When most people think of car accidents in Orange County, they likely think of collisions or some sort of negligent driving. These are situations where there is an alleged at-fault driver; there is someone responsible for the accident.
Most do not think of defective roadways. However, defective roadways can make California’s already dangerous highways even more so. They can lead to serious damage to your car or perhaps lead to an accident involving other vehicles or property. Bicycle accidents in California are especially threatening.
Defective roadways may seem like a natural part of the driving experience, but they need not be. If a defective roadway caused your accident, you will need to file a claim against the government entity responsible for the design or maintenance of the road where the accident happened. These cases, however, are most often more complicated in regard to taking legal action.
These cases are typically more complicated in regard to taking legal action, but if you find yourself a victim of a defective roadway, the auto accident lawyers at Samer Habbas & Associates are here to help. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our car accident attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.
Common Roadway Defects
Driving through construction demands extra caution. Roadway defects are often subtle and nearly invisible to the everyday driver as they come up on them. Driving in Orange County is especially hectic, which unfortunately leads to many defective roadway accidents.
Sometimes, though, it is difficult to determine whether a road hazard actually constitutes a defective roadway or if there was simply a bump or piece of debris in your way. These are some of the most common roadway defects that may help you decide whether you should take legal action:
- Steep shoulder drop-offs
- Flawed design
- Debris that has not been removed in a timely manner
- Excessive gravel, oil, or other debris
- Overgrown shrubbery
- Malfunctioning or inadequate warning signals or signs
- Insufficient or inadequate notification of changes in the shoulder
- Failure to post warning signals or signs
- Poorly established construction zones
- Inadequate lighting
- Insufficient notification of roadwork
- Inadequate highway division, edge lines, or line stripping
- Poorly guided intersections
Who is Responsible for Defective Roadway Accidents?
The party responsible for the defect in the roadway, or its maintenance, may be liable. It doesn’t matter if the defect was a minor pothole or a hazardous intersection with malfunctioning traffic signals.
The parties typically involved include:
- Government agencies: There are a few different rules that come into play when filing against a government agency. However, you still have a right to demand compensation for a personal injury resulting from their failure to safely construct or maintain the roadways.
- Private construction company: Occasionally, a private construction company will be contracted out for certain projects. If the defective roadway was a result of their inability to safely maintain that section of the road, they may be liable for personal injuries.
- Private businesses or individuals: Other times, a private landowner may be liable. This may stem from a defect in a private road or parking lot that was their neglected responsibility.
Filing a Car Accident Claim for Defective Roadways
It is not always clear what party is responsible for a defective roadway. Working with an experienced car accident attorney will help you discern the facts.
It is vital that evidence is collected immediately. Too often, without an expedient investigation, the evidence ends up lost or destroyed. It may have been accidentally replaced or destroyed. Or perhaps the responsible party realized their mistake and corrected it.
For that reason, collecting evidence for car accident cases early is important. Evidence for a defective roadway accident includes:
- The accident reports from the responding law enforcement that described the defective road conditions
- Photos from the accident that show the vehicle, personal injuries, and defective road conditions
- Maintenance reports from the responsible party
- Documentation for any roadwork that was ongoing at the time and place of the accident
- Original documentation of the roadway
- Previous complaints about the defective roadway
- Witness testimony
- Videos from onlookers or nearby traffic and surveillance cameras
- Weather conditions during the accident
- Accident reconstruction
Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
If you or a loved has been injured in an accident caused by the defective roadways, you should discuss your legal options with an attorney as you may be entitled to compensation. The auto accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates advocate for their clients’ full financial recovery through hard work and an aggressive approach. With multiple offices located in Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego and Riverside, our personal injury lawyers represent car accident victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.