What are Considered Dangerous and Unsafe Road Conditions?
January 5, 2021
When most people think of vehicle accidents, they think of one or more drivers being at fault for the incident. However, many accidents throughout California occur due to dangerous or unsafe roadway conditions. There are various reasons why a road may be dangerous or unsafe, and there are often other parties that can be held liable in these instances. This includes state or local municipal agencies, construction companies, commercial vehicle companies, and more. Here, we want to discuss common dangerous and unsafe roadway conditions that cause crashes throughout Orange County and the surrounding areas.
How Can Dangerous and Unsafe Road Conditions Cause Accidents?
Accidents can occur in a variety of ways due to unsafe or dangerous roadway conditions. Some of the most common causes of roadway defect crashes in Orange County and throughout California include the following:
- Poorly designed entry and exit ramps on highways
- Inadequate shoulders on the roadway due to poor designs
- Defective or improperly maintained traffic signals and traffic signs
- Yield or stop signs obstructed by obstacles
- Missing warning signs or speed limit signs
- Incomplete construction on the roadway
- An adequate warning about upcoming construction on the roadway
- Improperly graded roadways
- Roadway debris not removed in a timely manner
Any of these roadway conditions can create significant hazards to drivers. Roadway defects can cause both single- and multi-vehicle collisions that often result in significant injuries.
Who Can be Held Liable for Dangerous and Unsafe Roadway Conditions?
There are various parties that may hold liability for these incidents. It is not uncommon to discover, after an extensive investigation, that the following parties hold partial or complete liability for a crash:
- State or municipal agencies responsible for maintaining the roadway
- Third-party companies responsible for roadway maintenance
- Construction companies, contractors, or subcontractors
- Other drivers that create hazardous roadway conditions
- Commercial truck drivers or companies
Determining fault in the aftermath of a crash caused by a hazardous roadway condition can be challenging. These cases require that a complete and thorough investigation be conducted, and this often means that a victim should work with the skilled Orange County car accident attorney. An accident attorney can use their resources to obtain any evidence needed to prove liability, which can include:
- Any photographic evidence from the scene of the crash
- Any photographic evidence from nearby buildings or homes or dash cams
- Statements from any eyewitnesses
- Accident or police reports
- Complaints about roadway conditions to municipal or state authorities
After obtaining any evidence that proves liability, it is often determined that more than one party shares fault for the incident. In some cases, even the driver who is the victim in the case may share some liability. However, California operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system, which means that drivers can still recover compensation if they are up to 99% at fault for the incident. However, the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
What Kind of Compensation is Available for These Cases?
There may be various types of compensation available for any victim injured due to a car accident caused by dangerous or hazardous roadway conditions. This can include the following:
- Complete coverage of medical bills
- Lost wages if a victim cannot work
- Any household out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage losses
- Loss of quality of life damages
- Pain and suffering damages
The total amount of compensation available for a car accident claim will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each particular situation. An attorney will work to ensure that victims obtain maximum compensation for their losses.