Road Hazard Accident Lawyer in California
Perhaps you and your loved one were driving on the highway, following traffic laws, and then because of hazardous road conditions, you were in an accident. Now you are suffering from injuries, not because of your own actions or mistakes, but because of someone else’s negligence. Contact an auto accident lawyer in California for help.
Types of Roadway Hazards That Cause Accidents
Conditions that may cause an accident include:
- Poorly managed road construction projects
- Debris or spilled cargo in the road
- Poor lighting or road design
- Unstable guardrails
- Potholes and other roadway imperfections
The responsible party in a road hazard accident case depends, in part, on the nature of the accident.
Who is responsible for maintaining the roads?
The government (local, state, and federal) is responsible for the design and construction of safe roads. In California, the California Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining, inspecting, improving, and managing roads. So if construction work, road defects, or road design defects caused the accident, fault may lie with the governmental organization responsible for that road.
California Government Code § 835 and its subparts define when a governmental agency can be held legally responsible for the conditions of a roadway. In order to successfully bring a claim, an injured party must prove:
- The dangerous conditions existed
- The government had enough prior knowledge of the condition to rectify it
- The injuries that occurred were reasonably foreseeable
- The hazardous condition caused the injuries
In addition, the injured party has to show that the negligence of an employee acting in the course of his job caused the conditions.
The California DOT is only required to make “reasonable” repairs and that means it is not required to maintain the roads perfectly or spend exorbitant amounts of money. These cases can become complex, so work with attorney Ryan Sargent to investigate the accident, identify fault, and prove liability.
Who is responsible if the accident was due to something spilling in the road?
Hazardous conditions on roadways do not always have to be due to the construction or maintenance of the road. Sometimes they are the result of something that spilled onto the road.
A truck accidentally spilling its cargo can be a major cause for concern. The nature of the cargo can add to the danger as well. Hazardous materials can not only cause accidents, but pose additional dangers for those involved in the accidents and others in the vicinity.
If spilled cargo caused the accident, the responsible party might be the trucking company and/or the driver. If it was loaded or sealed improperly, others might be at fault, such as the cargo owner.
Talk to Ryan Sargent to Pursue a Road Hazard-related Accident Case
Assigning and proving liability in the case of an accident caused by hazardous roadways can be difficult. Laws, statutes of limitations, and government immunity can all play a role in your case. Contact Ryan Sargent at 888-501-6083 as soon as possible to exercise your rights.