If you have been in a vehicle accident that resulted in damage to your vehicle, it is usually other drivers involved that are involved in your personal injury claim. However, when it is due to bad road conditions, there is more to think about. In order to file a claim, you need to know who is liable, whether filing against vehicle damage or because you suffered bodily injury. Here is more information about accidents due to road conditions and how to decide who is liable for them.
Deciding Who is Liable
In many cases, the local government is actually responsible, since they should be maintaining the roads. If the accident was due to road conditions that could have been prevented with regular maintenance, such as oil and chip problems, shoulder drop-off that wasn't properly labeled, or potholes in the road, you may have a chance. However, the county, state, or city government must deem that the roads were not reasonably safe.
This is where this type of claim can get tricky. The government is not responsible for every accident caused by road conditions. The government is allowed a decent amount of time to improve road conditions when they become aware of them. If they are within their own reasonable amount of time for repairing the roads, and you get into an accident during this time, they might not be liable.
On the other hand, if the government was fully aware of the dangerous road conditions and failed to make the proper repairs, then you might have a case.
Filing a Claim for Poor Road Conditions
When it comes to filing your claim, you need to know everything you can about the road conditions and how it caused your accident. This will include the name of the road, what direction you were driving, where the poor road condition is located, how and why it caused your accident, and any physical characteristics you remember. Make note of the road conditions, whether you got into an accident due to a deep pothole or because the asphalt was in poor condition and with the rain, it make it impossible to drive on without getting into an accident.
To file a claim, you also need to narrow down who is liable. This means deciding what government will be responsible for maintaining that road. If you check in with your local county commissioners' office, they should be able to tell you if the road was the city or county's responsibility. Make sure you fill out the right paperwork and file your claim on time, otherwise it might be denied with no appeal.
Providing Documentation for Proof
The most difficult part of this type of personal injury case is that it can be hard to prove. You need to be able to prove that the government was aware of the road conditions and that it was dangerous, and that they refused to repair it within the designated time. This involves the government actually admitting that they were aware of it. If you are having problems with it, you can check recent survey records, which show surveys conducted on road conditions. If someone noticed the poor road conditions during an inspection, you can use that in your case.
Get a personal injury attorney to help you gather documentation and proof, and complete filing your claim. To learn more, contact the experts at Stapleton Law Offices.