Car accidents are unfortunate events that can happen to anyone. While driver error causes most accidents, the condition of the road sometimes plays a significant role in an accident.
In California, a poorly maintained road can be the main cause of a vehicle collision. If you were in an accident because of a poorly maintained road, it is helpful to understand where fault lies.
Determining fault in these scenarios
Assigning fault in car accidents due to road conditions often presents a complex task. Instead of placing blame on one or more drivers, which is usually the case, fault may lie with the entity that neglected to keep the road in safe condition.
Recognizing government liability for poorly maintained roads
In California, the government agency overseeing a specific road typically bears the responsibility for road maintenance. These entities have a duty to ensure roads are safe for public use. When a failure in this duty results in an accident, they may face accountability.
Identifying the responsible party
Identifying which government agency is responsible can pose a challenge as city, county and state jurisdictions can overlap. The location of the accident and the type of road often dictate which agency has maintenance responsibility.
To hold the government agency accountable, one must prove negligence. This process involves demonstrating that the agency knew or should have reasonably known about the poor condition of the road and failed to take corrective action.
Complications and protections
Bear in mind that government agencies have certain protections under the law. Strict procedural rules and timelines may apply when filing a claim. Additionally, conditions like weather-related damage may not fall under the responsibility of the agency.
A clear understanding of the law in California can guide one through this complex situation and help seek fair compensation for damages sustained.