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Car Crashes Caused by Road Defects

Motor vehicle crashes injure millions of Americans every year. While most serious car accidents are caused by other drivers, sometimes the road itself is to blame.

When poorly designed, constructed or maintained California roadways lead to auto accidents, victims can pursue an injury lawsuit, even if another vehicle was not involved. The responsible parties often include federal, state and local government entities tasked with maintaining the road.

What is a road construction defect?

Drivers often assume that San Diego’s streets, roads and highways are safe. However, when accidents tend to occur on the same stretch of road or at the same intersection, an issue may exist with the road construction or design. For instance, the design of the road may not allow drivers enough time to process and react to information, such as a blind corner. Similarly, poor drainage and water pooling can cause drivers to hydroplane and lose control of their vehicle.

Other common road construction defects include:

  • Lack of traffic lights, pedestrian crossings or railroad signals
  • Insufficient lighting
  • Improper signage
  • Inappropriate lane configurations
  • Visual obstructions
  • Missing guardrails or median barriers
  • Unsafe shoulder
  • Uneven pavement

Road construction defects can be difficult to prove. Therefore, injury victims should act quickly to document the condition that caused the accident. While you can photograph the scene yourself, San Diego car accident attorneys are trained to investigate faulty roadways and preserve evidence.

Who is responsible for faulty roadways?

Injury victims can seek compensation from all of the parties responsible for the dangerous road. They may include:

  • Public entities: States, counties, cities, parishes and other municipalities have a duty to keep public roadways safe. This includes following federal U.S. Department of Transportation standards when planning, building or maintaining roads. When government entities have notice of road construction defects and fail to take timely action to fix them, they are liable for injuries caused by the unsafe road conditions created.
  • Construction companies: Contractors in charge of road construction or maintenance may be responsible in California highway defect cases if they failed to perform their job correctly. For instance, they may be held liable for improperly closing lanes during construction, failing to warn drivers of unsafe road conditions and leaving construction debris in the roadway.

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious injury in a California motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation. After a serious crash, we can advocate on your behalf to help hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and seek the compensation you deserve.