How Road Defects Can Cause Motor Vehicle Accidents
Even if you’re a cautious driver who does their best to avoid creating dangerous situations on the road, unfortunately, it’s still possible to be involved in an accident if someone else is negligent. Usually, when an accident results from the negligence of another party, the careless individual who caused the accident is another motorist.
However, there are exceptions. Some accidents occur because of roadway defects. Examples of defects that could potentially lead to a collision include:
Defective traffic signals
Traffic signals must work properly to ensure drivers know when they can and can’t proceed through intersections. The odds of an accident occurring may increase substantially if a traffic signal isn’t functioning properly.
Sometimes, vegetation is allowed to grow to such an extent that it results in blind spots at intersections. A collision may occur if high vegetation prevents a driver from being able to determine if there is any oncoming traffic when they enter an intersection or turn onto a road.
Vegetation isn’t the only potential obstruction that might negatively impact a driver’s view. Other obstructions, such as poorly-placed utility poles, could have the same effect.
Lack of proper signage
Like traffic signals, stop signs, yield signs, and other forms of road signage play a critical role in letting motorists know how to safely navigate a roadway. Accidents can sometimes occur when adequate signage has not been installed. Or, accidents may happen if signs are obstructed or damaged.
Hydroplaning involves a vehicle’s tires no longer being in contact with the road due to a layer of water. When a vehicle hydroplanes, a driver has little to no control over it. Hydroplaning may also be more common when roadways have not been equipped with adequate drainage systems.
General poor road design
There are various ways in which the basic design of a road can make it unreasonably dangerous. For example, a highway may lack sufficient shoulder space, or highway exits/entrances might have been designed improperly.
Seeking Compensation When Roadway Defects Cause Accidents
Have you been involved in an accident in North Carolina resulting from a defect like one of these? If so, you may be eligible for financial compensation.
North Carolina is a fault or “tort” state in regard to car accidents. In North Carolina, if an accident is the result of someone’s negligence, victims can seek compensation by filing a claim with the negligent party’s insurance, or by filing a lawsuit and pursuing damages in court.
This usually involves filing a claim with the insurance of another driver. However, it’s important to understand that various government agencies are tasked with maintaining safe roads. Thus, it may be possible to file a claim with such an agency’s insurance if you were hurt in an accident because said agency didn’t fulfill one of its key responsibilities.
Just be aware that proving you were injured because an agency responsible for maintaining safe roads was negligent can be challenging. In these circumstances, you may strongly consider enlisting the help of an attorney who has the experience necessary to gather evidence, document your losses/damages, etc.
At Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, a Charlotte car accident lawyer would gladly review your case and discuss potential legal options. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 704-335-1500.