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Although most car accidents occur due to driver error and negligence, some are caused by poor road conditions. Even when drivers operate their vehicles safely and take the necessary precautions to mitigate the risks of an accident, poor road maintenance can result in devastating collisions. When poorly maintained or badly designed roads cause or contribute to a car accident, proving fault can be difficult. If you have been injured in a car accident due to dangerous road conditions in New York, you may be wondering what your next steps are. Please continue reading to learn how road conditions can impact car accident liability and how our New York City Car Accident Attorney can help you fight for the compensation you need. 

Who is Liable When Adverse Road Conditions Cause an Accident?

A government entity could be held responsible when a road condition is to blame for causing a collision. Local, state, and federal agencies are responsible for designing, maintaining, and repairing the roadways. This includes remedying potholes, filling cracks in the pavement, posting warning signage, and clearing away debris. Poorly maintained roads with uneven surfaces can increase the chances of a driver losing control of a vehicle.

Determining liability can prove challenging when adverse road conditions cause an accident. This is because different maintenance responsibilities for certain roadways may be shared by more than one government agency. For instance, the state may be responsible for paving the roads, while the city may be responsible for snow plowing. Figuring out which agency was responsible for maintaining the road is crucial to determining which municipality to pursue legal action against for your damages. That’s why it’s essential to enlist the help of an attorney who can help you establish fault.

Can the Responsible Party Be Sued?

In New York, a government entity has sovereign immunity, meaning it cannot be sued without consent. Essentially,  the government is immune from civil lawsuits unless permission is granted. This can make it difficult to recover compensation after an accident caused by dangerous road conditions. However, the federal and state governments can waive their sovereign immunity for torts claims. New York law requires injured parties to file a Notice of Claim, which provides the government agency that they may be subject to a claim for damages. This also allows the agency to investigate the merits of the claim. A Notice of claim must be filed within 90 days of the accident.

If you’ve been injured in an accident due to poor road conditions, please don’t hesitate to contact a dedicated New York City car accident attorney, who can help you hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence. At Swerling Law, we are prepared to help you investigate the circumstances of the accident and gather evidence to establish liability for the collision.


To a man who was assaulted at a restaurant and sustained a traumatic brain injury.


Settlement to a barista who slipped and fell on a defective stairwell while working for Starbucks who sustained back injuries requiring multiple surgeries in 2012.


Settlement to a woman who was assaulted and sustained back/hip injuries in 2015.


To a man who sustained back injuries when he was a passenger in the car that rear ended another car.


Verdict to a high school student who was assaulted by a school dean during her lunch period dislocating her hip in 2014.

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