If you hit a road hazard, you may wonder whether you are responsible for the collision. In some cases, you may be liable if blame cannot be assigned to a particular person or entity. However, in other cases, you may be able to take legal action against a municipality or public agency to recover monetary compensation for your damages. That being said, liability depends on the specific road hazard that caused the accident. Keep reading to learn who can be held accountable for a car accident caused by a road hazard. In addition, contact a qualified Prince George’s County Auto Accident Lawyer who can help you understand your legal options.
Who is responsible for a car accident caused by a road hazard?
Following a car accident caused by a road hazard, liability will ultimately depend on the specific road hazard that caused the accident. Road hazards can include rough roads, wild animals, snow, ice, debris, standing water, broken guardrails, uneven expansion joints, slick surfaces, gravel, and objects that have fallen from a vehicle. In some cases, no one party can be blamed for an accident. This is the case when a road hazard such as an animal or weather condition causes an accident. This is because when you pursue legal action against another party, you must prove that the other party owes you a duty of care. You must also prove that their negligence directly caused your injuries. For instance, no one can control wild animals and they are not expected to exercise reasonable care. Therefore, you cannot pursue legal action against an animal to recover financial compensation for your damages. In this scenario, you would be considered responsible for the collision.
In some cases, a particular identifiable person, a public entity, or a public agency may be held accountable for a car accident caused by a road hazard. If you were hit by debris that fell off a nearby vehicle, you can take legal action against another motorist. However, this can be a difficult claim to prove if you did not see the debris coming from the vehicle or have a witness that saw it.
Moreover, a public entity such as the state or city government may be liable for an accident if they fail to uphold their legal duties. The government is responsible for maintaining the roads to ensure they are safe to drive on. When poor road conditions such as potholes, bumpy edges, or other rough road conditions cause a collision, the municipality responsible for maintaining them can be held liable for their negligence. It is critical to note that public agencies and private businesses such as construction companies can also be liable under certain circumstances. For example, if an accident occurs because of standing water, which arises because of a negligently designed road that is dangerous to motorists, the construction company that designed and constructed the road may be held responsible for a car accident.
Depending on the specific road hazard, you may be entitled to significant compensation if you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence. Contact a trusted Prince George’s auto accident lawyer at Timian & Fawcett, LLC today so we can help you secure the fair compensation you deserve.