Poor road maintenance has been a major problem in Virginia roads and can cause serious accidents. While many auto accidents are caused by another driver’s actions, some accidents may happen due to preventable road maintenance issues such as potholes. If you have been injured in an accident caused by bad road conditions, it is important to understand exactly who might be responsible for your accident and what type of evidence you will need to gather in order to file a claim.

Auto accidents caused by deteriorated roadway conditions may require further investigations and may benefit from bringing in the help of an expert to reconstruct the accident and understand how the poorly-maintained road contributed to it. Common factors that may cause this type of accident include potholes and ruts, debris that fell from other vehicles and remained on the road, and overgrown vegetation that blocks a driver’s view and makes it hard to detect oncoming traffic and view road signs.

In addition, an accident may be caused by defects in the road design, especially when a number of accidents happen in the same area. A road without enough traffic signs and signals may cause a driver to be unprepared for an oncoming change in direction, a sharp turn, or a heavy merge. Roads without guardrails can also be the cause of serious collisions or rollover accidents. Gathering enough evidence of the road conditions as well as photographic evidence of the scene of the crash is important in order to build a solid claim.

Who is Responsible for My Accident?

Your accident may be the result of negligence from one or multiple parties. If your crash happened on a public road, you may be able to sue the government and/or the company responsible for maintaining it. It is important to highlight that just because your car was damaged or you were injured on a state or county road, it does not necessarily mean the government will pay you. If your accident was on a private road, the property owner may be held responsible for your claim.

How is it Determined if the Government is to Blame?

State laws allow local governments to have a reasonable amount of time to discover poor road conditions through surveys or reports from concerned citizens. If your accident was caused by an unreported or undiscovered hazardous condition, it is less likely that the government will be held responsible for it. The exception is if you are able to prove that the government was aware of the dangerous condition (or should have known about it) and that it did not repair the problem even though it had a reasonable amount of time to do so.

Can a Car Accident Attorney Help?

Each case is different, and it is strongly suggested you contact a Virginia car accident and personal injury attorney so you can properly identify who is responsible for your injuries. The Johnson Law Firm, PC handles several cases on behalf of clients injured in a car accident and can help you understand the law and determine if you have an eligible claim. Contact our office for a free consultation.