Road Hazards Car Accident
Road hazards like potholes may seem like merely an annoyance. However, every year, Charlotte residents suffer injuries resulting from road hazards such as potholes. In addition to driving defensively to protect oneself from distracted drivers, Charlotte drivers must also look out for road hazards. Road debris, poorly maintained roads, potholes, and other road hazards can easily cause a multiple-vehicle accident in Charlotte. One large pothole can cause a vehicle to swerve into another car, which could result in serious injuries or fatalities.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in a road hazard motor vehicle accident, we can help. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in personal injury lawsuits. When preventable road conditions and hazards cause car accidents, it may be possible for the injured party to recover damages from the person or entity responsible for maintaining the road on which the accident occurred. Contact our car accident law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation and discuss how our attorneys can help.Common Road Hazards in Charlotte, North Carolina
Drivers can encounter many different types of road hazards on North Carolina’s roads. From potholes that often become worse in the winter to improper road signage and debris, the potential for motor vehicle accidents is significant. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have successfully represented clients who have suffered injuries caused by a variety of sources. Some common road hazards that may cause injury include:
- Improperly maintained roads: Potholes, worn bridges, and uneven pavement can all cause accidents. Poorly maintained roads all create potential risks for motorists.
- Damaged utility lines: Leaking gas lines, broken water mains, and hazards related to downed power lines can cause serious motor vehicle accidents. Downed power lines are more likely to occur during storms. In many instances, electric currents combined with rainwater can create the potential for electrical fires and explosions.
- Poorly maintained foliage: North Carolina residents might be surprised at how many car accidents happen as a result of leaf and debris in the road. Fallen trees can obstruct drivers' views resulting in deadly accidents. When a tree falls in the middle of a dangerous intersection, drivers are often tempted to move into the road without being able to see whether or not another vehicle is approaching in the opposite direction.
- Malfunctioning traffic signals: Cities and municipalities owe drivers a duty to maintain traffic lights and signals. When traffic control devices break, the flow of traffic becomes inefficient, and it becomes hard to pass by safely. Poorly placed signs that are not easily visible can also cause accidents. Drivers may miss the signs entirely or strain to read the signs, causing them to lose focus on the road.
- Poorly-placed road construction machinery: Road construction crews have to operate safely while on the road. Crews can work near the road or on the road itself so long as they take the necessary measures to ensure that they don't back into traffic or cause dangerous disruptions that can cause motor vehicle accidents.
- Objects falling from other vehicles: Drivers must properly tie up and secure any loose items on their truck or trailer beds. When debris flies off of a tractor or truck bed onto the road, it can smash into another driver's windshield. When debris falls onto the road, a driver may swerve around it to avoid hitting the debris and collide with another car.
The state of North Carolina will pay out monetary damages when poor road conditions cause motor vehicle accidents. Since 2013, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has received 716 road-related damage claims. The claims range from potholes to guardrail accidents. The department paid out 52, or 7%, of the claims. Cities will only pay for claims when they had prior knowledge of the road damage and a reasonable period to repair the damage.Bringing a Lawsuit for Car Accidents Caused by Road Hazards
If you have suffered an injury in a car accident caused by road hazards, you might be entitled to damages. The state of North Carolina and the cities of Charlotte, Monroe Mooresville and other cities throughout the state have a duty to maintain the roads. Injured parties may have a right to compensation from the government agency that failed to maintain the road. If another driver's negligence caused the accident, the injured party might have a right to bring a lawsuit against the negligent driver in civil court. Contact our car accident law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation and discuss how our attorneys can help.