Guide to Maximum Money for Injuries Caused by Poor Road Conditions

Brad Nakase, Attorney


Email Brad


Many severe road accidents are due to the poor condition of roads and highways. In the USA about one-third of the total road accidents are due to the bad conditions of the road. In which around two million people get injured, and 22000 people lose their lives each year.

Although the city government has special funds and departments for the designing, building, and maintenance of roads, it is not convenient to track the condition of every single street.

When you are injured or have any other kind of damage due to a crash that inadequate conditions on the road caused, you deserve compensation for your loss.

Here is everything you should understand to make a claim for your compensation to the road safety agencies.

Poor Condition of Road:

Speeding, driving under the influence, and distracted driving is common causes of accidents. Poor road conditions also add a significant amount to the massive number of car accidents that happen each year.


Typical issues with roads that can result in an accident:

  • Objects in the road
  • Signs that are hidden, broken, or lost
  • Guardrails that are missing or inadequate
  • Crack in the pavement or potholes
  • Poor traffic management around construction zones
  • Faded paint, like missing the center or edge marks
  • Winter roads that have not been treated
  • Drops off shoulders on the road

Example:

  • Aaron was driving on Park Avenue to get to a meeting. Amanda was also driving on Park Avenue to get to University.
  • Amanda received a text from her friend and read it while driving. While looking at her phone her tire dipped in a pothole which jerked her steering wheel out of her hands and forced her car into the oncoming lane.
  • Aaron was driving one of those oncoming vehicles. There wasn’t enough time for Aaron to react and their two cars hit head-on. Aaron was rushed to the ER with severe injuries of skull fracture and bleeding internally.
  • Amanda was considered liable because she was using a cell phone while driving when the accident occurred even though the actual cause of the crash was the pothole.
  • Aaron claimed for compensation of his loss to Amanda’s insurance company and the city who was responsible for the maintenance of the road.

Protection of Claim:

If you already know what to do after you were involved in an crash that inadequate road conditions caused, it would be easy for you to proceed with the compensation claim. It doesn’t matter if it was a single car or a multiple car accident.

  • Call 911: The first thing you should do when you get involved in a car accident is call 911. Give your location to the dispatcher, informing them of the injuries caused by the crash. Also, report if you think the other driver might be under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.
  • If you are physically able, gather all the crucial pieces of evidence from the scene of the accident. If you are not in good physical shape after the crash, have someone who is with you gather information.
  • Medical Care: Inform the paramedic team about every injury that you may have, no matter how small it is and cooperate with them. If the paramedic team insists on transferring you to a hospital, don’t refuse and let them move you to a hospital.If you are not transferred to the ER directly from the accident scene, go to a doctor for your complete medical checkup.The reason behind this is that if you refuse or delay the medical treatment process or don’t cooperate with the paramedics, this can be used against your compensation claim. The adjuster can take it as an argument that your wounds are not directly related to an accident, and hence the claim you filed is undermined.
  • Statement of Witnesses: It may be possible that the witnesses may not have enough time to appear in front of the investigating officer on his call for the interviews. It is a fact that witness reports can play a crucial role in your claim process. So, request the witnesses to give their report in written form about what they saw at the accident site. It will be tremendous points in your favor if some witness saw how the accident took place due to the hazardous condition of the road. Ask the witness to include the date and their signature on the statement.
  • Photos and Videos: Pictures are solid evidence in any case because they don’t lie. If you are physically able, take as many photos as you can. If you are not, have someone else with you take the photos. Try photographing the poor condition of the road and the destroyed vehicles from many different angles. Try to date stamp the pictures. Also, make sure to clarify through pictures the place of accident and the pothole or another road hazard that resulted in an accident because the road may get repaired before the settlement takes place.
  • Information Exchange: If some other driver was part of the accident, note down their name, information about their insurance, and their contact information. Also, record the details of their car.
  • Medical Bill and record: Medical records have nothing to do with proving the cause of the accident. But it will show that the injuries incurred to you are solely due to the crash. So take the copies of reports and bills from any medical facilities along with the record of the provider. Also, count the costs from your own pocket, and keep a record of your mileage spent on the medical visits. These medical bills will be of great help in the calculation of injury compensation amount.
  • Lost Wages: Request the employer to provide you a statement of lost pay, along with the vacations required to get fully recovered from your injuries.
  • Take Notes: Take notes of everything that you remember about the incident. How you get to know the cause of the crash. Also make notes about your pain levels, injuries, and physical disabilities you had to face due to your injuries.
  • Records of Surveys: City government often takes surveys to discover adverse conditions of roads. It would be of great help if you show proof that your accident happened due to one of these survey resulted in hazard. To get the results of the survey, you can contact the office of county commissioner or Department of Transportation.

Where you can find compensation:

Every case of road accident is individual. There are various ways to claims for the compensation to different sources.

Your Car Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance carrier even if some other reason causes the accident and you are not responsible. There is a term used in contract “Notice Clause.” This clause means that you will report any accident and cooperate in the investigation of the crash.

The wording of the notice clause is as given below:

  • “Insured agrees to notify the insurer of any accidents and thereafter comply with all information, assistance, and cooperation which the insurer reasonably requests, and agrees that in the event of a claim the insurer and the insured will do nothing that shall prejudice the insurer’s position…”

If you are living in a city with no-fault insurance, you must ask your own insurance company for the payment of personal injuries. Med pay and Personal Injury Protection involve the payment of all expenses due to medical injuries, wages lost, and out-of-pocket costs. Keep in mind the compensation for suffering and pain is not included.

In no-fault cities, you are permitted to claim compensation from the other driver if you are severely injured, or your expenses have exceeded your PIP limit.

The insurance company of at-fault Driver: You are involved in a collision where the cause is the negligence of another driver, but there were also poor conditions on the road. You must submit the compensation claim to the other driver’s insurance carrier.

Before this claim, you have to show proof that:

  • The driver’s actions were negligent
  • The direct or indirect fault of the crash is the negligence of the driver
  • Your injury and damages are as a result of the crash
  • The liability of damages is on the driver

A Third-Party Was Negligent: What if a third party’s negligent actions caused poor road conditions? You must claim for compensation of your losses and damages to that third party if their actions caused an accident. It is not the government’s fault.

  • For example, your car crashed into a guard-rail after slipping from loose gravel placed on the road. A construction truck spilled the gravel while traveling to a construction site in the nearby vicinity. In such a case, you can file a compensation claim with the construction company’s insurance.

Governmental Agencies: Most of the roads fall under the responsibility of local government, and it is possible the road with hazards to traffic may fall under these premises. Some of the main roads and highways are under the federal government’s jurisdiction.

Compensation claim against Government:

You have to prove the following things for the successful claim against the government:

  • The road on which the accident happened is the responsibility of the governmental agency
  • The condition of the street was hazardous when the accident took place
  • The cause of the crash is a dangerous road
  • The governmental agency responsible for the street must know about the hazard condition of the street that can result in a collision.
  • The governmental agency could not repair the hazardous condition of the road in time

Legal Research:

Visit the federal courthouse and study lawsuits that were filed against the Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration. Specifically, find the cases about road quality in the region where your accident occurred.

Visit the office of the county clerk and study the lawsuits against the local city government or private construction companies about designing, constructing, and maintaining the roads. Specifically, find the cases more closely related to your accidents and see what kind of pieces of evidence were used by the plaintiff and how much compensation was approved.

Contact the office of the attorney general of the state and ask for the copy of advisory opinion given to the local or state governmental agencies related to road conditions and hazards.

Search online about the lawsuits against government agencies and more specifically, the claim notices issued to governmental agencies, hearing of the court or lawsuits related to road accidents.

Keep in mind that the victim of the accident has complete right to seek the consultation of some professional personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can manage the compensation claim, filing of a claim, the value of the amount that is fair for the injury compensation. He/she can also file the lawsuit against a governmental agency if required.

Filing Claim Notice:

If you are planning to file a claim against the governmental agency, you will start by filing claim notice that is specified by the governmental agency for the injury compensation.

This notice formally notifies the government that you have filed a claim. If you want to file a claim against multiple governmental agencies, file the separate claim notice against each agency.

Fill in the claim notice form accurately to avoid any rejection and get it through the processed quickly.

The details of the accident must be entered in the claim form. Details include the location, time, and date of the accident along with the complete explanation about designing, constructing, and maintaining road due to which accident occurred.

The claim form must contain the whole list of injuries and damages incurred to you by the collision along with the suitable proof that the accident occurred due to negligent behavior of governmental agency.

After the filing of your claim, the governmental agency reviews it. They decide whether to reject the claim or proceed it further for the administrative hearing. This is where the victim can present his/her case.

If the claim is rejected in this hearing, the victim has the right to make an administrative appeal.

If the administrative appeal is also rejected, the only way to file the compensation claim is sue the governmental agency whose negligence resulted in your accident.

Need of an Attorney:

It is not advisable to seek an attorney consultation and file the claim with the governmental agency if PIP and Med pay recovery are enough for the compensation of your injuries and losses. It will just be a waste of time if you still go after the governmental agency and spend money on the attorney’s consultation.

If the coverage provided by the auto insurance company is not enough for the compensation of your injuries and losses, you can rely on health insurance. After that, you will have to deal with deductibles.

Severe injuries like Traumatic Brain Injuries, damages to the spinal cord, or any broken bone, involve high amount, complex claims. If you are injured severely, you can have an attorney who will get the available amount of compensation for you. It will be the duty of the attorney to find out all sources of compensation to get the maximum amount.

A professional personal injury attorney will get compensation from:

  • The driver who partially caused the accident even if road conditions was poor.
  • The third-party due to which hazard created on-road and caused an accident
  • The governmental agency whose negligent behavior caused the accident

The attorney will deal with all the sources of compensation if there are multiple reasons behind the accident cause.

So, don’t wait if you are injured in a road accident due to poor road condition. Find a professional personal injury attorney and file the compensation claim before the time limit runs out.

Call or Write for a Free Confidential Consultation

If you or someone you love need an aggressive and compassionate attorney who will listen and aggressively protect your interest, we invite you to call attorney Brad for a free consultation.

I’d like to hear your story. What happened?

$0 Upfront

There is no money upfront to hire me.

$0 Unless We Win

No Fee – Unless We Win

98% Success Rate

I’ve won 98% of my clients’ cases.

Insurance Insider

I’ve worked at a major national law firm serving big name insurance companies by defending insurance companies and their insureds who were sued for millions of dollars.

I Care

My success is measured in the real differences made to my clients’ quality of life. I focus on achieving the most exceptional and fairest compensation for my clients.

© Copyright | Nakase Law Firm (2019)