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Who Can I Sue If I Was in An Accident Caused by Potholes or Poor Road Conditions?

Who Can I Sue If I Was in An Accident Caused by Potholes or Poor Road Conditions?

Although many car accidents are the result of negligent drivers, other factors like road erosion, potholes, and missing guardrails can factor into who should be held liable for damages. However, proving fault for poor road conditions can be more challenging than when another driver is at fault for an accident because you will need to prove that the agency or company responsible for maintaining or planning the road was negligent.

Who Can Be Sued for Neglected Road Maintenance?

Cities, counties, and states are responsible for maintaining the roads. Sometimes, several government agencies share maintenance responsibilities for a certain roadway. If your accident was caused by a pothole or an unpaved road, then you need to determine which agency you are bringing the action against.

Once you determine which agency is responsible for maintaining or planning the road, you will need to show how the agency’s negligence contributed to the accident. Proof of negligence can include:

  • The agency had reasonable notice of a safety issue with the road
  • The agency had a reasonable opportunity to fix the issue
  • The agency failed to take the proper steps, resulting in the accident
  • Evidence of a safety-related construction defect with the planning/execution of the road

Suing the Government for a Car Accident

Most government agencies are immune from lawsuits unless you obtain permission. To file a claim against a state government or local municipality, you must first show the governmental entity knew or should reasonably have known of the problem with the road.

Although negligence in maintaining a roadway can be grounds for a claim, there are narrow constraints and each state has its own unique rules that cover claims against the government at the state and local level. These procedures vary and generally have a limited timeframe to notify the proper government entity of the date and exact location of the accident and the amount of compensation you are seeking.

If you're not sure if the state, county, or local government agency is legally responsible for the maintenance of the road where your vehicle was damaged, then please contact Daspit Law Firm today so we can provide the qualified legal guidance you need. Call (888) 273-1045 for a free case consultation.