Poor road conditions can be a real pain for many drivers. Hitting a pothole can cause wheel damage or a flat tire. Loose gravel can cause a car to lose its grip on the road. When a traffic light is out, traffic is backed up with some drivers unsure how to proceed during a power outage. However, in some cases, poor road conditions can lead to a serious accident. When poor road conditions cause an injury accident, the city government may be liable for damages.
Drivers in a number of cities and states across the country think they have terrible road quality and poor driving conditions. However, drivers in Philadelphia often see poor road conditions every day, making an average daily commute both long and dangerous.
According to a study by WalletHub, Philadelphia is one of the worst cities for driving in the country. In their survey of 100 cities, Philadelphia came in at number 96, with Washington D.C. the bottom spot. Factors included traffic conditions, quality of bridges, and quality of roads.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE), Pennsylvania gets a D- for road quality. Truck traffic on the state's roads is double the national average. PennDOT rated 44% of roads in fair to poor condition in 2012, with more than half of roads now in fair to poor condition. Poor road conditions are not only an inconvenience for drivers, they are also a major safety hazard.
Injuries Caused by Poor Road Conditions
Poor road conditions can be responsible for vehicle damage or causing a driver to lose control of their vehicle and ending up in an accident. This includes uneven road surfaces, improper warning signs, broken concrete, and potholes. These can cause vehicles to turn into oncoming traffic, collide with another vehicle, or go off the road.
Accidents caused by poor quality roads can lead to vehicle damage, minor injuries, serious bodily injury, or even death. Common vehicle accident injuries include head injury, back injury, facial trauma, neck injury, lacerations, broken bones, eye injury, burn injuries, or internal injuries.
Treatment for these accidents can vary depending on the seriousness of the injury, location of the accident, and number of vehicles involved. This can require emergency services, surgery, hospital stays, extended medical treatment, physical therapy, and even lifelong medical care. Even minor injuries can turn into serious medical issues if they are not immediately diagnosed and treated. Many neck and back injuries do not become obvious immediately after an accident. However, days later, these injuries may leave the victim in serious pain or unable to move.
Filing a Legal Claim After Accidents Caused by Poor Road Conditions
In an accident caused by another driver's negligence, the negligent driver may be liable for the other driver's injuries and damages. However, if the accident is caused by poor road conditions, the liable party may not be so clear. It is important to talk to an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney to understand your rights.
After an accident caused by poor road conditions, you should make sure to explain the cause of the accident to the investigating officer. This may help you later on in your claim for damages. The officer may not believe the accident was caused by a pothole or exposed rebar in the road, so you should take video or photographs on your phone to document the issue.
The road may be maintained by the city, county, or commonwealth. The agency responsible for maintaining the road may be liable for your damages. However, a claim against the government is not like a legal claim against other drivers. There are certain requirements and deadlines that you must follow to ensure you can seek compensation. Talk to your Philadelphia attorney about the accident as soon as possible so you can file your claim in time and name the proper government agency.
Claims against the City of Philadelphia must be filed within 6 months from the date of the incident. If you do not file your claim in time, you may be barred from bringing a claim against the city, and could end up with no compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage. Claims against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may have similar deadlines, so talk to your attorney to be sure you file in time.
Poor Road Condition Accident Attorneys in Philadelphia
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. Filing a legal claim against the government may be more complicated than filing a claim against another driver. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with all types of Philadelphia accident cases, including accidents caused by dangerous road conditions. We will fight for your rights to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.