Who is To Blame If an Object in The Road Caused My Accident?
Some road accidents happen not because of the negligent or careless acts of motorists but because of various road hazards. These hazards could include rough roads, animals, bumps, gravel, slippery surfaces, uneven expansion joints, standing water, various debris, ice, snow, or objects that fell from another vehicle or a construction zone.
In some cases, however, nobody is clearly to blame for a hazard or object on the road. For instance, nobody’s really to blame when natural conditions or wild animals appear suddenly and cause a road accident. But in other cases, an identifiable and specific individual or entity’s actions result in a road hazard. In general, an entity or person who has control over a property is legally responsible for inspecting it, warning others of any hazards, and repairing those hazardous conditions.
Determining Liability and Fault for Road Hazards
The vast majority of accidents that involve road hazards involve someone else’s negligence. But the entity that is liable for the accident caused by road hazards varies. Potentially liable parties could include private businesses like construction companies and landscapers or public entities like the state, the federal government, a public agency, or the city. Take note, however, that filing a claim against a government entity is much different than filing a claim against private entities.
With that said, a government agency and the construction company they hired to design and construct a road might be held liable for a particularly bumpy road or poorly maintained road with hazardous potholes. Although some road hazards might be minor to bigger motor vehicles, they might pose dangers to bicyclists or motorcyclists.
In another case, a private construction firm contracted by the city was responsible for posting warning signs about a construction zone ahead but failed to do so. If a motorist gets into an accident because of this, the firm and the city might both be liable for the accident. Or, for instance, if something fell from a truck and caused drivers at the back of the truck to suddenly swerve and crash, the trucker and/or their employer could be held liable for the crash.
But it is also important to note that, in some accidents involving road hazards, the driver might also be partially to blame for the accident. Florida follows the comparative negligence principle. This means that any contributory fault on the part of the injured victim will reduce the damages they recover proportionately to their level or degree of fault for the accident.
Seek Legal Guidance From an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Figuring out fault and liability for a road accident that occurred due to a road hazard could be very challenging. It also doesn’t help that multiple parties might be liable for the accident. For legal advice following a road accident where you got injured because of a road hazard, contact Tragos, Sartes, & Tragos today. You can schedule your free case evaluation with our experienced Florida personal injury lawyer by calling (727) 441-9030 or filling out our online form.