If you have ever been in an accident involving a pothole, you might wonder who is liable; and the answer might surprise you. The law is clear: cities and other authorized personnel are responsible for repairing and maintaining the roadways. Unfortunately, liability is not so cut and dry.
You can hold negligent parties accountable for the misfortune if you are injured from pothole damages. You are entitled to file a claim against the city.
To establish liability for roadway defects, it must be shown that the party responsible for maintaining the roadway was negligent in fulfilling their duty to keep the roadway in a safe condition. This may include failing to inspect the roadway regularly, failing to repair defects in a timely manner, or failing to provide adequate warnings to drivers about hazards on the roadway.
Who is liable for an accident involving a pothole?
Potholes are depression that occurs with asphalt pavement. It is caused due to abundance of water accumulating inside the pavement. That is why it tends to be more abundant in spring once considerable amounts of ice and snow have fallen and melted. Those circular spots are small and grow in size when a passing car travels over them.
Proving liability in a pothole accident case can be complex, but it is important to establish fault and pursue compensatory damages. Here are some basic steps to prove liability in a pothole accident:
1. Gather evidence
Gather evidence to support your case, such as photos of the hole and the accident scene, witness information, and documentation of any injury or property damage.
2. Identify the responsible party
Identify the person responsible, which may be the government agency operating the roadway, the private property owner, or the contractor. Consult with an attorney to help you determine liability.
3. Prove negligence
To hold the liable party responsible, you must prove they were negligent in maintaining the road or property. Negligence can include failing to inspect and repair the pothole in a timely manner, failing to warn motorists of the hazard, or creating the pothole through negligent maintenance or construction.
4. Prove causation
Establish a link between the hole and the accident, and indicate that the hole directly caused the accident and caused the injuries or damages.
5. File a claim
File a claim with the responsible party or their insurance company, seeking compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
If you want to pursue a claim against the government for dangerous road conditions, one way to prove liability is to show that government agencies knew about the conditions and still could not take any appropriate action to repair or warn the drivers about the hazard. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the legal process. Furthermore, the attorney will also increase your chances of being proven liable and fairly compensated for your damages.
Overall, liability for roadway defects can be complex, and it is important for drivers to be aware of their legal rights and options in the event of an accident or injury caused by a roadway defect.