Common Road Hazards
Driving, even when conditions are favorable and a motorist is paying attention and driving carefully, can be a dangerous activity. There are, however, certain types of road hazards that can and do significantly increase a person’s chances of being involved in a car accident. Although it can be more difficult to hold individuals and entities liable for their negligence in causing these types of road defects and resulting accidents, it is possible, so if you were involved in a road hazard-related car crash, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer who can explain your legal options.
Of the many types of road hazards that are most often linked to car accidents, potholes are perhaps the most commonly occurring. Whether caused by regular wear and tear, natural weathering, or the use of improper materials, these bowl-shaped openings in the asphalt can have serious consequences for motorists, especially for those who are traveling at high speeds. Although in many cases, potholes and similar types of road defects may only cause damage to the vehicle itself, particularly large potholes can cause a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle, resulting in either a single vehicle crash or a collision with another car.
Water left sitting on the road during or immediately after a storm can also be extremely dangerous for drivers, as it is often difficult to judge its depth until it is too late to avoid it. In these cases, it is not uncommon for drivers to hydroplane, or slide uncontrollably on the wet surface, which in turn, can lead to collisions. Fortunately, when injured parties are able to demonstrate that the existence of the standing water was due primarily to an engineering design error, or to the use of improper building materials, they could be eligible to recover damages from the at-fault parties compensating them for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
When temperatures are especially low and water is left standing on a roadway, surfaces can and do become icy. Ice, even more than water, can make it difficult, or nearly impossible, to control a vehicle. Skidding is particularly dangerous in these cases, as it usually leaves drivers with no control over their vehicle’s path and as a result, can lead to devastating multi-vehicle collisions. The buildup of ice on roadways cannot always be prevented, but if a municipality or a company with which a city has contracted fails to clear the roads or distribute salt as required, it could be held liable for resulting accidents.
In Florida, cities can be held liable for accidents caused by road defects, but only if the defect is found to have existed for a sufficient length of time to allow for its discovery and repair. When assessing liability in these cases, courts will usually evaluate how long the defect was present prior to the accident, as well as its size and noticeability. Even when liability is found to exist, however, a plaintiff must abide by certain rules in order to recover damages, including filing a notice of claim with the city within six months of the date of the accident.
Call an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
To discuss your case with an experienced and compassionate Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorney, please contact Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 today.