Centrally located in Walnut Creek, California, I represent clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California including Marin County, Sonoma, Napa, Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano Counties and beyond.

Can you sue the government for poor road conditions?

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2022 | Personal Injuries

A lot of people who have been involved in a car wreck, especially a single vehicle accident, chalk the incident up to bad luck or their own mistakes. But you shouldn’t be so quick to jump to that conclusion. This is because you may be able to argue that someone else is to blame for your crash, including the government. And if you can prove that someone else was responsible for your accident, then you might be able to recover the compensation that you need to offset your damages, which may include extensive medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Why the government might be to blame for poor road conditions

A lot of single-vehicle accidents are attributable to bad road conditions. These poor conditions may include:

  • Excessively large potholes
  • Damaged and unreadable road signs
  • Confusing road signs
  • Broken and otherwise improperly maintained guardrails
  • Poor nighttime lighting
  • Defective road designs
  • Blind curves
  • Lack of lane markings

These are just some of the failings that may cause an accident and lead to government liability. So, if you’ve been involved in a single vehicle accident and have been injured as a result, even if it was by something as seemingly innocent as a tire blowout, then you might want to investigate the wreck further to determine the true cause.

Proving your case against the government

If you hope to succeed with a legal claim against the government, then you’re going to have to prove certain legal elements, all aimed at showing that the government was negligent in its connection with the poor road condition. Generally speaking, this means that you’ll have to show that the government was aware of the problem with the road, had a reasonable opportunity to either fix the dangerous condition or at least warn drivers of it, and failed to act to accordingly remedy or warn, all of which resulted in the accident.

You might also be able to hold the government accountable by demonstrating that the road planning or the construction of the road was defective, thereby leading to the safety issue at hand.

How do you gather this evidence?

This is a good question. You might want to start by taking pictures of the accident scene. Make sure that you capture the full extent of the dangerous condition, whether that be the plethora or depth of potholes, the scope of an intersection and how it contains confusing signs, or poor sightlines in a curve.

You can then seek out records from the government to better determine if complaints have been made in the past and gauge whether the government has taken appropriate action in light of those complaints. You’ll also probably need to start identifying experts who can help you build your case by speaking to the dangerous condition’s impact on your accident. This will help you establish causation, which is key to your case.

Competent government civil litigators are ready to help you with your claim

Succeeding on one of these claims against the government is not easy. There are many impediments to filing a lawsuit against a government agency. However, if you are successful, your lawsuit may lead to the recovery of a significant amount of compensation. Failing to pursue a claim, on the other hand, could leave you in a dire financial predicament. With so much at stake, you owe it to yourself to put the best case forward.