Determining Fault When Unsafe Road Conditions Cause Accidents

Car accidents | November 8, 2020

Determining Fault When Unsafe Road Conditions Cause Car Accidents

Vehicle accidents occur all the time in Illinois, and they are usually caused by the careless or negligent actions of other drivers. However, vehicle accidents are also caused by unsafe roadway conditions. Determining liability in the aftermath of a vehicle crash caused by an unsafe roadway condition can be difficult. Here, we want to discuss how bad roads cause accidents, who can face liability in these cases, and how liability is determined.

How do bad roads cause accidents?

Accidents caused by unsafe road conditions have various causes. Some of the most common ways that roadway defects cause Illinois vehicle accidents include the following:

  • Inadequate shoulders on the roadway caused by poor designs
  • Poorly designated entry and exit ramps
  • Defective traffic signs or traffic signals
  • Stop signs or yield signs that are obstructed by obstacles
  • Missing speed limits or warning signs
  • Inadequate warnings about roadway construction
  • Incomplete roadway construction
  • Improperly graded roadsides
  • Utility poles, landscaping, or signs that obstruct drivers’ views
  • Debris that is not removed from the roadway in a timely manner

Any of these hazardous roadway conditions, and others, can lead to serious accidents and injuries occurring.

Who can be sued in these cases?

There may be various parties that can be held liable in the event unsafe road conditions cause an accident. This can include:

  • Other drivers that create the hazardous condition
  • State or municipal agencies responsible for roadway inspection and maintenance
  • Construction companies, contractors, or subcontractors responsible for roadway construction

How are accident faults determined?

A complete investigation will need to be conducted into these cases to determine which party or parties may be liable. Determining fault in these incidents begins as soon as the crash occurs. Law enforcement officials will conduct an initial investigation and make a determination as to who they believe caused the accident. If a bad roadway condition caused a collision, this will likely be noted in the police report. An investigation by attorneys could also uncover photo or video surveillance as well as eyewitness statements to help determine fault for the incident.

Often, it is determined that more than one party is at fault in these cases. Sometimes, a driver may be held partially responsible for causing the collision, even if a hazardous roadway condition was the primary cause of the crash. Under Illinois comparative negligence laws, drivers can still recover compensation in the aftermath of a collision so long as they are less than 51% responsible for the incident. However, the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.

How much compensation is available?

If you or somebody you love has been injured in an accident caused by an unsafe roadway condition, you may be entitled to various types of compensation. One of the first steps you need to take is to seek assistance from a skilled Chicago car accident lawyer with experience handling this type of case. Your attorney should be able to help you secure compensation for the following:

  • Coverage of your medical bills
  • Lost income if you cannot work
  • Any household out-of-pocket expenses you incur
  • Loss of quality of life damages
  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Property damage expenses

The total amount of compensation available in these cases will vary depending on the circumstances related to each particular situation. Your Chicago personal injury attorney will work with trusted medical and economic experts to help determine your total losses.