California Road Conditions Accident Attorney
Occasionally a car accident results from a conflation of different factors, only one of which is the other side's inattentiveness. In fact, in 20% of all fatal car accidents, a car is either driven off the road, rolls over, or collides with a fixed object.
A structural defect in the roadway is frequently to blame for the severity and extent of the victim's injuries. However, even though some of these accidents arise out of poor road conditions, many attorneys overlook these facts.
Types of Dangerous Road Conditions That May Apply
Some of the types of dangerous road conditions, for which the government may be responsible, include but are not limited to:
- Defective design is found in dangerous curves/slopes, and dips in the road layout;
- Defective construction may be due to a failure to follow plans properly;
- Defective maintenance may be found where the government failed to fix potholes; or
- Defective failure to adapt may be due to failure to change/rebuild roadways based on changing use by pedestrians and/or vehicles.
Exploring a theory of liability based on the dangerous road conditions requires an attorney with a special skill set, someone who is knowledgeable about the investigative techniques, and can locate and discover the nuances necessary to prove negligence on the part of the responsible entity in constructing and maintaining the roadway at issue.
Our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will carefully examine the facts surrounding your auto accident and determine the fault of all responsible parties.
We do not limit ourselves to pursuing the obvious defendant – the driver at fault. If your case has arisen either wholly or partially from a bad road condition, our lawyers will take all appropriate steps to make sure that all potentially responsible parties are held to answer to the full extent of the law.
Questions To Consider If You Were a Victim in a Car Accident
If you were a victim of a car accident due to a dangerous road condition, below are some questions to consider as you navigate the complexities of your case. As always, the summary below is meant for informational purposes only. To make sure your rights are fully preserved, it is necessary to hire an attorney.
Who is responsible for poor road conditions and consequently for the medical bills incurred as a result of Your Injuries?
In California, the city or state government is responsible for the maintenance of highways and roadways. Although the government enjoys a multitude of legal safeguards, the Federal Tort Claims Act makes it possible to sue the government for dangerous roads in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.
How Much Time Do I have to Sue the Government?
Unlike in other personal injury actions, there is an extremely limited window of time to sue a government entity in California. Under California Government Code, Sections 905 and 911.2, you have only six (6) months to file a government claim for personal injuries, wrongful death, and/or damage to personal property.
After you file your claim, the government has forty-five (45) days to respond. If the government agency denies your claim before the (forty-five) 45 day period ends; then, you have six (6) months to file a lawsuit in court from the date the denial was mailed or personally delivered to you.
What If the Government Does Not Respond to Your Claim?
If you do not get a rejection letter, you have two (2) years to file a case in court from the day the accident occurred. However, the government's failure to deny a claim is sometimes contested by the government, which may render your lawsuit untimely.
Therefore, it is always best to err on the safe side and file your lawsuit within six (6) months from the date of your accident.
Moreover, the government requires that a claim against a public or government entity contain specific information or be presented in a specific form. Therefore, you must consult with a knowledgeable attorney immediately after your accident occurs.
How is the Government's Responsibility Determined?
The government is responsible for discovering and repairing dangerous road hazards. However, the law allows the government a reasonable amount of time to discover and repair such defects.
Therefore, a victim has to prove not only that the government was the responsible party, but also that it has been put on notice regarding dangerous conditions before the accident and had reasonable time to repair dangerous conditions.
For example, in a defective road design case, we will help you establish that the time of the last road survey provided enough notice regarding a dangerous road condition.
This process requires the knowledge and experience in researching and obtaining the necessary information concerning the prior surveys, reports, policies, and procedures, something which is almost impossible for a layperson who has never had to deal with a government entity in the past.
We've handled several cases against government entities and know all the steps to ensure the evidence in your case is preserved and all necessary facts are established.
Why are Dangerous Road Condition Cases Complex?
Dangerous road cases are difficult and expensive. Accordingly, your attorney must act fast: immediately inspect the roadway on which a car accident occurred, secure the vehicle from the accident to preserve evidence, and/or obtain topographical maps and any reports compiled by any agencies, government or private, as a result of the accident.
Road construction and/or auto vehicle design engineer may be consulted and/or retained as Plaintiff's expert witnesses.
What kind of Arguments May Government Invoke in Their Defense?
The government entity may put up a strong defense and be unwilling to agree to a reasonable resolution. The government may invoke the defense of immunity and/or argue that the auto accident resulted from the victim's error.
Are You Able to Recover, if You Are Determined to be Partially at Fault in a Dangerous Road Condition Accident?
The answer is, “Yes.” The issue in these types of cases is whether the government has failed to fulfill its duties, which include making a road safe for the driver.
This is especially critical when a highway or road has been the site of previous accidents. Even if you bear some fault for an accident, or are deemed “contributorily negligent”, it would still be possible to recover based on the percentage allocation of fault. We can help you navigate the complexities of disputed liability, and make sure that you receive the maximum possible compensation, even if you were partially at fault for the accident.
What Type of Damages Can The Victim Recover?
The injuries caused by dangerous road accidents can have devastating personal and financial impacts. We may help you recover the value of your property, cost of past and future medical bills, loss of past and future wages, impaired earning capacity, and other actual expenses related to the accident.
We can also help you recover from current and future pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, diminished enjoyment of life, and any other available recovery available to you. Call us today at (818) 642-5229 or fill out the contact form for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to see what we can do for you.