When a driver causes an accident, he or she is financially responsible for the injuries and property damages that he or she causes. However, sometimes, a car accident is not caused by another driver but rather by the road itself. When this occurs, liability can be placed on the government agency that failed to maintain the roads and keep them in a safe, operable condition.
While it is not impossible to sue a government entity, it is far more difficult than suing a regular citizen or even a traditional business entity. The Allentown unsafe roadway attorneys at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin have extensive experience in suing government entities for unsafe road conditions and are prepared to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries and damages. If an unsafe road condition caused your accident, contact our Allentown law firm today.
The Government Has an Obligation to the Public
Just like a driver has an obligation to other drivers on the road to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner, so too does the government have an obligation to the public to keep all roadways, sidewalks, and public spaces in a reasonably safe operable condition. When a roadway is unreasonably unsafe, and when that roadway causes an accident, the government responsible for maintaining said roadway can be held liable for property damages and injuries. Some of the more common types of road conditions for which a government agency can be held liable include the following:
- Failure to Perform Proper Road Maintenance: Just like business owners have a responsibility to repair hazardous conditions in a timely manner, so too does the government have a responsibility to repair potholes, missing road signs, clogged storm drains, and other dangerous road conditions in a timely fashion. If the government fails to do so, and if someone gets injured as a result, the governing entity may be held liable.
- Defective Road Design:Sometimes, a road is inherently dangerous. For instance, some roadways dead end with no warning, or others have drop offs at the shoulder that can cause drivers to lose control and crash. Engineers have a responsibility to design roads that drivers can safely traverse in all weather conditions. If they fail to do so, they and the entity that hired them may be held liable.
- Lack of Traffic Signals:Municipal agencies are required to install stop signs, traffic signals, and other signage where necessary to prevent accidents at intersections and other confusing parts of the road. Failure to do so could result in an accident for which the municipality may be held responsible.
- Failure to Heed Traffic Data:When there is a pattern of accidents at a particular intersection or point of the road, the governing agency should take note and take necessary measures to make the road safer. Failure to use traffic data to its advantage is considered an act of negligence.
Government Claims Come With Special Rules
Though a government agency can and should be held responsible for injuries and damages caused by unsafe road conditions, making a claim against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or municipality is not easy. Claimants must follow strict rules and other stipulations that claimants in standard car accident cases do not have to worry about. For instance, when suing a government entity, claimants are required to file a notice prior to filing a lawsuit. If you file the notice beyond the six month time limit, you may forfeit your right to compensation entirely. Michael T. van der Veen and his team of highly skilled personal injury lawyers are familiar with the rules and regulations that dictate claims against the government and can ensure that you act appropriately and in a timely fashion so as not to forfeit your rights to compensation.
Let Our Allentown Unsafe Roadway Attorneys Fight for Your Rights to Compensation
If your accident was caused by an unsafe road condition, you may have a complex legal battle before you. However, with the right attorney on your side, you can prevail and walk away from the incident with the compensation you need to recover in physical and financial comfort. Reach out to the Allentown unsafe roadway attorneys at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin to learn more about how our experience, knowledge, and dedication can help you. Call (215) 486-0123 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.