Auto accidents happen almost every day, but each involves different circumstances and factors. While most car or auto accidents are due to negligence and reckless acts by other motorists, other factors beyond a motorist's control can also lead to an accident. One of these factors is poor and dangerous road conditions.
Even if you are a cautious driver, striking a pothole while on the wheel can make you lose control over your vehicle, leading to an accident. Unlike most personal injury cases, these kinds of accidents are particularly complex and confusing because they involve government entities, and most of them are immune to lawsuits.
If you have sustained an injury after a dangerous road condition car accident, attorneys at Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm are here for you. We have resources, knowledge, and relevant experience to fight for your best interest while you heal and recuperate from the injuries resulting from the car accident.
Common Injuries You Can Sustain in a Dangerous Road Condition Car Accident
Typically, you could sustain minor or severe injuries in a car accident triggered by dangerous road conditions. The severity of the injury you could sustain in this kind of accident will depend on the following factors:
- Your car's speed
- Type of hazardous road condition that led to the accident
- Whether or not other vehicles were involved
Below are some of the injuries you could sustain in a dangerous road condition car accident:
- Traumatic brain injury like a concussion
- Facial injuries, like bruises, lacerations, jaw fractures, or an eye injury
- Spinal cord injury
- A head injury like hematoma and fractures
- Broken bones, including hands, legs, knee, or neck
Some of these injuries are very expensive to treat and could make you miss work for a couple of days, weeks, or months before you regain your health. Therefore, it is wise that you keep your medical journal and receipts of your medical treatment to strengthen your compensation claim against the at-fault party.
Steps to Take After a Dangerous Road Condition Accident
Even if the accident that led to your injuries was due to another factor other than a hazardous road condition, it is wise to take the following steps immediately afterward to protect your best interests:
Call the Police
Regardless of the accident's severity, you must call the police immediately to let them know of the incident. Typically, the police should arrive at the accident scene within the shortest time possible once you make that phone call to collect relevant information about the accident.
Ensure you request a copy of the accident's report from these officers because it contains vital information that can help you prove liability in court for adequate compensatory damages.
Seek Medical Attention
Whatever you do after a dangerous road condition car accident, do not overlook the need to visit a doctor even if you do not have a physical injury. Visiting a doctor is the only way to know whether or not you have internal injuries because some injuries symptoms do not manifest immediately after an accident.
Collect Relevant Evidence
Before the police arrive at the accident scene, you can access the accident or crash from your view to collect relevant information that can strengthen your compensation claim afterward. Using your phone or tablet, you can take photos and videos of the following:
- Your physical injuries, cuts, or lacerations
- Position of involved cars, if any
- The accident scene
- Your car's damage
- Current weather and road conditions, including nearby traffic signs, if any
These steps can increase your chances of achieving adequate compensation when you file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Lastly, you should seek the services of an attorney if you want to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Having an attorney in your corner can give you one less thing to worry about while recuperating from the injuries arising from the dangerous road condition car accident.
To prepare for your initial consultation with an attorney, you should gather crucial information and evidence relevant to your unique case for the maximum compensation you deserve. For example:
- The direction you were driving to before the accident
- All records that you have with you, including police reports, medical bills, and vehicle repair costs
- Eyewitness information or testimony, if any
- The location and physical characteristics of the dangerous road condition that you suspect was the cause of your car accident
- The name of the particular road where the accident happened
This information will help your attorney build a strong compensation claim with adequate evidence to prove you deserve maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
Why You Need an Attorney After a Dangerous Road Condition Car Accident
Even if your injuries are minor, it is risky to handle a compensation claim on your own, especially when the cause of your injuries is a dangerous road condition, like a pothole. To navigate the confusing world of injury settlements and lawsuits following a dangerous condition car accident, you will need a reliable attorney in your corner to defend your legal rights and interests.
Here are some of the reasons why it is a wise idea to retain the services of an experienced attorney after a dangerous road condition car accident:
Your Attorney Can Help You Calculate the Amount of Compensation You Deserve for Your Losses
The amount you will receive for your injuries following a dangerous road condition car accident will depend on your unique case's facts and the extent of your injuries.
When determining the amount of compensation you deserve, your attorney will consider your current losses and possible future losses you could incur due to the accident's impact.
An Attorney Has In-Depth Knowledge of the Law
One of the primary reasons you need an attorney on your side after suffering injuries in a dangerous road condition car accident is their in-depth knowledge of this specific area of law. Unless you have the necessary legal training in this area of law, the chances are that you are unfamiliar with how the legal justice system works.
An experienced attorney will know how local judges treat these types of cases to build evidence that can work out in your favor to obtain a desirable outcome on your claim.
How to Determine Liability After a Dangerous Road Condition Car Accident
Since this is an at-fault state, how you will handle the aftermath of a car accident is critical to receiving adequate compensation for your injuries because it will all come down to who is to blame for causing the accident. Generally, the legal responsibility of ensuring roads are well maintained and safe belongs to the state, city, county, and federal government.
If any of these entities fail to maintain roads within their jurisdiction in safe conditions, they will be liable for injuries road users will suffer due to their negligence. To recover adequate damages for injuries and other losses resulting from the dangerous road condition car accident, you must file a lawsuit against the liable party or entity.
Typically, the federal government should conduct routine inspections on roads to discover dangerous conditions for appropriate action before they cause an accident. They also learn about these poor road conditions by:
- Conducting routine road surveys
- Making regular road maintenance
- Taking reports from community members and motorists
Although the government has reasonable time to discover hazardous road conditions for an appropriate measure, sometimes they can claim that they did not discover the issue. If that is the case, your attorney will dig deep into the case to determine if they had reasonable time to discover the issue for appropriate action.
You should receive adequate compensation for your losses if your attorney can prove to the court that the government had adequate time to discover the dangerous road condition that led to your injuries for an appropriate measure. If any of the following types of hazardous road conditions led to your injuries, you could have a viable claim against the government:
- Faded lane markings
- Dangerous curbs
- Lack of appropriate warning signage
- Poor lighting on roads
- A clogged drainage system, causing flooding
- Potholes and cracks on the road
- Lack of proper traffic control on dangerous zones like construction sites
Typically, these hazardous road conditions could be due to different factors like normal wear and tear, an act of nature, or another party's negligence. However, in most situations, the government will be responsible for your damages if the dangerous road condition that led to your injuries was due to:
- Poor designing or planning of the roads
- Failure to repair and maintain roadways
- Bad construction, for example, buying cheap or "fake" building materials
Other Possible Liable Parties in Your Dangerous Road Condition Car Accident Case
Apart from the government, the following parties could also be liable for your injuries and losses resulting from the dangerous road condition car accident:
The Construction Company or Contractor Contracted to Build or Maintain the Road
Most of the time, the government does not undertake road construction, repair, and maintenance projects on its own. Instead, they hire subcontractors and contractors to do this work. If poor workmanship led to the accident, the contractor or subcontractor could be responsible for your injuries and damages.
Your injury attorney can summon the government entity with jurisdiction over that specific road to obtain information of the liable contractor. Ensure you find an attorney who is willing to dedicate ample time to your unique case to find every party liable for your injuries and damages resulting from the dangerous condition of the car accident.
The Manufacturer of Road Construction Materials
Road construction materials like concrete, guardrails, and asphalt could also be defective. If a road construction product defect led to your injuries and damages, you could have a viable claim against the product manufacturer. According to strict product liability law, every manufacturer has the legal responsibility of ensuring their products are harmless before reaching a customer's hands.
A reliable attorney will know how to utilize this law to your favor for adequate compensation that you deserve for your losses resulting from the dangerous road condition car accident.
The Owner of the Truck that Spilled or Leaked Oil on the Roadway Causing Your Car to Slide
If the cause of your car accident was oil spillage on the road, the truck owner could be responsible for your injuries and damages.
The key to determining the actual cause of the accident that led to your injuries without unnecessary time wastage is discussing the case with an attorney without delay. Two or more government entities can sometimes share maintenance responsibility for particular roadways.
The sooner your attorney determines the actual party to sue for your damages, the better because time is of the essence in these types of cases.
Proving Liability in a Dangerous Road Condition Car Accident Case
Once your attorney determines the liable party to sue for your damages, he/she should prepare proper evidence to prove their negligence led to your injuries. According to comparative negligence law, even if you were partially at fault, you will receive the compensation you deserve based on your degree of negligence.
Before the court awards you compensatory damages for your injuries and losses resulting from a car accident triggered by a dangerous road condition, you must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- A dangerous road condition was the cause of the car accident that led to your injuries
- The government was responsible for road repair and maintenance, but they failed to do so
- There was no prior advertisement about that particular hazardous road condition to warn motorists who intend to use that road
If the cause of your accident was another vehicle, proving liability in court is a walk in the park. However, when a dangerous road condition causes a car accident, it could become challenging because the government is immune to lawsuits in most cases.
The government entity you are suing for compensation could also fight back by arguing that something other than a hazardous road condition led to your car accident. Below are some of the common arguments they could apply to deny liability for your injuries:
- You were driving recklessly, and that is the reason why you could not see the visible potholes on the roadway
- An unforeseen act of nature led to your accident
- You were drunk driving
- Another motorist's negligence was the cause of your accident
Although your attorney could still win your case against the liable government entity, these factors could significantly reduce the amount you will receive as compensation. An experienced attorney will know how to use these government's defense arguments to your favor for adequate compensation on your injury claim.
Evidence That Could Be Applicable in Your Dangerous Road Condition Car Accident Lawsuit
Since the court will expect your attorney to prove his/her evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, he/she should prepare appropriate and relevant evidence ahead of time to avoid unnecessary confusion during the case's trial.
Although every car accident case is different and unique, the following evidence could work out in your favor for adequate compensation on your claim:
Witness Reports or Testimonies
Undoubtedly, testimonies from different eyewitnesses could prove helpful in your claim. Your attorney can use comments by different eyewitnesses to prove your accident was due to a dangerous road condition. That is why it is advisable to talk to a few eyewitnesses after a car accident to collect their accounts and comments about what they think could have led to this unfortunate incident.
To strengthen your injury case against the at-fault party, you should avail yourself in court to give your side of the story about the accident. Your attorney will advise you on what you should say when it is your time to testify in court because anything you say could be used against you by the defendant's attorney.
The Police's Reports
Undoubtedly, the police report could determine the outcome of your case because it contains crucial facts and observations about the accident, including their opinion on what could have led to the accident. A knowledgeable injury attorney will know how to use this report to prove that your car accident was due to a dangerous road condition like a deep pothole.
As mentioned above, the government entity responsible for particular roads' repair and maintenance should conduct regular surveys to ensure these roads are in excellent condition and free from safety hazards.
Your attorney can obtain relevant survey records to prove the defendant was negligent because they were aware or should beware of that particular dangerous road condition for an appropriate measure to prevent accidents.
Photos and videos of the accident scene will also come in handy to convince the judge that a dangerous road condition was the cause of your accident, especially if they are detailing the following:
- The dangerous or hazardous road condition that you suspect was the cause of the accident
- Position of other vehicles on the road
Pictures of your injuries and vehicle damage will also help your attorney prove that you deserve adequate compensation for your losses resulting from the dangerous road condition car accident.
Auto Repair Records
If you want financial damages for your vehicle repair costs after the accident, you should give your attorney its repair records or costs to support this claim at trial. These records will help your attorney prove to the court how much you had to spend to have your car back on the road for adequate compensation.
If your attorney presents this kind of evidence in court, you could stand a chance of achieving utmost compensation for your losses resulting from the dangerous road condition car accident.
Time Limits for Filing a Civil Lawsuit in Dangerous Road Condition Car Accident Cases
If you want to seek compensation after suffering injuries in a dangerous road condition car accident, you should remember that time is of the essence. According to the Tort Claims Act, you have a maximum of two years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit against the liable government entity.
When this time limit elapses before filing your claim against the liable party, you could lose your chance to sue them afterward, even if they are factually liable for your injuries and damages. That is one of the reasons you should retain the services of an attorney as soon as possible to help you meet these strict deadlines.
Compensatory Damages in a Dangerous Road Condition Car Accident Case
Depending on the severity of your car accident case, you will receive economic and non-economic damages if you win the case at trial. Typically, you will receive economic damages for the following types of monetary losses:
- Lost income
- The cost you could incur for any possible future therapy or treatment
- Current and ongoing medical treatment costs
- Costs you had to spend or could spend in future when buying gears for making your life comfortable, for example, a wheelchair
- Car repair costs
- Funeral expenses (if your loved one succumbed to death in the car accident)
- Lost earning capacity (if you have a chronic injury due to the accident's impact)
On the other hand, non-economic damages are also awardable in these types of cases in an attempt to make you whole again due to the accident impacts. You will receive non-economic or non-monetary damages for the following types of losses:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lack of the physical ability to enjoy life
Find a Car Accident Attorney Near Me
When a dangerous road condition causes your injuries and car damages, you should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this condition was the cause or main contributing factor to the accident for adequate compensation.
Our attorneys at Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm know and understand what the court requires in these types of car accident cases. We invite you to call us at 702-576-0010 if you suspect that your car accident was due to a dangerous road condition.
We will keenly evaluate your case to prepare airtight evidence to help you achieve the compensation you require for your losses.