It might sound odd to call a road “unreasonably dangerous” or “defective” if you think of it simply as a way to get from one place to another. In fact, local, state and federal agencies are required to design safe roads. Each year, hazardous and defective road conditions cause motor vehicle accidents resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. However, when police and insurance companies investigate accidents they might not take into account the role an obstructed intersection or a road design defect plays in causing accidents that lead to severe injuries and fatalities.
Some examples of hazards that can cause accidents and create liability for the government are:
- Inadequate shoulders
- Insufficient warning signs
- Lack of guard rails
- Obstructed intersections
- Narrow traffic lanes
- Poorly designed merge lanes
- Hazardous road construction debris
- Severe pavement defects, including large potholes
Determining that road defects caused an automobile accident may be extremely time-consuming and suing governmental entities under the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA) requires that a person file a claim within 180 days from the date of their injury or the death of their loved one. Filing a claim in time is only the first hurdle, governmental immunity is difficult to overcome, as the CTCA has many complicated provisions that present potential traps for the inexperienced attorney or layperson.
If a road or signage contributed to causing a crash, it's vitally important to consult with an auto accident attorney experienced in the laws governing dangerous road conditions and design defects. Contact seasoned Sacramento & Elk Grove auto accident lawyers John O'Brien & Grant Zehnder as soon as possible at 916.714.8200.