Accident liability for hazardous roads is something to be aware of in Phoenix. While many auto accidents are a result of driving under influence, allowing distractions during driving, and other driver negligence, other conditions may be beyond a vehicle driver’s control. It is expected that our roadways are safe. However, a flaw in the design, wear & tear, and ongoing construction sometimes cause road accidents. These may involve single or multiple vehicles, and even non-drivers/pedestrians.
If you are involved in a road accident in Phoenix caused by hazardous roadway conditions, this is not something you want to handle on your own. Claims of this nature may involve going after a department of the government. You need experienced Phoenix car accident lawyers to deliver the best outcome for your case. That said, here’s all you need to know about hazardous roadway accident liability in phoenix, Arizona.
Common Road Hazards in Phoenix, Arizona
Portholes, sinkholes, or unmarked construction zones might be the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of hazardous roadways. However, the two most common hazards on our roadways are the absence of guardrails that prevent drivers from going off the road and poor visibility. Both can result in serious injuries or even fatalities.
Other roadway hazards include construction debris left on roadways, fallen trees or branches, abandoned furniture, loose gravel/stone, black ice, lack of adequate signs on winding roads, etc.
What to Do if a Road Hazard Caused Your Vehicle to Crash
Like every auto accident, it doesn’t matter the cause, the first thing you should do is move to safety. It’s not uncommon for a single crash to lead to multiple crashes when other drivers also crash into the spot of an initial accident. If you are conscious and can move, call the police/ambulance service to get medical attention. Thank goodness for mobile phone technology.
You also want to take pictures of the accident scene and the hazard that caused the roadway accident. Try to take pictures, showing how the road is directly responsible for your car accident. If a witness was around at the time of the crash, it would be a good idea to have someone testify or attest to the crash that happened.
Who Can Be Liable for Accidents that Happen on Hazardous Roadways?
The government, whether federal, city, or other municipality, responsible for maintaining a road where an accident happened can be liable if the hazardous road is directly the cause of the accident. For example, stop and speed limit signs must be visible so that drivers can obey. However, if a tree branch grows to the extent of covering a road sign, causing an accident because the driver couldn’t see the sign, it would be the fault of the department of public works. In summary, not maintaining the visibility of road signs directly contributed to the crash.
Depending on the nature and cause of the accident, liability could change. As a driver, you may be partly responsible if it can be proven that the roadway hazard is only indirectly the cause of your auto accident and sustained injuries. For example, if a court can prove that you should have known a highway could be navigated with extra caution, chances are you may share or be totally responsible for your predicament. This may increase your premium with your insurance company.
Generally, road maintenance and construction are the responsibility of the government. As earlier mentioned, they may be directly or indirectly liable for damages when the roads become technically unsafe to users. Still, for you to make claims and receive compensation for injury or damages to your vehicle, there must be strong evidence that the road hazard directly caused your accident.
For example, if a giant pothole caused damage to your car, the government can be accountable for negligence if the pothole has been causing damage to other vehicles for some time. What’s more, you will have to prove that the government agency responsible for the maintenance knew or at least, should have knowledge about the hazard yet did not repair it in time.
It becomes a hard nut to crack here because it will be almost impossible to prove that the government was negligent, for example, in removing a tree that fell on the highway only 30 minutes ago. The truth is, hazardous roadway cases can be complicated. Winning such cases is not a walk in the park. That’s why you need an experienced road accident and injury attorney. Furthermore, there are deadlines for filing such a claim against the government, another reason why an attorney will make the difference in handling your case.
Let Us Assist You With Your Claim
Apart from the injuries sustained and damage to your vehicle, road accidents can be traumatizing. When the cause is a poorly maintained road or another hazard, it can happen at any time and to anyone. If you or your loved one are in this boat, you need all the help you can get. It’s best to let experienced Phoenix injury lawyers handle your claims. You will not only get personalized service if you need them to come to your home but also the best outcome for your claims.