San Francisco Dangerous Roadway Injury Lawyer
There are standards for road design, construction and maintenance. However, many roads in Northern California do not meet these standards. As a result, car accidents occur that would not have happened had the municipality, state or county adhered to the approved standards. When people are injured or killed in these accidents, victims or survivors may have recourse. They may be able to file claims against insurance companies or go to trial in pursuit of compensation and damages. For immediate assistance from a San Francisco dangerous roadway injury lawyer, call today
Our attorney have a remarkable record of success with dangerous road claims against public entities. This is due in part to our extensive use of presentation technology that allows us to convey the full story of our clients’ accidents to juries or insurance adjusters. It is just as much a result of our attorneys’ experience at trial, our willingness to prepare fully and our ability to demonstrate the impact of our clients’ injuries with compassion and sympathy.
Examples of Dangerous Road Conditions
Our cases have involved roads that are defective and dangerous because of:
- Inadequate sight lines
- Unguarded drop-offs
- Uncleared vegetation
- Improper banking
- Potholes and other pavement damage
- Manhole covers
- Railroad tracks
Some of these conditions may not cause problems for autos but can be dangerous for bicycles and motorcycles. Our attorneys investigate each case fully and carefully to understand why there is a defect or dangerous condition and properly identify the liable entity.
A roadway may also be dangerous due to confusing signage. This is one of the clearest examples of negligence on the part of government agencies, since these confusing signs can cause motorists to put themselves in a number of dangerous situations. For example a confusing sign might direct you into oncoming traffic. Or perhaps two signs seem to communicate contradictory information, causing you to hesitate or become distracted. As you try to figure out what these confusing signs actually mean, you may collide with other vehicles. Of course, these other drivers may also be confused by problematic signs, causing multi-vehicle accidents in intersections and other traffic areas.
Make no mistake – government agencies can be held accountable for installing confusing and contradictory signs. However, you must show that the signs are seriously problematic in order to receive compensation. The fact that you did not understand the sign does not necessarily mean that there was anything wrong with it. For government agencies to be held liable for confusing signs, there must have been a clear and obvious error. In other words, a “reasonable person” would have been confused by the signs, and these signs must have posed a significant risk to public safety.
How Do You Sue a Government Agency for Dangerous Roadways?
The exact government agency you need to sue might depend on the location or the jurisdiction of the road. For example, maintenance of a highway is generally the responsibility of the state, while a municipal government would generally be in charge of overseeing city roads. If you are planning to sue a government agency, you need to pay close attention to the statute of limitations. This is a set of laws that sets legal time limits on when you can file a lawsuit. If you wait too long, you may lose your ability to sue – and when you are suing a government agency, this time limit may be even shorter than normal. This is why it is so important to get in touch with a qualified attorney as soon as possible.
With all that said, some roads are actually privately maintained and operated. An example would be a driveway on someone’s property, or a parking lot or access road that is part of a business. If you become injured due to certain defects or hazards on these private roadways, you would generally sue the property owner or the business. Generally speaking, most of these entities have some kind of insurance policy that provides coverage for personal injury lawsuits. In other words, you would likely be dealing with the insurance provider directly. This insurance provider will likely offer you a settlement instead of allowing the personal injury lawsuit to go to trial, and this is how the vast majority of injury claims are handled.
California is Not a “No-Fault” State
When hazardous roads lead to injuries, the accidents are often classified as “single-vehicle” crashes. As you might expect, this means that only one vehicle was involved in the accident. For example, a bump in the road might cause a car to veer off and crash into a tree. Or perhaps a confusing sign causes you to drive into a pole. Whatever the case may be, it is important to realize that California is a “tort state.” This means that you must hold another party liable if you want to receive compensation for a car accident.
In contrast, a “no-fault” state would allow you to recover compensation regardless of who was to blame. You would also have the ability to recover compensation if no one was to blame. This means that receiving compensation for an injury caused by a hazardous road is generally easier in a no-fault state since you do not even need to prove that a government agency was negligent in maintaining the road.
With all that being said, filing a personal injury lawsuit for a hazardous road in a tort state like California is possible, and you can recover compensation as a result. The only thing you need to remember is that you will be tasked with proving negligence. This is why it is so important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the entity should be held liable for your injuries. Proving negligence is not always easy, and you will need to show that a number of elements are present, such as:
- Duty of Care: The entity responsible for the roadway owed you a duty of care
- Breach of Duty: The entity failed in this duty of care
- Causation: This failure led directly to your accident
- Injuries: You suffered legitimate injuries as a result of your accident
Other Dangerous Roadway Cases
Defendants in our cases have not been limited to public entities; we have also brought suits against railroads, homeowners’ associations and businesses in matters involving unsafe roads and pavement. In some instances, we have sued contractors and subcontractors who actually performed the work. Each case is different, and determining the correct defendant is an important part of building a successful case.
How a San Francisco Dangerous Rodaway Injury Attorney Might Help
If you need assistance after an accident caused by dangerous road conditions and wish to talk to an experienced attorney, please contact a San Francisco dangerous roadway injury lawyer today by calling or contact us online.