Poor road conditions such as potholes, erosion, faulty design, and lack of road maintenance can cause severe damage to a vehicle as well as injuries to the unwary driver. However, the question of whether you can sue for the resulting loss is a complicated one to answer. Always speak with a car wreck attorney to get a definitive answer.
First, the plaintiff who is the victim of the car damage or injury must be able to prove that the car damage or injury was caused by a lack of maintenance. Ultimately, the plaintiff needs to show that the company in charge of maintaining the road was negligent in providing a safe road for users or utterly failed to inform road users of a hazard on the road.
The plaintiff also needs to make sure that too much time has not passed from the time of the incident to the time that you want to pursue a lawsuit.
In most cases, states, counties, and cities are all responsible for maintaining the roads. Different types of maintenance for the streets can also be shared by more than one government agency. It is imperative that you find out exactly which specific agencies are responsible for the maintenance issue that caused the damage to your vehicle or your injury prior to initiating your case. This is important to ensure that you are suing the right agency and also in determining whether that specific agency can be sued in the matter.
Once you have figured out who the responsible agency is, you can now work on proving your case. Ultimately, you will need to prove negligence on the agency’s side. This means that the agency should have but did not maintain the road. You can also prove that’ the road was built in a faulty and dangerous manner.
Finally, you will need to prove that the vehicle damage or the injury you sustained was the result of poor road maintenance. This can be a challenge, especially when it comes to car damage. Even bicycle accidents can be caused by poor road maintenance.
In most cases, you will need to gather enough evidence to prove your case. Unless you have an eyewitness, police report, or photo of the potholes in the road that caused the damage to your vehicle, you may be fighting a losing battle.
Ensure that you are able to prove that it was, in fact, the erosion, potholes, or other structural compromise in the road that caused your car damage. Failure to do so will mean that the agency or company could say that it was your bad driving skills, weather conditions, or lack of vehicle maintenance that caused the car damage.
In some cases, a government agency has immunity to lawsuits. However, there are exceptions to this rule and as long as you can make people aware of poor road maintenance that caused a car crash, you are making a difference.