Proper road maintenance doesn’t just protect our cars from damage. It is also essential to ensuring safe driving conditions. An often underestimated hazard is posed by potholes. Not only can these hurt your car, but they can also make automobile accidents far more likely. If you’ve been in a wreck caused in part by a pothole, let our Atlanta car accident lawyers know.
What Causes Potholes?
Heat, cold, and heavy traffic patterns can cause potholes, sometimes reaching several inches in width and depth. But even small potholes can be dangerous because of the effects they have on automobiles. The risk is even more pronounced for motorcycles, which are less stable and more prone to accidents. Any driver can lose control of their steering after hitting a pothole. However, a motorcyclist can be thrown from their motorcycle and severely injured or killed.
Potholes are not always obvious, nor is the depth or width readily apparent. This can make it more difficult to gauge how hazardous it is. Potholes can be obscured by rain or other weather conditions, or because it is dark. Poorly maintained roads are likely to develop more potholes along with other unsafe defects.
Numerous conditions can make potholes more dangerous to drivers:
- Heavy traffic. When more drivers are concentrated in a stretch of road containing potholes, there is a higher risk of vehicles colliding.
- Driving at a higher rate of speed makes it more difficult to see and avoid potholes.
- Some drivers almost instinctively swerve to avoid potholes, but this puts them and other drivers at risk.
- Driving vehicles in poor condition. If a car has steering or suspension problems, it is more likely to lose control after hitting a pothole.
How is Fault Determined After a Car Accident?
After an automobile accident, it is critical to determine what exactly caused it. A driver can still be at fault, even though the pothole was the immediate cause of the accident. This is true because not all drivers who hit potholes end up in wrecks. The actual cause will need to be established, considering the above factors and more. It is important to let an experienced Georgia automobile accident investigate and determine who is at fault.
Potholes are often attributable to poor road maintenance, making them generally avoidable problems. Local, state and national governments responsible for maintaining roads don’t always pay attention to troubled areas. Sometimes the funds are not there, but in many cases, it’s simply a matter of poor planning. The government has an obligation to keep roads reasonably safe for drivers as well as other users.
When the government negligently carries out its duties to provide safe roads, injured motorists could have a claim. However, suing governmental entities is more complex than suing private defendants. And if the actions of a private defendant are partially to blame, that will need to be taken into consideration. If a car was speeding when it struck a really deep pothole, you could have competing claims. There are also important deadlines and notice requirements that you will need to follow if you sue a governmental unit. Having a lawyer who understands the complicated procedural hurdles to file a lawsuit is essential.
What Should I do After a Car Accident in Atlanta?
If you’ve been hurt, the first thing you need to do is take care of your medical needs. Also, make sure your passengers are taken care of. Begin collecting your medical records and try to put together details of the accident. Making notes and interviewing witnesses who may have seen the wreck (including passengers) is a good first step. File a police report, and try to take pictures or video of the accident scene.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers at Schneider Hammers
The more evidence you can gather, the better your case will likely go. But you should also contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney at your earliest convenience. Your lawyer will help collect necessary information from relevant parties and can advise as to your legal rights. Call Schneider Hammers today and speak with our experienced car accident lawyers about your automobile accident.