When roadways are designed, a lot of time and effort goes into making sure the designs are safe and effective. However, there are times when roadway designs have flaws that make them unsafe. In these cases, there is a reasonably higher chance that you will encounter a problem and end up in a car accident. The same is true of roadway defects, such as potholes, that have not been repaired.
In the past, governments were protected by sovereign immunity, a legal precedent that you cannot sue the government. However, these policies have changed to better reflect the public’s view of how accidents happen. If the roadway is defective or poorly designed, it is now possible to hold the government body that is responsible for the road accountable.
If you or a loved one is injured because of roadway defect or design, contact a Chicago roadway design and defect lawyer to discuss your options. You may be able to recover compensation for your expenses. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case with our legal team.
Types of Roadway Designs and Defects
Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports on problems in designs and potential defects that can lead to dangerous driving situations. While its work focuses on vehicles, it also includes information on roadway designs and possible defects. This leads many companies to look for ways of addressing problems before they lead to accidents. Some of the potential roadway designs and defects to look for include:
- Potholes: Potholes are areas of heavy damage in a road’s surface, usually creating a hole. Potholes are notorious for being hard to see, especially in the rain, and causing severe tire damage.
- Roadside hazards: Anything on the side of the road can be considered a hazard if a car can hit it when it runs off of the road. Road designers have a responsibility to find ways of minimizing the potential damage from these hazards, such as making drainage ditches shallower to prevent severe damage.
- Faulty safety systems: Guard rails and other safety devices built into roadways can make an accident worse if they are not designed or installed properly.
- Short view ranges: When roads are built, they must be built with long fields of view to give drivers time to react to situations. Obstacles blocking that view, like overly large signs or sharp turns in heavily wooded areas, can count as design errors that make it hard for drivers to see.
There are other design errors and defects not covered on this list. Changes in the laws over the past several decades have made it clear that organizations responsible for roadway maintenance and development are more responsible for the accidents on those roads than previously established. If you are dealing with injuries because of a defect with a roadway, you may be able to recover compensation for your expenses. Most of these entities are no longer protected by sovereign immunity, making it possible to hold them accountable.
Possibly Recoverable Compensation
If you are injured in an accident, there are several types of compensation that you can recover. The most prominent two are medical expense compensation and property damage compensation. Medical expenses are common in car accidents, and they can be an expensive problem that you did not plan for. However, you may be able to recover compensation for those expenses from the driver that is at fault. The repair or replacement costs of fixing your car can also be recovered.
If you are injured enough to miss work, then you can also collect lost wages compensation. These should cover the amount of money that you lost from not working. There is also a chance that you can recover compensation for a disability that you develop as a result of the crash. This is especially true if the disability prevents you from going back to the same job or back to work entirely.
If your accident led to an unusual amount of emotional and mental stress, the judge may decide to award pain and suffering compensation. This is a type of compensation used to make up for injuries that are not physical. Rather, it focuses on the intangible problems that the accident caused. Determining an amount for pain and suffering compensation can be complicated as there may not be concrete expenses to base it on.
For a free legal consultation with a roadway design and defect accidents lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 794-0444
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer is a serious consideration after an accident, but there are situations where it is a good idea. Governments are generally responsible for roadways and in the past, they were protected from roadway lawsuits by sovereign immunity, according to Purdue University. This has largely changed over the past three decades, as the understanding of how accidents happen has changed. While sovereign immunity may be removed, it is still difficult to hold a government responsible for roadway problems. This is a situation where having a Chicago roadway design and defect lawyer is the key to successfully collecting compensation.
There are even cases where dealing with the insurance company can be easier with the help of a lawyer. Some insurance companies may try to avoid paying claims in ways that violate their agreements. Lawyers can work with insurance companies to resolve disputes and help you get the compensation you need for your recovery.
Call Us to Discuss the Details of Your Potential Case
The laws regarding roadway designs and defects have changed, and handling a lawsuit against the government or another major organization could be difficult without a lawyer. Fortunately, there are lawyers that can assist you in this type of personal injury case. A lawyer may be able to help by building and managing a case to pursue compensation on your behalf.
If you or a loved one is injured in a roadway design or defect-related accident, consult a Chicago roadway design and defect lawyer for help recovering compensation. You may be able to collect compensation from the organization that manages that particular roadway. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case with our legal team.