Most car accidents are caused by motorists who crash into another car or force a vehicle off the road. But in some cases, a road defect is to blame. These road defects might lead to single-vehicle accidents, or they could cause you to lose control and collide with another car or a building. When a defect is to blame, the person or entity responsible for the road should shoulder the costs of the accident. Our Houston car accident lawyer takes a closer look at this type of accident.
Common Road Defects
Roads should be properly maintained for the safety of all drivers. But many roads in and around our cities are in disarray. Any of the following could cause a motorist to lose control or collide with someone:
- Shoulder drop-off. Due to repeated paving, the road can sit much higher than the shoulder, creating a “lip” or drop-off. If your car slides off onto the shoulder, it is easy to flip over or lose control.
- Potholes. Potholes are craters in the road which progressively get worse if they aren’t repaired. A pothole can damage your vehicle but also cause you to swerve into oncoming traffic.
- Missing signs. Roads should have proper signs posted, such as Stop signs or Yield signs. Some roads are lacking necessary signage either due to vandalism or neglect. In the city, overhanging branches might obscure a sign so that drivers don’t see it.
- Missing or defective guardrails. A guardrail prevents a car from sliding off the road, and for that reason is an essential piece of equipment. Some roads are missing guardrails, or the rails are old and defective. On a highway, a car can slide into oncoming lanes if the guardrail fails.
- Construction debris. A company working on the road could leave debris or tools behind, which can cause vehicles to crash when they hit it or swerve to avoid it.
What to Do After a Crash
Ideally, you should try to photograph the defect. For example, if you hit some debris that caused you to slide into oncoming traffic, get out of your car and take pictures of the debris. The same is true of a pothole or a stretch of road without a guardrail. You will want evidence that the defect existed.
Consulting an attorney is a big help in establishing who has responsibility for the road. Ultimately, the local government should keep the road safe. But they might have hired a contractor who also bears legal liability for doing poor road work.
Why Do You Need a Houston Personal Lawyer?
Suing a government agency in Texas is no walk in the park. Although the state is typically immune from lawsuits, Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 101.0215 makes an exception if you are injured by a state employee who was negligent in doing their job. However, § 101.101 requires that you give the government notice of the accident no later than six months after it happened.
Contact the car accident lawyers in Houston at Husain Law + Associates today. We can help investigate your wreck and bring a claim against the correct business or governmental entity.