While negligent drivers cause most car accidents, they can also arise due to poor road conditions. In such cases, injuries individuals often wonder who is liable for their injuries. Government entities are responsible for maintaining roads, meaning they must fix hazardous situations to prevent accidents and injuries. Failure to do so can result in them being held accountable for damages. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident due to dangerous road conditions, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced New York City Auto Accidents Attorney who can assist you in recovering the financial compensation you deserve. Please continue reading to learn who may be responsible for accidents resulting from poorly maintained roads.
Who is responsible when poorly-maintained roads cause or contribute to a car accident in New York?
Unfortunately, when the appropriate parties fail to properly maintain the roads they are responsible for, dangerous road conditions can arise and lead to car accidents. Some of the most common road conditions that cause collisions include but are not limited to the following:
- Uncleared weather-related hazards (snow or ice)
- Uncleared debris
- Missing guardrails or dividers
- Uneven surfaces (pavement defects)
- Faded traffic lines
- Poorly designed intersections
- Poor lighting on streets and intersections
Sadly, when the roadways are poorly maintained, various conditions can lead to devastating accidents. If maintenance is not regularly or adequately conducted, the city, county, or state responsible for maintaining the roadways can be held liable as they reasonably knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to remedy the situation to prevent accidents and injuries.
In some situations, multiple parties may be liable for an accident. For example, the state may be responsible for filling potholes, while the city might be responsible for clearing weather-related hazards. In this case, both parties can be held liable if an accident arises because they both contributed to the cause of dangerous conditions by failing to fix them in a reasonable time frame. Figuring out which municipal authority is responsible for your injuries is vital as you will be burned with having to prove their negligence directly caused your injuries. You are ultimately demonstrating that the accident would have been preventable without the dangerous road conditions.
Do I have to file a Notice of Claim?
Generally, you have three years from the incident date to file a claim against the at-fault party. However, when you pursue legal action against a municipality, the statute of limitations is much shorter as you only have 90 days from the accident date to file a Notice of Claim. A Notice of Claim provides the government entity with your intent to pursue legal action and that it may be subject to a claim for damages. Injured individuals must file a Notice of Claim because sovereign immunity protects municipalities from being sued without permission.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to dangerous road conditions, contact a determined attorney from Swerling Law, who can ensure you file your claim within the correct time frame, as failure to meet the strict deadline will result in relinquishing your rights to pursue legal action. Our firm is prepared to fight on your behalf today.