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From potholes to gravel, road conditions can make driving difficult, even for people who been driving for decades. In fact, thousands of annual highway injuries can be attributed to hazardous roads. For victims of these collisions and their families, personal injury lawsuits can recover lost income, medical treatment costs, and other expenditures.
Road hazards can vary. Common examples include potholes, disintegrating foundations, cracks, lack of rumble strips, and sudden drop-offs. Missing guardrails can also cause issues, as can missing or damaged signs and markings. Roads that have not been adequately treated, especially in cold weather months, can cause accidents.
Unless a road is private, it will be maintained by a government agency. This could be a township, borough, or a federal or state entity. However, this does not mean that the government agency is the only entity that could be held liable for a car crash caused by hazard road conditions.
Consider the scenario of a dump truck that leaves large pieces of cinder and stone on the road because its bed has not been properly covered. The stone causes a driver to slide into another car, leaving the driver hurt and their vehicle totaled. In this case, the road was not a problem because of maintenance but because the dump truck driver was negligent. Other entities potentially responsible for hazardous roads could include third-party companies hired to maintain the road and other drivers.
Drivers and passengers must be diligent after an accident, as their steps can help them if they need to seek damages later with the help of an attorney. As at all crash scenes, they should call 911, seek adequate medical treatment, and exchange insurance information. If possible, they would be wise to gather witness information and take photographic evidence.
Any driver who has incurred injuries and serious property damage will want to hold onto medical documentation to support a possible personal injury case. Other useful information could include an employer wage statement outlining missed overtime opportunities and lost wages, personal notes on the incident, and even municipal survey records to show the road was a known hazard.
If a driver’s injuries after a hazardous road condition accident were minimal, a personal injury lawsuit may not be necessary. However, some injuries can be worse than they seem. Plus, the at-fault driver’s insurance may not want to cover any medical costs. For these reasons, many drivers who have been in crashes involving poorly maintained or neglected roads may want to talk with an attorney.
If you were hurt in a car accident, speak with a Milford car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow today. Our offices are located conveniently in Milford, Bear, and Wilmington, Delaware, where we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. Call us at 302-422-6705 or complete an online form to arrange a free consultation.