Driving in New York presents a number of potential dangers, some of which come from the condition of the roads themselves. When road hazards cause a wreck, proving liability is not always as straightforward compared to accidents involving two or more vehicles. You will need tenacious legal counsel who understands personal injury law and knows what it takes to build a winning case. Count on the road hazard car accident team at Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C.
Common Examples of Road Hazards
Unfortunately, there are a lot of ways that the roads in New York can make driving unsafe, even deadly. Understanding the various types of road hazards can help the accident victim seek damages in a personal injury lawsuit. These are some common examples:
Potholes. Potholes can be found throughout New York, but drivers don’t always treat them as the potential dangers they are. A motorist may swerve to avoid hitting a pothole and end up crashing his or her vehicle. Striking a pothole can also cause a temporary loss of control of the automobile that leads to a wreck.
Debris and obstructions. Fallen tree limbs, downed power lines, and other debris are not uncommon after a severe storm. As with potholes, a driver who suddenly comes across debris may abruptly steer the vehicle away and cause an accident.
Items falling from vehicles. Sometimes the road hazard is caused by items that have fallen off of trucks, out of cars, and from other vehicles. Motorists who are trying to avoid these objects can crash into automobiles, pedestrians, and others.
Construction zones. Although construction is everywhere in New York, work zones should be clearly marked so passengers can adjust their driving accordingly (e.g. by slowing down). Larger, slower vehicles entering and out of construction zones can also create safety issues.
Problems with road signs. Drivers rely on road signs to safely guide them while they are on the road. But some signs go missing, are defaced or damaged without being repaired, or become faded or obscured. Without clear, proper signage, accidents become more likely.
Malfunctioning street lights and traffic signals. Motorists can’t safely navigate the roads if street lights and traffic signals are burned out, not working, or otherwise defective. Although these issues are typically fixed quickly, they can still cause major problems.
Drainage issues. Roads should be constructed and improved to allow for the proper drainage of excess rain. Otherwise, the roads can be flooded and cause havoc. Plummeting temperatures can turn standing water into ice.
Improper snow removal. Snow plows are necessary during New York winters to clear the snow and ensure the safe movement of traffic. However, if they don’t do their jobs correctly, numerous commuters could get into serious wrecks.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Road Hazard Car Accident?
One of your attorney’s jobs will be to determine who was responsible for the road hazard accident. In some cases, more than one party may share the blame. This is beneficial to the victim because more defendants equate to more individuals, companies, and/or entities who can be ordered to pay damages. Your lawyer will therefore work to bring all parties into the lawsuit who played a role in causing your injuries.
These are a few of the potential at-fault parties in a road hazard accident:
- Automobile and truck drivers. These individuals may be responsible for dropping items onto the road and causing a wreck.
- Employers. If, for example, a truck driver dropped something onto the road, that individual’s employer could ultimately be liable.
- Governmental entities. Maintenance for traffic signs, street lights, and roads belongs to the government, but suing them requires taking special procedural steps.
- General contractors and property owners. These parties could be held liable for causing construction-related road hazard car accidents.
- Safety inspectors. A safety inspector or the company who employs him or her could be responsible for certain road hazard claims.
How Our Firm Helps Victims of Road Hazard Car Accidents
If you’ve been hurt because of a road hazard, one of the most critical first steps will be to investigate why the accident happened. Evidence can be quickly lost if it is not obtained early after a car wreck, so we get to work right away to interview witnesses, obtain video footage and documents, reconstruct the accident with the help of an expert witness, and more. As mentioned above, we want to know the identity of all parties who may have been responsible for your wreck, and the investigation stage will prove useful for this purpose.
We also work to demand the maximum amount of damages available under the law. This includes not only losses you’ve incurred already (e.g. medical bills and lost wages) but future damages as well. For this, we typically rely on the help of expert witnesses who can make a reasonable estimate of what those damages may look like. As an example, a vocational expert witness can explain how your accident may affect your future career prospects or ability to work a certain job. This information will prove useful in your demand for lost future income.
We also take care of negotiations with the insurance company. Insurers routinely use a number of underhanded tricks to deprive accident victims of the compensation they deserve. Negotiating with the insurance company is therefore best left to an experienced road hazard car accident attorney. If the insurer won’t negotiate in good faith, we will take your case to a jury.
Contact Our Queens Road Hazard Car Accident Attorney
Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. understands the stress that being in a road-hazard car accident can cause you and your family. Our objective is to fight for the monetary compensation you deserve while you focus on recovering from your injuries. To get started with your legal case, reach out to us today.