Most car accidents are caused by drivers making bad decisions, including speeding, failing to yield, and distracted driving. However, some accidents are caused through no fault of the driver. Poor road conditions can lead to accidents injuring drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. In many of these cases, the insurance company will try and blame the driver instead of holding the local government responsible for the accident. An experienced accident injury attorney will fight to get you compensation for your injuries.
Poor Road Conditions
The American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) gave Washington D.C.'s roads a D+rating. The annual infrastructure report found that less than half of D.C.'s roads were in “good” condition, while 25% were in “poor” or “worse” condition. According to the report, D.C. is one of the most congested cities in the country, averaging 82 hours of delay per driver each year.
The majority of the roads in Washington D.C. are managed by the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT). The DDOT needs almost four times their current maintenance budget to maintain the roads at “fair” condition levels. “Funding shortfalls and deferred maintenance will lead roads to deteriorate rapidly, exacerbating the costs and impact of congestion,” the report reads.
Accidents Caused by Poor Road Conditions
Poor road conditions can lead to more than just a bumpy ride. Roads can deteriorate to the level where they become dangerous. This includes potholes, uneven road surfaces, broken concrete, exposed rebar, sinkholes, and road cracks. If a driver hits a large pothole, it could burst the tire causing the vehicle to veer into another lane, colliding with another vehicle. Uneven road surfaces can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, leading to a crash or rollover accident injuring the driver, passengers, and pedestrians.
Common Accident Injuries
Dangerous road condition accidents can lead to serious, life-threatening injuries. This includes head trauma, brain injury, neck or back injury, broken bones, eye injuries, and internal injuries. This can lead to an ambulance trip to the emergency room, surgery, medical treatment, and an extended hospital stay. Some injuries may require expensive lifetime medical care.
Even a minor accident can lead to injuries. After many low speed accidents, the driver and passengers may initially feel fine. However, a couple of days later they may realize they were more injured than they first believed. They may suffer neck pain, headaches, tingling in the extremities, and lack of mobility commonly caused by neck or spinal injuries like whiplash. If there is any chance you were injured in an accident you should seek medical treatment.
Legal Claims for Accidents Caused by Poor Road Conditions
You may consider contacting the police after a car accident caused by poor road conditions. A police officer responding to the accident may take an incident report of who was involved and the cause of the accident. You may want to bring the poor road conditions to the attention of the officer so they will take note of the problem. This may also help you later if you file a claim against the government for the accident.
After a car accident, the injured driver and passengers may file a legal claim against those responsible for causing the accident. When the government is responsible for causing the accident, there may be additional requirements to make a claim for damages. Any action against the District of Columbia has to notify the Mayor in writing of the approximate time, place, cause, and circumstances of the injury or damage within 6 months.
Claims for damages against the government can be more complicated than claims against another driver. If the injured individual does not properly file their claim or give notice of their claim in time, the government may deny their claim. You should talk to your attorney after an accident so that they can make sure your claim is filed in time.
Automobile Accident Injury Attorneys in DC
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by poor road quality, the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian may be able to help. Dealing with a claim against the government can be more complicated than filing a claim against another driver. This is why you should talk to a lawyer about taking on your case, so you won't lose out on your claim for compensation. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with automobile accident cases throughout the Metro DC area. We will fight for your rights to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.