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Trying to blame the road for your accident?

Author: Shelby Warden
Published: Jan 9 2013

Every time you get behind the wheel of your vehicle you are faced with multiple dangers, including drunk drivers, people who are speeding, and the increasing prevalence of cell phone usage by motorists. Another major issue that a lot of people do not think about, though, is the condition of the roadway.

In fact, potholes are one of the top 20 causes of serious car accidents, and they are an extremely big problem throughout California and in Kansas City, New Orleans, St. Louis, Omaha and New York City. Many residents of cold winter states also deal with an overabundance of potholes while driving on their local roads.

Who is to Blame for a Bad Road?

If a pothole or other road defect causes an auto accident, you will have to determine who is responsible for the proper upkeep of that area. After researching a number of cases from a Charleston injury attorney, it seems that in most road defect cases the local government is the responsible party, and this can make it more difficult to get a resolution to your issue.

Although it is definitely possible to win a lawsuit against your local government for a road defect, it will most likely require more persistence than with other types of auto accidents. One of the main reasons to move forward with a lawsuit, though, is to protect other motorists. After all, unless the government takes steps to correct the issue, other people will be at risk.

Is a Lawsuit Necessary?

Your local government might cooperate if you contact them and inform them of the situation, but the odds are high that you will need to file a lawsuit if you want to receive any financial compensation for the damages that your car received.

Even if the government offers to take care of the issue, though, you can expect to wait for a longer period of time than you would with most simple insurance claims. Therefore, it may be necessary for you to cover the repair bill upfront so that you can have an operational vehicle. Keep in mind that getting the repair does not invalidate you from filing a lawsuit.

Presenting a Strong Case

If you decide to move forward with a lawsuit, you will need to retain an attorney who has experience with your specific type of case. Not only will this provide them with better information about what to ask for during the lawsuit, but it will also give them the benefit of knowing how your local government responds to cases like yours.

In order to win your case, you will need to provide evidence that the accident was caused by a defect in the road. You should take photographs of the road to document the issue, and you will need to provide a statement from a mechanic that indicates what the most likely cause was of the damage that your car received. It is also a good idea to ask any witnesses to testify on your behalf.

Is it Wise to Sue the Government?

Some people hesitate to file a lawsuit about a road defect because they are nervous about suing the government. However, you have the legal right to compensation for your damages, and the government is legally responsible for the proper upkeep of the road. Therefore, filing a lawsuit might not only be your best chance of receiving compensation, but it is also a good way to ensure that the road will be repaired.

Shelby Warden is a legal researcher that pays particular attention to safety issues. If you have been injured by a defective road condition, the Charleston injury attorney team at Howell and Christmas, LLC can help. Their highway defect lawyers will help you receive the compensation for damages and injuries you deserve from the responsible parties.

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