A driver is only as safe as the road he or she is driving upon. Dangerous road conditions, such as roadway defects or debris in the roadway, can compromise a driver’s ability to safely control the vehicle. This can lead to preventable car accidents and injuries. If you were injured in an accident in San Antonio involving a dangerous road condition, find out who may be liable.
Potholes and Road Defects
Potholes are one of the most common road defects in accident claims. Potholes occur when bad weather or improper road construction causes the asphalt to collapse inward. A pothole could cause a tire blowout, vehicle rollover or another type of accident. While the pothole itself will not create liability for the accident, a negligent failure to notice or remedy the pothole in a reasonable amount of time could. Other examples of road surface defects are cracks, uneven shoulders, drop-offs, loose rubble, and water pooling.
Missing Guardrails or Reflectors
Roadway safety features are important for preventing car accidents and injuries. Two of the most vital tools are guardrails and reflectors – especially on winding rural roads in Texas. Missing or damaged safety elements, including guardrails, reflectors and road paint, can contribute to driver confusion and serious accidents. A missing guardrail could also contribute to the severity of a crash or the victim’s injuries.
Lack of Roadway Signs
Roadway signs are what drivers use to understand where they are, where they need to go and what possible hazards to look out for. It is a city’s responsibility to post warning signs when appropriate, such as “Caution: Falling Rocks” or “Animals Crossing.” Missing road signs could cause an accident. A sign that is obstructed by a tree limb or bush is also a dangerous road condition.
Broken or Malfunctioning Traffic Lights
If a traffic light is malfunctioning at an intersection in downtown San Antonio, the outcome could be catastrophic. Two drivers may enter the intersection at the same time, leading to a T-bone collision. A driver could also fail to yield to a crossing pedestrian. Issues with signage and signal control devices are dangerous road conditions that could prove deadly for road users.
Dangerously Designed Roads
Some dangerous road conditions are inherent to the design of the street. A poorly designed crosswalk or intersection, for example, could put pedestrians at undue risk of harm when crossing the street. It is a city’s job to put enough thought, care and research into the design of a roadway, sidewalk or intersection to ensure the reasonable safety of all users.
Roadside construction zones can contain many hazards for drivers: loose gravel, uneven roads, equipment too near the road, confusing detours, bright lights and lack of signs are common examples. These dangerous conditions could cause a car accident that injures both the driver and a construction worker. It is the construction company’s responsibility to maintain a hazard-free work zone.
A bad storm in Texas could lead to dangerous road conditions such as downed powerlines, tree limbs or branches in the road, flooded roads, damaged asphalt and storm debris. Although no one is responsible for preventing storms or storm damage, a city does have a duty to inspect its roads after a storm and do its best to either repair the damage or warn drivers of discovered risks.
Who Is Liable for a Dangerous Road Condition Accident?
If a road defect or dangerous condition caused your car accident in San Antonio, the government could be liable for your injuries. It is the state and city government’s legal responsibility to ensure the safety of its roads. It must do so through regular roadway inspections, prompt repairs and fast responses to driver complaints. If you or your San Antonio car accident lawyer can prove that the entity responsible for roadway maintenance failed to prevent or repair the dangerous road condition that caused your accident, it could be liable for your damages.