Can I Sue after an Accident caused by Poor Road Design or Maintenance?

By Gabriel Levin on October 27th, 2014

holes in roadAccording to data provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are generally over 5,000,000 police-reported accidents each year. While these accidents can occur for a wide variety of reasons, each year some of the accidents are the result of improperly maintained or poorly designed roads. Whether you can recover for injuries that are caused by an accident caused by either of these conditions depends on a variety of factors, including the party responsible for the design and maintenance of the roadway as well as the length of time that has passed since your accident. The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys of The Levin Firm can help you determine whether you have a claim, and also assist in getting you the full value of potential compensation for your accident.

When roadways are maintained by private parties such as individuals or business entities, a lawsuit for negligent design or maintenance may proceed as any other personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, however, accidents occur on public roads that are maintained by the state or another governmental subdivision. Under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, a government may not be sued unless it first consents to the lawsuit. Fortunately for Pennsylvania residents, our legislature has passed laws allowing tort claims against the government and its subdivisions, up to certain liability limits. Some of the more common accident-causing conditions that result from negligent road maintenance or design include the following:

  • Potholes
  • Lack of signage
  • Poor road drainage
  • Lack of warning regarding hazards
  • Malfunctioning traffic signals
  • Faded or missing lanemarkers
  • Burned-out streetlights
  • Uneven pavement
  • Debris on road
  • Poorly maintained bridges

These are just a few of the potentially dangerous roadway conditions that could result in an injury causing car accident. After being involved in such an accident, it is important that victims document as much information about the accident as possible. If you can, be sure to take pictures of the condition that caused your accident and obtain contact information from any witnesses. Finally, be sure to be thoroughly checked out by a medical professional to ensure that your injuries are properly diagnosed and documented.

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