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Road Hazards Caused an Accident. Who Is Responsible?

Road Hazards Caused an Accident. Who Is Responsible?You were driving when you encountered a huge piece of debris in the road. You had to quickly swerve to avoid it, and you ended up getting into an accident. Or, maybe you were driving and you came to an intersection but didn’t see a hidden or absent stop sign. Instead of stopping, you kept on going. As a result, you got into an accident and found out only later that a stop sign used to be at the intersection but somehow it had been removed or bushes and trees have hidden tit from view. Now that a road hazard caused an accident, you’re wondering: Who is responsible?

Riverside, California personal injury lawyers Heiting & Irwin have over four decades of experience assisting clients who have been in road hazard accidents. We have retrieved more than $400 million for our clients, and we’ll work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.

Who Is Responsible for the Road Hazard?

You want to file a claim and retrieve compensation from the responsible party, but you aren’t exactly sure who that might be. The truth is, it all depends on who put the road hazard there, or who was responsible for maintaining the roadway and its surroundings.

For instance, if you got into an accident because there was fallen debris on the road, then the person who owned the debris will probably be responsible.  But others could also share in that responsibility. This could be someone who was moving heavy items and didn’t secure them properly and they fell off the back of their truck. Or, it could be a construction site owner who didn’t put the right precautions in place on the worksite or train the workers on looking out for unsecured or fallen debris.

Let’s say a stop sign was not where it should have been. Typically, the city, state, or county where the stop sign is located is going to be responsible for it. If the stop sign had been hit multiple times, then the government should have stepped in to fix the problem. But even if it was only hit once, the government should be on top of repairing it as soon as possible. The government could also be responsible for faulty traffic signals, potholes, poorly maintained roads, or mismanaged bridges.

In another scenario, inclement weather may cause a road hazard. Rocks could fall down from the side of a cliff and block the road. Heavy rain could cause poor visibility for drivers. While obviously nobody is responsible for inclement weather, drivers who get into accidents because of it should thoroughly investigate and explore the cause(s) of the accident.

Getting a Settlement for Road Hazard Accidents

You deserve compensation if you were injured because of a road hazard. What you will have to do is prove that the responsible party was negligent, and their negligence caused the accident (and your injury).

You may believe that you were partially responsible. Let’s say you were going 10 miles an hour over the speed limit when the accident occurred, driving with a broken headlight, or you were distracted when you hit the road hazard. Even if this is the case, you need to see a lawyer.  Recovery depends on all the facts and details surrounding the case.

Keep in mind that if you’re filing a claim against the government, then the timeline could be shorter than other claims.  In any event, you should find and hire a  personal injury attorney ASAP.

It’s always a good idea to file a claim as soon as you can, no matter what happened. If you wait too long, the statute of limitations (time limit to make a formal claim) could run out. You may forget details. If there’s any security footage available of the accident, it might get erased.

Call a lawyer as soon as you accident occurs, and you’ll have peace of mind that your case is being handled. 

Reach Out to Heiting & Irwin for Help

If you got into an accident because of a road hazard, then it’s time to call up a personal injury lawyer to represent you. Heiting & Irwin are here for you. We have dealt with a great many personal injury road hazard cases over the last 45 years and will work hard to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 951-682-6400 to start your case now.

Dennis Stout is a native Californian with significant ties to the Inland Empire, where he continues to reside. A graduate of Upland High School, the University of California, Riverside (B.S. Economics), and the University of La Verne (J.D.), Mr. Stout has practiced law continuously since 1979. He has been married to his wife, Alicia (R.N., C.E.N., M.I.C.N.) since that same year, and they have three adult children, all of whom live in Southern California. View Attorney Dennis Stout's Attorney Bio Here.

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