Defective Roadway Design Accidents
The government has an obligation to keep roadways safe. On the national, state, and county level, the government entity which maintains any given road must ensure that the thoroughfare, its guardrails, road signs, and rights-of-way are all well-maintained. Highway engineers also must design safe roadways without dangerous driving conditions. When road builders or those who maintain them fail in their legal duty, oftentimes, automobile operators and their passengers are injured or killed. Failure to meet this obligation makes them responsible for compensating injured victims of those wrecks, or surviving family members when wrongful deaths occur.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash caused by governmental negligence, you may be entitled to benefits that will financially provide for you and your family. The New York defective roadway design attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC have the skill and expertise to investigate these complex cases, determine who was at fault and press for your compensation — even from governments, which is seldom easy.
The first step is to prove that negligence did indeed lead to unsafe conditions on the roadway. Next, we must prove this negligence was the direct cause of your injury. If you were driving safely yet still lost control due to unacceptable driving conditions from faulty roadway design or maintenance, you likely have a strong claim for defective roadway benefits, such as compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other financial losses.
Here are some common road conditions which often indicate negligence:
- Improperly timed traffic lights / traffic light malfunctions – indicates improper or outdated IT management, which can make some intersections extremely dangerous.
- Inadequately de-iced roads / roads insufficiently plowed – a winter terror for unsuspecting drivers.
- Obscured, illegible, broken or non-existent road signs – some signs which communicate sudden upcoming changes in road or driving conditions could constitute “failure to warn” if they cannot be immediately read in time.
- Large unfilled potholes / failure to remove hazardous objects from roadway – sudden obstacles as part of the road cause improper and dangerous driver reactions, especially on highways or freeways.
- Poorly maintained or non-contiguous guardrails – allow veering or sliding vehicles to leave the road.
- Too steep a grade / too sharp a turn – another instance of “failure to warn” if signs would help unwary motorists.
- Shoulder lanes too narrow – which can lead to tragedy when your vehicle breaks down.
- Poor drainage design / large water pooling on roads – which can cause drivers to suddenly lose control of their vehicle, sometimes with catastrophic consequences.
- Trees or greenery in the right-of-way which are too close to the road – can result in sudden road obstacles when a vehicle breaks off limbs or shrubbery too close to the general “clearance” associated with the road.
Some difficulties can arise regarding the statute of limitations for civil claims against a government entity. They must be filed much quicker (weeks or months sooner) than other types of personal injury claims – which normally give claimants a year or two to file for compensation.
Many times, certain locations may be sites of several accidents during relatively short periods of time. In fact, the government may already know about some of these locations. But sometimes the fact that maintenance or repair is outsourced to a private company could produce a lag in the timeline between awareness and restoration. These accident patterns must be identified by smart injury lawyers.
As for a case of improper roadway design, it could take even longer for the government to accept the fact that there is a problem and that it should pay not only the very high cost of modifying the roadway, but also the legitimate claims of those who were injured. All of the above-listed conditions can be ascribed to either defective design or ineffective maintenance. And the government isn’t always going to volunteer this information to you. It’s on your lawyer to get to the bottom of government liability (or that of its outsourcing partner).
Contact the Seasoned New York Defective Roadway Injury Attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC
Defective roadway design and maintenance cases are difficult. But we’ve successfully tackled state, county and local governments as well as their roadway outsourcing partners. This makes us more than qualified to successfully manage your claims. If you think your vehicle accident injuries were due to roadway negligence, don’t hesitate to call the trusted professionals at Kaplan Lawyers PC for a free evaluation of your case. The consultation is free; and if it turns out we can’t prove governmental liability to win your case, there is no legal fee whatsoever.