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Who Is Liable for Accidents Caused by Poor Road Conditions in California? A Government Entity?

The California Department of Transportation manages a majority of the state’s highways and freeways. Bringing a lawsuit against a government entity can be an uphill battle because not all accidents attributable to bad road conditions result in liability. Consult an expert car accident lawyer at Kash Legal to determine your legal options and whether you have valid claims for damages when an accident occurs due to dangerous road conditions.

A seasoned attorney can help since the process and the timeline for filing a claim against a government body like Caltrans differ from a typical civil lawsuit. To win a case against a government agency or privately contracted entity, your lawyer must prove they were lax in their road maintenance duties. Consequently, their oversight caused your accident. If a dangerous condition existed and the government failed to discover it within a reasonable time, they could be held liable for damages.

It’s worth mentioning that most states and federal government agencies have immunity from lawsuits and can’t be sued without permission. Additionally, each US state has specific rules that cover claims against any state or local government entity for damage compensation. Caltrans, for example, has a distinct process for filing a claim, which depends on the number of damages you seek. You may file a claim with the Department of Transportation if the amount of your claim is $10,000 or less. Damages over $10,000 should be filed with the Sacramento Government Claims Program. A Kash Legal attorney can help you understand the process, including your legal options and identifying the responsible parties for road maintenance and hazardous conditions.

Establishing Negligence in Poor Road Maintenance or Design

Unfortunately, California highways are among the worst in the US, often plagued by dangerous conditions. Due to their deteriorating condition, motorists in the state’s cities spend too much on vehicle repair and maintenance. Maintenance of interstate highways and state highways is crucial to prevent accidents. Badly designed or poorly maintained roads play a significant role in vehicle accidents, causing drivers to lose control. Substandard road conditions can get worse due to bad weather, like heavy rain and snow, causing the roadways to be dangerously slippery, especially if left untreated.

Highway maintenance crews must properly maintain heavily traveled interstates and state freeways, as damage and wear are expected with overuse. While some infrastructure damage can be corrected or minimized, routine maintenance can ensure the safety of drivers and other road users. Whether your car accident was caused by uneven pavement, damaged asphalt, poorly marked roads, broken guardrails, lack of traffic signals, or nighttime lighting, it must be investigated.

Proving that motorway deterioration led to your accident allows you to file a lawsuit against the government agency responsible for that road maintenance. The city might be responsible for de-icing roadways, while a state may be in charge of filling potholes. An attorney can help determine which government agency to approach.

Proving Your California Poor Road Condition Claim

If your accident resulted from poor road conditions, ensure you note the location of the hazardous condition, its physical characteristics, the name of the road, and eyewitness reports, if any. It is crucial to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to file a claim related to your personal injury case. For a valid compensation claim, identify the government agency or privately contracted entity that owed you a duty to keep the road safe.

You must then establish that the agency knew there was an issue with the road and failed to take the necessary steps, culminating in the crash. Next, bring a negligence claim against the responsible party by issuing a written notice to the Department of Financial Services. The notification must be filed within a statute of limitations, which ranges from six months to two years for accidents brought about by poor road conditions. The types of damages victims can recover include the cost of past and future medical bills.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney for California Road Accidents today

If you are involved in an accident caused by poor or defective road conditions, consider having a qualified professional represent you. You may be able to recover the cost of past and future medical bills as part of the damages caused by the accident. Any personal injury claims require thorough investigation to establish liability, and a dedicated lawyer from Kash Legal can help you decide if you have a valid claim.

Based on the evidence collected, you may be eligible for compensation to help pay for medical expenses, property damage, loss of wages, and more. Leverage our combined years of experience in personal injury suits to help you bring the liable party to justice. Call our team of personal injury lawyers at (888) 527-4128 or fill out our contact form to discuss your case.

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