Opinion

Who Is Liable in an Accident Caused by a Pothole?

Tips To Navigating the Maze of Government Responsibility

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It’s easy to sue someone after a car accident for negligent driving and hold them accountable for your personal injuries. However, who is liable for an accident caused by a pothole?

According to Orange County car accident lawyers Roberts & Jeandron, if you are the victim of a car accident due to a pothole, it is possible to sue a public or government entity.

Liability in Pothole Car Accidents in California

In most cases, a pothole can result from bad temporary work. In such cases, it’s possible to blame either a government or a public entity. However, whether the public entity that performed the roadwork is responsible for your accident depends on several factors.

accident caused by a pothole; Photo by Michiel Annaert on Unsplash
Watch out for warnings

The most crucial aspect is whether or not they provided enough warning of the hazardous condition. What is considered sufficient warning includes blocking off the repaired area, putting up warning signs, or placing cones around the damaged area.

No matter how you look at it, the government is responsible for warning the public about any dangerous conditions it is aware of or should be aware of, especially if they didn’t fix the pothole properly.

In this situation, it is easy to file a claim against the at-fault party for not following routine procedures. However, there is also the issue of the street pothole resulting from long-term wear and tear.

In this case, the most important question is how long the pothole has been present. If enough time had passed that the agency should have known of the issue, they may be legally responsible for your pothole accident.

Public Agency or Government?

You have to consider that the public agency is often not responsible for your pothole accident if the surface break was present for a few days. The best defense for this reasoning is that the government entity didn’t have enough time to either fix or warn about the public danger.

accidents cause by potholes; Photo by Anja BaHu on Unsplash
The road to ruin

Yet, this is where the research starts. If the public agency leaves the pothole present for weeks or months, it can be held accountable for any accidents caused by the hazard.

This is primarily true if previous accidents occurred in the same area, and the public agency is aware of such events. If there are other notices of prior accidents and injuries from the same pothole, you have good evidence of the government’s willful failure to get proper road repair work done. The best way to determine who is accountable is by contacting a lawyer.

Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured due to the presence of a pothole on Orange County roads, it’s time to take a stand. Do some research around the local area and consider contacting a local car accident lawyer.

A lawyer who knows the area can quickly establish liability in an accident caused by a pothole. Furthermore, a lawyer will know precisely how to prepare your case if the government is at fault. A lawyer can ensure you receive the best compensation for your injuries and other damages.

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