How Do Road Conditions Impact Car Accident Liability?

potholes and poor road conditions

When public roads are not maintained, dangerous road conditions are the result. In Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is responsible for the general care of their roads. Sometimes things slip under the radar or issues are neglected. If you were involved in an accident due to poor road conditions, the liability may fall on the local or state government. A Memphis auto accident lawyer can help you prove liability and collect damages.

What is a Fault State?

In terms of car accidents, a fault state is a state where you can pursue legal action against the negligent party in an accident. You can potentially recover compensation and damages from the negligent person or company to cover your expenses related to the accident. Tennessee is a fault state.

It is important to be eligible for compensation because the aftermath of a car accident can be costly. Depending on the severity of the accident you could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars if not more. These costs can accumulate from property damage, medical bills, and a loss of wages due to inability to work.

What Are Poor Road Conditions?

Poor road conditions can include a plethora of hazards on the road. These can all pose serious dangers to drivers. Some examples of poor road conditions can include:

  • Potholes and cracks in pavement
  • Large dips or uneven roads
  • Dangerous curves
  • Too narrow streets
  • Lack of traffic lights
  • Poor drainage
  • Missing guardrails
  • Dangerous intersections
  • Lack of signage, whether neglected, missing, or concealed
  • Sudden lane shifts due to construction
  • Debris on the road and heavy machinery due to construction
  • Wet or slippery roads
  • Lack of visibility due to rain, fog, or snow
  • High winds

Any of the above-mentioned road conditions can cause danger to drivers and result in a collision or crash.

Do Road Conditions Have an Effect on Accident Liability?

Depending on the cause of the accident, certain road conditions have been known to affect the outcome of liability. Weather cannot be blamed as all drivers are expected to adjust their driving to account for dangerous weather conditions. However, if the physical condition of the road itself was the cause of the accident, the local or state government may be responsible.

In Tennessee, if a driver experiences an accident, injury, or damages due to certain road conditions that are deemed to be the fault of the state government, they may be able to submit a claim and receive compensation. File a claim with the TDOT. Each claim will be investigated and an examiner will evaluate the circumstances of the accident, location, road conditions, etc.

You will have to provide proof of the incident, the location where it occurred, records of your repairs if applicable, evidence that the government was aware of the hazard before your incident, and evidence that the government failed to take steps to repair the danger, which resulted in your accident. Include photographs, surveillance video if possible, proof of property damage, eyewitness testimony, and anything else that may help prove your case. Work with a skilled attorney to bolster your chances of receiving compensation.