Negligent or reckless drivers cause many accidents. But sometimes poor road repair can cause accidents, so accident victims will need to consider whether to sue the party responsible for maintaining the road. Because this is a complicated area of law, victims should schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney at Greene Broillet & Wheeler as soon as possible.
Negligent Road Repair
Road repair can create many hazards that lead directly to accidents. For example, you might crash because:
- Debris is left behind from construction cleanups
- Poor maintenance of grates or drainage systems leads to flooding, which increases the risk of hydroplaning and losing control of the vehicle
- Proper signs are missing or poorly positioned
- No notice or signs are given about road construction, or improperly placed signs block a driver’s view, causing a collision
Motorcycles, which are lighter and smaller than passenger cars, are more vulnerable to problems with the road. For example, motorcycles might crash due to:
- Broken pavement
- Grooves in the pavement
Each accident is different, and whether you can sue will depend on all of the surrounding circumstances. A California car accident attorney can review the surrounding circumstances to identify whether you have a valid lawsuit.
Onerous Red Tape
A substantial amount of roadwork is conducted by the state. Unfortunately, the state of California’s sovereign immunity often protects it from lawsuits brought against it by one of its citizens. Although sovereign immunity is not unlimited, you will need to clear some procedural hurdles before you get your day in court.
For example, before you can sue a state agency, you must file a claim with the Government Claim Program in the Department of General Services. You can download the forms from the government’s website and submit them along with the $25 fee. You must move quickly and file your claim within six months of the injury—otherwise, you may lose your right to sue. Although the state makes exceptions for missing the deadline in some situations, you shouldn’t rely on them.
After making your claim, the state will decide whether to accept it within 45 days. If it does, it will settle the lawsuit with you. If the state denies your claim, you can file a lawsuit in the appropriate court.
The lawyers at Greene Broillet & Wheeler know how to fill out and file that paperwork for you and maximize your chances of a successful result. If necessary, they know the best ways to take your case to court.
Suing Private Individuals
In some situations, a private party will face liability for the negligent road repair. For example, you might suffer an injury on a private road owned and maintained by a private party. Some construction companies or independent contractors also work on road construction or repair projects, and they might also face responsibility for the accident.
When suing a private party, your lawsuit will proceed much as any other lawsuit would. You do not need to file a claim with a government agency. However, you might need to investigate and identify who is responsible for the road hazards that injured you.
Speak With a Los Angeles, California, Personal Injury Lawyer
Government agencies and private parties that injure drivers should pay victims compensation for their injuries. The personal injury lawyers at Greene Broillet & Wheeler have years of experience helping accident victims bring suits against government agencies and private construction companies.