Car accidents are sometimes caused by dangerous road conditions that could have been eliminated. Government agencies such as the U.S Department of Transportation and CalTrans have a responsibility to keep roads maintained and in safe condition, but it is not always possible for them to make repairs and implement upgrades in a timely manner. Some serious driving hazards can be caused by:
- inadequate signage
- defective or poor traffic lighting
- damage to roads, such as potholes
- broken guardrails
- poorly graded curves
- uneven shoulders
- obstructive landscaping
- inappropriate construction materials
Road Design Cases are Difficult to Prosecute
Though sometimes the poor road design can be the fault of an independent construction company or design firm, usually liability lies with the government.
But making a case against the government is difficult. Federal and local governments have what is called “sovereign immunity” which means that they usually can’t be sued. However, it can be possible to file a suit in cases where it can be proven that the government was extremely negligent in its duty to maintain safe driving conditions. For example, if a road design was known to be potentially hazardous and no steps were taken to make corrections, there may be a legitimate case.
Filing a lawsuit against a government agency involves a lot of bureaucratic “red tape” and of course, the government has more resources available than most ordinary citizens do. Proving that your accident was caused by negligent road design will require answering complex engineering and mathematical questions.
Evidence of Negligent Road Design
Hopefully, someone called the police and filed a report after your accident. The police will document the circumstances of your accident, take photos or draw diagrams of the scene, and interview any available witnesses. It’s possible that the local police will have record of other accidents that have occurred in the same spot, which would aid in substantiating your case. Your attorney will work closely with the police and engineering experts to gather evidence and make sure justice is served.
Take the first step toward getting the compensation you deserve is to contact a lawyer for a free case evaluation. We have English and Chinese speaking personal injury lawyers available, and offices conveniently located in Sacramento, Roseville, Folsom and Oakland.