Have you or a loved one been driving your vehicle on the road and had to swerve to miss a pothole or debris in your driving lane? The chances are all drivers at some point and to some degree will experience this scenario while driving. Most of the time these incidents are minor, but what happens if you have a major car accident because of a road hazard? What party will pay your medical costs, damages or future lost wages?
To properly ensure your legal right to receive compensation for your damages and injuries you will need to contact a professional California auto accident lawyer. Often times, road hazard accidents involve many parties. Government entities, large corporations and sometimes disputed liability also come into play when dealing with road hazard accident claims. An experienced road hazard accident lawyer should be contacted immediately following a road hazard auto accident. A professional road hazard accident attorney will preserve key evidence that will help to keep the responsible party accountable, and will aid in getting you or your loved one proper compensation.
The poorly designed intersections in the city of Los Angeles have forced the city to pay millions of dollars in litigation. Los Angeles Magazine reported that a scientist at the infamous Northrop Grumman was killed when driving his motorcycle at 35mph, when a car turned left at the flawed intersection of Cabrillo and Summerland in San Pedro. Lawmakers had reviewed the intersection twice before and had even discussed fixing the blind corner. Needless to say, they did not decide to take action. After the death of the motorcyclist, a stop sign was added, but for the scientist’s family members it was too little too late. The jury on the case found the city of Los Angeles liable and gave the family $23.7 million in compensation.
Can California Road Hazards Be Responsible for Accidents?
Road hazards are not just blind intersections or obstructed views. There are many different hazardous road conditions that can lead to major accidents. There could be animals in the road that will make a driver swerve. Often times, where highways have narrowing lanes or bottlenecks accidents will occur. Construction zones, work zones, and poor road maintenance can all result in road hazard accidents. Falling trees, rocks, and even sometimes falling cargo from other vehicles or big rigs can take out a fellow motorist. Debris on the road, such as glass, car parts, oil spills, or wood pieces can be considered road hazards. Potholes, inadequate lane markings, loose asphalt, unmarked exits, and even other traffic accidents can become hazards and force drivers to react quickly. As one can tell, pretty much anything on the surface of a generally well maintained roadway that causes a tire puncture, immediate impact or an actual accident is considered a road hazard.
Sometimes, road hazard accidents are exactly as they seem. They are merely accidents and no fault or liability should be assigned. In other circumstances, where you have an intuition that something “is not right”, then most of the time you are correct and need to contact a skilled road hazard attorney. Our California attorneys have an extensive group of researchers, environmental assessors, police contacts, accident reconstruction technicians, and medical experts that will work on your specific case to determine what parties are at fault. The “National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey” taken by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found that 75 percent of nearly 40,000 annual “atmospheric condition” crashes were attributed to poor road conditions. Slick roads, lack of signage, view obstructions, poor road design and malfunctioning signals are the main causes of preventable accidents where a third party may assume liability. Potential third parties are usually government entities, construction contractors, private enterprises, urban planners, other motorists, public agencies or landscapers. In California, the law states that a driver who is partially at fault for property/physical damages can still file a claim and obtain at least partial compensation for injuries and losses.
What does road hazard insurance cover?
Well, “road hazard warranties” generally only cover the cost of tires and the roadside assistance needed if you run over something in the road. Sometimes there can be other parts of the policy that cover damages to the body of automobile and personal injury costs for the driver and passengers. The policy usually will not cover vehicle or property damage that may have been caused by colliding with a road hazard and spinning out of control into others. Auto insurers sometimes will cover damage to your vehicle for dangerous road conditions. For example, if you hit a patch of falling rocks or trees then usually the damage would be covered by the “collision” section of your policy. If the tree or large rock actually falls and hits your vehicle, then the “comprehensive” section of your policy would go into effect. Sometimes when the damage is minimal you may decide to pay out of pocket to avoid spikes in your insurance rate. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) will be used to pay for medical needs after an injury. Your deductible will usually have to be met up to a certain limit for this to take place. The other option for covering damage to you or your vehicle is to file a personal injury claim against the at fault party or parties who contributed to your accident.
Our California Road Hazard Accident Attorney Can Help with Your Case
Road hazard accidents are often filled with ambiguity. Motorists usually are unsure if they actually have a valid road hazard case. It never hurts to speak to a professional road hazard accident attorney. Our California attorneys will listen intently to the details of your road hazard accident and decipher through the facts surrounding the incident. In some circumstances, you may sue to recover monetary compensation for injuries, damages, lost income, pain and suffering and in the most extreme cases, wrongful death.
Our legal team is passionate about each and every one of our clients’ cases. Our seasoned attorneys will lead you through the litigation process, and give you all the pertinent information needed to make the important decisions surrounding your case. Our determined Carlsbad, California road hazard attorneys and legal staff are ready to set up a free consultation with you or your loved one that has been victim to a road hazard accident. Call our office today, or immediately following a road hazard accident.