Road accidents are commonly attributed to negligent drivers and improper driving philosophies. However, bad roads are another major cause of road accidents that isn’t usually explored.
A roadway with defects such as potholes, poor road designs, uneven shoulders, missing guardrails, or obscured road signs increases the odds of the occurrence of severe road accidents.
What makes it more dangerous is the fact that the road, if left for a while without proper maintenance from appropriate government agencies, will deteriorate and may cause even more tragic incidents.
In a report by the World Health Organization, more than 1.3 million deaths occur due to road traffic crashes yearly, with more than half of such deaths happening to vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. It was also stated that one of the causes of these road traffic crashes is unsafe road infrastructure.
With this in mind, road users need to maintain the highest level of care while driving on a highway, especially when it is common knowledge that the road being traveled is in poor conditions.
Who is Liable for Road Accidents Caused by Poor Road Conditions?
When it comes to accidents caused by poor road infrastructure, it is very easy to attribute the liability to the government agency in charge of road maintenance in the state. Primarily, the city, state, or country that owns a roadway is liable for road accidents caused by poor road conditions.
However, this isn’t always the case. This is why the service of a qualified attorney in auto accidents is needed.
Here, we will enumerate the people who can be held liable for the occurrence of such accidents.
- The local, state, or federal government agency responsible for the maintenance of road
As mentioned earlier, it must be reiterated that the government is responsible for providing adequate road conditions for its citizens and would be held responsible should the agency fail or neglect to do the needful.
Instituting an action against such an agency may be difficult, as government agencies usually have immunity against such lawsuits.
For every state or locality, there is usually a statute that stipulates the procedures to be followed before such action can be instituted.
For instance, in the State of Indiana, a claimant must inform such agency or the Attorney General of the incident and the intention to sue within 270 days.
This also comes with a plethora of other procedures that must be followed. This is why the services of a good attorney cannot be overstated.
- A private company that has been contracted to build, maintain or repair such road
In the maintenance of a road, it is farfetched to think the government maintains it without any external help.
Of course, such construction, repairs, and maintenance are usually contracted to an independent contractor who is trustworthy.
If the contractor fails to do the work properly or is negligent in its duty, then the action can be taken against them. The action can also be brought against the contractor and the government agency.
- A private landowner
A private owner can also be held responsible for a road accident caused by poor road infrastructure if the road is private. The owner owes the public a duty of common humanity and should keep the road in good condition as well as make necessary repairs as and when due.
- A manufacturer
In the construction and reparation of a road, various commodities are usually purchased from different manufacturers. Each manufacturer owes a duty of care to sell products without defects.
When poor construction results from defective products, the manufacturer can also be a party in the lawsuit. A manufacturer of defective guardrails can be held responsible for road accidents.
How to Prove Road Defects With Legal Animations
When proving accidents caused by road defects against a government agency, you need to prove that such an agency had ample time to repair and did not make necessary repairs.
You must also be able to rule out the possibility of the accident resulting from another factor in action at the time of the incident.
To achieve this, you may even require an animated accident reconstruction. You don’t have to make this decision alone; you can instead use the services of an experienced animation company.
In addition, if the liable party is a construction company or a manufacturing company, you can also use legal animation to portray the construction mistakes or negligence or an animation of the defective product.
Conclusively, in all these, it is essential to consult a reliable legal animation company that can guide you on the appropriate course of action.