The conditions of the road surface have an enormous impact on the safety of motor vehicle travel. Dangerous road defects, hazards and issues can make it impossible for a vehicle to travel safely from point A to point B – potentially resulting in serious car accidents and injuries. If you get involved in a crash caused by poor road conditions in San Antonio, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Speak to a San Antonio car accident attorney to discuss your legal options following the collision.
The Dangers of Road Defects
Even the most careful and prudent motor vehicle driver could get involved in an accident if the road beneath his or her tires contains defects. A road with rough patches, holes or pits could pop a vehicle’s tires or force it to lose control and veer off the road. Vehicle blowout accidents, rollovers and hydroplaning are three examples of accidents that can be caused by road defects. No amount of vehicle maintenance or driver experience can make up for a dangerous road. This is why it is imperative for government agencies to expend resources on proper road maintenance.
Examples of Dangerous Road Conditions in San Antonio
An old, faulty, worn down or uneven road in San Antonio could contain a number of identifiable risks for drivers. A road that has fallen into a state of disrepair or that was constructed incorrectly from the beginning may have many defects that put drivers in harm’s way. Common examples of poor road conditions include:
- Cracked or uneven asphalt
- Loose gravel or rubble
- Grass clippings, oil spills or other slippery surfaces
- Storm debris or garbage in the road
- Uneven shoulders
- Missing guardrails or reflectors
- Dangerous construction zones or detours
- Unsafe road or intersection designs
- Obscured stop signs or traffic signals
- Faded paint markings
- Malfunctioning traffic lights
- Inadequate street lighting
- Streets that are not properly treated after ice or snow
Any of these issues have the capacity to cause a deadly car accident. It is not always possible for a driver to avoid road hazards. A defect may not be noticed until it is too late, for example, or be severe enough that it is unavoidable. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to road defects on their smaller and lighter vehicles.
Who Is Liable for a Crash Caused by Road Conditions?
If a road defect causes a car accident in San Antonio, the government or entity in charge of road maintenance, upkeep and repair may be held liable (financially responsible). It is the city and state government’s duty to ensure the reasonable safety of its roads. This responsibility involves periodic road checks, prompt responses to road defect complaints, and planning construction projects or repairs when necessary. In addition, the government must design safe roadways and infrastructures.
If the entity in charge of road maintenance falls short of its responsibilities, the road can contain a defect. Anyone who suffers an injury due to the road condition may have the right to file a San Antonio personal injury lawsuit against the government agency. In Texas, claims against the government come with unique laws and requirements. For example, there is a much shorter statute of limitations (deadline for filing). While most car accident cases can be filed within two years, you may have as little as 45 days to bring a claim against the government, depending on the rules in your city.
If your crash occurred on private property, you may be able to hold the property owner liable instead. Proving your car accident claim in Texas requires clear and convincing evidence of negligence. Negligence means the defendant fell short of the duty of care, such as the legal obligation to ensure safe roads. If you wish to file a car accident claim after a crash caused by a road hazard or defect, contact an attorney for assistance. You may need a lawyer to help you with the complicated legal process.