If you were injured in an auto accident due to dangerous road conditions, you may be wondering, “Can I sue the city?” Generally, it depends on the specific circumstances of your case and the specific laws of the city where the accident took place. For instance, did the city know about the dangerous road conditions and have a reasonable chance to fix them, but didn’t? Were you driving carefully, yet still had the accident due to the dangerous road conditions? The answers to questions such as these will determine whether you can actually sue the city successfully or not.
What Constitutes Dangerous Road Conditions?
Dangerous road conditions can include any of the following conditions:
- Lack of a guardrail that should be in place to act as a barrier.
- Inadequately constructed guardrail that fails to act as a solid barrier.
- Potholes on the road, usually due to freeze and thaw cycles.
- Improper drainage of water on the road.
- Polished roads that have poor skid resistance.
- Malfunctioning traffic signals that cause a dangerous situation.
- A safe, roadside recovery area, known as a “safe zone,” is not provided for motorists to be able to recover when they run off the roadway.
When Suing the City Is Possible
The above conditions mentioned do not guarantee that you will be able to win a successful case against the city. It depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
For instance, potholes on the road do not guarantee that the city was at fault, but if the city had prior written notice of the potholes and had a reasonable amount of time to fill in the potholes but did not, then the city would be liable for your damages.
Another instance where the circumstances play a factor in whether you can successfully sue the city or not is when it comes to winter weather. The city is not responsible for accidents that occur due to the naturally accumulating amounts of ice and snow. However, if the city’s snowplow drivers plow the snow and ice in such a way to create a dangerous situation for drivers, and that dangerous situation caused you to have an accident, you would have a high chance of successfully suing the city for your damages from the accident.
Whether you can successfully sue the city you had the accident in or not will heavily depend on the circumstances of your individual case, including whether the city knew about the dangerous road conditions, if it caused them by action or inaction on its part, whether you contributed to the accident (i.e. reckless driving), and the laws for suing the city.
Obtain Legal Help
Knowing how and when to sue the city in where you have an auto accident due to dangerous road conditions can be a complex matter. An established and experienced personal injury attorney who practices in the city where the accident took place can provide sound legal advice on whether the city is responsible for your injuries and present the strongest possible case in order for you to receive the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.