Pothole Car Accidents

Potholes are often difficult to safely avoid when traveling at higher speeds and can cause motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, potholes are a frequent occurrence throughout the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. Inclement weather and a steady pattern of freezing and thawing as well as constant use can cause the top layer of asphalt to wear away and expose the base below. When a small pothole happens, rainwater and snow can increase the size of the potholes through a process of freezing and thawing, a mechanical weathering process known as frost wedging. The more people that drive over the potholes, the more damage occurs to the asphalt. When potholes become large enough, cars driving over the potholes can become stuck, or a wheel can get temporarily stuck and cause the car to veer or swerve dangerously.

If you have suffered an injury in a car accident caused by a pothole, or by being impacted by another vehicle that has been in contact with a pothole you may be entitled to compensation. North Carolina law allows plaintiffs to recover compensation from the negligent person or company who caused their injuries. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC our attorneys fight hard to protect our clients’ rights. We conduct investigations into our clients’ cases to determine who is at fault for the car accident that caused their injuries. Contact our personal injury law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Vehicle Damage Caused by Potholes

Even small potholes can cause severe damage to a motor vehicle. Driving over a pothole puts a significant strain on the shock absorbers and suspension of motor vehicles. Large potholes can cause even more damage to motor vehicles. Large potholes can cause as much damage to a car as a 35 mile-per-hour motor vehicle accident. Despite local governments attempting to repair potholes, potholes continue to exist all over the United States.

Accidents Related to Potholes can Cause Serious Personal Injury

A pothole car accident occurs when a vehicle drives over a large pothole. In response to the intense blow of contact with the pothole, the motorist may lose control of the vehicle. The sudden, unexpected impact with the pothole can throw the motor vehicle into another lane and cause a collision with an oncoming car or car traveling in the same direction. If a vehicle is driving at high speeds when it traverses over a pothole, a severe collision can result.

Who is at Fault in an Auto Accident Involving a Pothole?

The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, is legally bound to maintain and repair highways and roadways. The city must also make sure that the roads are free of damage or defects. Similarly, the North Carolina Department of Transportation must follow its strict guidelines when it comes to maintaining roads, streets, and highways. If a highway or freeway in North Carolina fails to meet the requirements outlined by the Department of Transportation, the injured party may be able to attempt to recover compensation from a related city or locality.

However, determining who is at fault in a pothole injury can be challenging. To bring a suit against a city or local government, the plaintiff must prove the following elements:

  • The municipality or city knew about the pothole or should have known about the pothole
  • The municipality or city failed to remedy the dangerous roadway condition or pothole

If another driver swerves to avoid a pothole and in doing so, collides with your vehicle, you may have a right to sue the other driver. Drivers have a duty of reasonable care to drive safely. Drivers must keep a lookout for dangerous conditions when driving. Even drivers who try to avoid running over a pothole might be liable for the accident they cause. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC we analyze all of the facts of our clients’ car accidents. After thoroughly investigating their claims, we advise our clients as to who may be liable for the accident.

The Attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC can Help

If you have suffered an injury in a car accident caused by a pothole, we may be able to help. North Carolina law allows plaintiffs to seek compensation from the individual or company whose negligence caused their injuries. Whether a city failed to maintain a road or another driver caused a car accident after swerving to get out of the way of a pothole, you may be entitled to compensation.

Successful personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to several types of compensation. Personal injury plaintiffs could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain, suffering, and possibly punitive damages. Contact our personal injury law firm today to learn how we can help you. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.

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