent Road Maintenance or Construction

A person who is the victim of a car accident due to poor road conditions must first prove that the road conditions actually caused the damage to the car and resulted in their injuries. Second, the plaintiff must also show that the agency or company responsible for maintaining the road was negligent in its duty to provide a safe roadway or that they failed to adequately warn drivers of a potential hazard. And third, the plaintiff must determine if the agency responsible is allowed to be sued in court and whether too much time has passed since the accident. In order to prove that the agency in question was negligent in its duties, the plaintiff must show that the agency could and should have maintained the roadway but chose not to do so, or that the agency built the road in an unsafe manner. For example, assume that a state decides to cut down on roadway maintenance, which causes erosion of a roadway on a dangerous, steep curve. If a car goes off the curve because of this erosion, the agency may be liable for the driver’s damages.

Suing Government Agencies

Most government agencies, including state governments, local governments, and the federal government, have “sovereign immunity,” which means that they cannot normally be sued. However, there are certain instances in which government agencies may make exceptions to this immunity and consent to be sued under certain conditions. However, these exceptions are normally very narrow or the agency may stipulate that it can only be sued for the types of accidents which it has purchased insurance to cover. Another consideration when suing a government agency is the statute of limitations. Most states have very short statutes of limitations for injury claims based on faulty road conditions, so it is essential that you start your lawsuit as soon as possible after an accident of this kind to ensure that you are within the statute of limitations.

Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by defective road maintenance or faulty construction, you are in for an uphill battle, as suing a government agency for civil liability involves more considerations than ordinary lawsuits. This is why it is essential that you retain an experienced attorney to represent your interests. Contact the Atlanta car accident attorneys at Slappey & Sadd for a free consultation to discuss your case by calling 404.255.6677. We serve the entire state of Georgia, including the following locations: Walton County, Whitfield County, and Muscogee County.

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