Many auto accidents happen because of a driver’s negligence or recklessness. However, road hazards also cause many serious and fatal car accidents. Road hazards that can lead to serious accidents include construction debris, gravel, animals, uneven shoulders, uneven expansion joints, standing water, vehicle debris, ice, snow, and more.

In many cases, there isn’t anyone to blame for an accident caused by a road hazard. For example, if you hit a dead deer on the highway, it’s difficult to blame anyone. However, there are road hazard accidents where another party might be responsible. For example, a rough road may have been built improperly, contributing to accidents. Poor road design may also cause standing water on a road. When improper or dangerous road conditions cause a serious crash, an attorney should review the case to determine which government entity should be responsible for your injuries.

You have legal options if you suffered an injury in an accident because of a road hazard. You can file a lawsuit against the at-fault individual or entity that caused or contributed to your crash. Having your road hazard accident case reviewed today by a skilled Augusta car accident attorney is critical. They can review the case and determine who might be liable for your damages. They will let you know if you don’t have a case, so there is no risk.

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Common Types Of Road Hazards That Trigger Accidents

When we think of the many things that cause auto accidents, driver error is typically at the top of the list. However, road conditions also can cause many accidents. Here are some of the most common road hazards that lead to many serious auto accidents. In many cases, such as potholes, you may have a case against the local government for failing to maintain the road properly.

  • Potholes: Potholes pose a major risk to motorists, especially motorcycle and bicycle riders. When wheels slam into potholes, the impact can damage the tire and wheel, damage the alignment, and cause a loss of control, leading to a crash.
  • Uneven road: Even without potholes, an unlevel, uneven road surface can make driving dangerous. Non-level roads at highway speeds make it all too easy to lose control and hit other vehicles or objects. Motorcyclists are especially at high risk of accidents because of uneven roads.
  • Loose gravel: If a road has loose gravel, the tires can lose traction, and you can skid because of ineffective braking. Bicycles and motorcycles are less stable on gravel, and a crash is more likely. The city or government agency that laid down the gravel on the road can be liable for any road hazard accident.
  • Oil spills: Oil on the road surface greatly reduces tire traction and can cause a car to slide uncontrollably. Oil can also be released from the engine of another vehicle due to a leak or an accident.
  • Ice: Ice is dangerous on roads because vehicles can slide out of control. The local government can be responsible for improperly salting the roads when ice and snow are present.
  • Eroded road shoulder: An eroded road shoulder can be dangerous if a driver veers off the highway. This problem can cause the vehicle to roll over.
  • Poor street lighting: If there aren’t enough street lights, there is a greater chance of an accident because of lowered visibility.
  • Standing water: Water on a highway can cause hydroplaning, where a water layer stands between the road surface and tires. This problem can cause you to lose control and crash.
  • Construction zones: Road construction zones may require different traffic patterns and slower speeds. Drivers must be careful in these areas, but improperly designed construction zones can lead to serious road hazard accidents.

If you are driving along a road, obeying traffic rules, and are in an accident because of road debris or obstructions, you should call the police and first responders immediately. Ensure the police document the road hazard or design flaw that led to the accident. This information can be critically important during insurance negotiations.

Common Road Debris And Defect Injuries

Common car accident Auto accidents caused by road hazards usually involve a lot of force. The force of the impact when you strike an object in the road can cause you to move about the car cabin, leading to serious injuries.

Part of your body can slam into the window, windshield, steering wheel, or dashboard, causing a serious injury.

Common car accident injuries in road debris crashes are soft tissue injuries, back contusions, traumatic brain injuries, mouth and teeth injuries, broken ribs, spinal cord damage, and even full or partial paralysis.

Ensure you get immediate medical attention after a serious road debris accident to ensure your injuries don’t worsen. Obtaining fast medical care also ensures that you will have the most legal options for compensation.

Who May Be Liable For A Road Hazard Crash?

When you are in an accident caused by another person’s or entity’s error or carelessness, you can be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. It’s important to retain an experienced auto accident lawyer to review your case to determine which party or parties are at fault for the road hazard accident:

  • Car owners and drivers: Drivers are responsible for driving safely and not injuring others. If a driver is careless or reckless or causes a road hazard, that person can be liable for your damages.
  • Construction firms: When a construction company oversees road work, it must ensure the site is safe for the public to drive through. Proper signage, barriers, and places to store equipment should be provided. If a construction zone is poorly set up, serious accidents can occur.
  • Private property owner: If a road hazard, such as spilled materials, occurs on private property, you can hold the owner responsible for your accident.
  • Utility companies: Utility firms often have to work on public roads. If they create dangerous hazards by leaving manholes open or other dangers, they can be liable for your injuries.


What Is Government Liability For Road Maintenance?

In some accidents involving road hazards, government agencies are liable. This is often the case when the condition of the road is a major factor in the accident. The question of liability is usually answered by whether the government organization responsible for maintaining the road violated its duty of care to ensure the safety of the road.

Your auto accident attorney can hold a variety of government agencies liable for a road hazard crash:

  • Municipal government: Local entities need to upkeep city streets and small roads in their areas. If the municipal government doesn’t address clear hazards, you can hold it liable for a road hazard accident.
  • County government: The county government oversees many local roads that the municipal government may not handle. County governments are responsible for the road’s upkeep and can be to blame if road debris injured you.
  • State governments: The state’s transportation department oversees state highways and interstates. If a road hazard was due to improper maintenance or design, the state may be liable for damages to the injured.
  • Federal government: Some roads are maintained by the US government, such as in a national park. If a road hazard in a national park injured you in an accident, the US government can be responsible.

Filing an injury claim against a government entity isn’t easy. You must carefully follow many administrative hurdles and deadlines. You should talk to a skilled personal injury attorney if a road hazard injured you. They will determine which government entity may be to blame.

What Is Important Evidence In A Road Hazard Accident Case?

To prove another party injured you in a road hazard case, your car accident attorney will gather and pinpoint many types of evidence to build a strong case. Some common types of evidence used in road hazard accident cases are as follows. Your auto accident lawyer may have an easier time accessing some of this evidence, so make sure you speak to a lawyer quickly:

  • Photos and video of the road debris accident scene when available
  • Traffic camera and surveillance footage.
  • Police accident reports
  • Testimony from expert witnesses
  • Road maintenance records
  • Weather reports for when the accident happened
  • Road design plans
  • Road hazard warning signs
  • Maintenance records from traffic signals
  • Vehicle damage reports
  • Cell phone records
  • Skid mark analysis
  • Traffic signal time information

Proving Liability In A Road Hazard Auto Accident

Do you think the local government’s poor road design or repairs contributed to your road debris accident? It isn’t enough to simply claim that another entity or person’s negligence or mistake injured you; you must sufficiently prove it with evidence. In many cases, car accidents are caused by another driver’s negligence. In road debris cases, another entity can be responsible, but proving negligence still requires proving these elements:

  • Duty: The road designer or maintenance crew had a duty to design and maintain the road safely to avoid harming others.
  • Breach: The designer or maintenance crew breached their duty by, for example, leaving gravel on the road that caused your motorcycle to skid and crash into the ditch.
  • The damages you have, such as broken bones and property damage, were caused by the breach.
  • You have damages from the road debris accident, such as medical bills and lost income.

Potential Damages For Road Hazard Crashes

Seeking compensation for an accident caused by someone else gets you the justice you deserve. You also can receive compensation for your losses. Depending on the severity of the accident, you can be entitled to the following damages after a road debris accident:

  • Property damage to your car, motorcycle, or bicycle
  • Past and future medical costs, such as treatment, hospital stays, surgeries, medical and rehab
  • Lost income in the past and future, including diminished earning capacity for serious injuries.
  • Emotional distress and trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability

How much compensation you may receive in your road hazard accident claim depends on several factors:

  • How severe your road debris accident injuries are. Injuries requiring months of healing, surgeries, and lost work time will be worth more than a minor ankle injury.
  • How much your medical bills cost. People with high medical expenses will have higher payouts at the lawsuit’s or settlement’s end.
  • Whether you need medical care in the future. Will you completely heal after two months or require ongoing medical care and rehabilitation?
  • How the injuries affect your life. If you have difficulty walking and dressing, you might receive more money in a settlement.
  • Whether you can do the same work you did before the accident.

How Your Car Crash Lawyer Can Help

car accident lawyer

Engaging a car crash lawyer is imperative when a road hazard causes your injuries. It is often difficult to unwind which government entity is responsible for the road condition or design that injured you. One of the most important duties of the attorney is to conduct a complete accident investigation and determine how it happened. Your attorney will gather all evidence relevant to your specific case and determine which government entities are liable for your damages. Suing a government organization takes a tenacious attorney willing to go on as long as it takes for financial justice. That’s why selecting an experienced car accident litigator will be one of your most important decisions.

Contact A Car Accident Attorney Today

If you suffered an injury in a car accident due to a road hazard, you might be unsure where to turn. Who is responsible? How do you seek the compensation you deserve? What is the legal process? Are there deadlines you might be missing?

A dedicated, skilled auto accident lawyer can determine how the accident happened and who is responsible. They can identify and meet all important deadlines.

Experienced auto accident attorneys have many resources to determine how an accident happened and how a road hazard got on the road. Talk to a personal injury lawyer in Augusta today for a complimentary consultation. This is the first step to determining accident liability and receiving compensation for your damages.