While most car accidents in New York can be attributed to driver-related issues such as speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol, there is another factor that may play a role in road accidents. Even the best of drivers with well-maintained vehicles may not be able to avoid an accident if the roads and highways are in poor condition.
If you have been injured in an accident caused due to defective roads, bridges, or other roadside structures, you can claim compensation from the local, state, and the federal government agency that is responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of the concerned roads. An attorney who is an expert on New York dangerous road car accident claims can help you through this complex legal process of suing for personal injuries.
What are the Factors That Contribute to Dangerous Roads?
As long as a vehicle’s wheels stay in contact with the even surface of the road, the vehicle will travel in a stable manner. Any factor that interferes with this contact can cause your car to roll over. Obstacles in the road, called “trips” are the most common reason for a vehicle rollover. “Trips” may arise due to an object on the road or rails on the road, or due to loose gravel or debris leftover from road construction, or a deep grove or pothole in the road.
Here is a list of commonly encountered dangerous road conditions that may result in rollover collisions.
Types of Road Structures That May be Responsible for Accidents
Roads are designed with certain structures that are meant to provide protection to vehicles driving on them. However, if these structures are not designed right, or if they are not maintained by the concerned authority, they may become the cause of an accident.
Lane Separating Structures
Most roads use lane separation devices such as guard rails, medians, barriers, curbs, and speed bumps. These help to keep vehicles in their own lanes and also prevent them from leaving the designated roadway. If such lane separation structures are not appropriately designed or built, they may become the cause of vehicle accidents.
Curving roads and highways always have their outside edges raised at an angle in order to provide greater safety to vehicles. These kinds of roadway bankings must be designed and constructed considering the permissible speed limits for that road so that vehicles that drive along the curving road have space enough to maneuver without being forced off the road. Excessive or insufficient banking can pose a grave danger of accidents.
Deficient Road Markings
Road markings are an important visual guide for drivers to stay in their lanes and understand the road conditions. Reflectors and reflective markings, solid and broken lines all play a role in guiding drivers. When such markings are not present or not visible enough, the driver may not be able to assess road conditions and cause an accident.
Poorly Designed Entry and Exit Ramps
Ramps that provide entry and exit points to the highway must be designed appropriately to allow safe changing and merging of lanes. When these ramps are not properly designed, it can lead to traffic congestion and increase the probability of an accident.
Lack of Road Shoulders
Shoulders are important to ensure a gap between road barriers and ditches and the vehicles on the road. They also provide a safe spot for drivers to move to if their car develops a problem. A road has been designed with no shoulders or with very narrow shoulders, is often more dangerously prone to accidents.
Improper Traffic Signage and Devices
Whether it is an intersection or a road under repair, a sign that indicates the road condition makes it easy for drivers to plan how to negotiate that particular section of the road. Lack of visible signage or poorly illuminated signs can lead to confusion for the driver and unwarned, they are more likely to end up causing a road accident.
Traffic lights and signals, stop signs and yield signs, pedestrian and school crossings are all important traffic signage that helps to guide drivers and regulate traffic flow. When such signs are not placed at appropriate places, they can make the road dangerous for pedestrians as well as automobile drivers.
Whom Can You Sue for Your Dangerous Road Accident?
If you can provide evidence that your road accident was caused by hazardous road conditions that the concerned government bodies should have known about, it can be possible to pursue a lawsuit against the government. Suing a government body is quite different from a personal lawsuit and therefore, it is important that you hire a competent and experienced dangerous road car accident New York attorney to handle the legal process.
Liability Depends on the Type of Road Problem
Public roadways are owned by the government and it is their responsibility to ensure that roads are maintained in a state fit to be driven on. Any failure in road maintenance that leads to an accident thus makes the concerned government body liable for the injuries you suffered.
Determining which department or agency of the government is responsible for road maintenance can be a tricky job. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will help you determine if it is the county, city, state, or federal government that must be considered liable for your road accident.
Another important factor that needs consideration is the particular agency that has been made in charge of fixing a given road problem. Temporary issues such as mudslides or fallen tree branches are a lower municipality responsibility; larger problems such as crumbling asphalt on the road and potholes are state-level responsibilities.
If the government has delegate cleaning or repair work on a roadway to a third-party company, and a failure from their side to clean up or repair the road has resulted in the accident, the liability could shift to this company and the government agency cannot be held responsible.
If you have been in an accident caused due to dangerous road conditions, it is vital you collect visual evidence such as photographs of the pothole or debris on the road that caused you to lose control while driving. Brief your personal injury lawyer about all road conditions at the time of your accident and hand over any evidence you have collected because this may come in handy when the actual lawsuit begins.
Intersection-Related Traffic Accidents are on the Rise in NYC
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that almost 40% of traffic accidents in New York City are intersection-related ones. This is critical because such accidents near an intersection are the most likely to cause serious injuries and fatality. It is not just the large and busy intersections that see greater accidents; even single-lane road intersections are equally dangerous spots for pedestrians and cyclists.
The most dangerous NYC intersections include the following:
Contact our knowledgeable lawyers in New York today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that resulted from dangerous road conditions, you can sue the government and file a claim for damages. However, this is not done very often because the principle of sovereign immunity, only claims that meet particular deadlines and rigid filing requirements are admitted against a government office.
This makes it vital for you to choose your attorney carefully and only hire the firm that has previous experience of successfully pursuing claims against municipal and state agencies responsible for the upkeep of roads and highways.
Our NYC dangerous road car accident lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP are experts at lawsuits against the government agencies responsible for road maintenance. We can help you carry out a thorough investigation of the defective roads and hire experts who will testify to the dangers of such roadways.
We have decades of experience in this area and have been successful in ensuring our clients get their rightful compensation for the injuries they suffered in a road accident caused by dangerous roads. To gain access to our top legal brains that can help you with a lawsuit for your dangerous road accident, get in touch with us at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today by calling 212-344-1000 to schedule a free consultation.
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