Bridgeport Dangerous Road Condition Accident Lawyer

A demolished segment of roadway in a city with traffic cones warning of it.Most car accidents are due to driver error, but sometimes circumstances beyond a driver’s control can cause a crash. Issues like bad weather, wildlife, or debris on the road can contribute to accidents, and you might assume these are all unavoidable hazards.

Sometimes, that’s true, but in other situations, there may be a liable party after all.

The city, state, or other municipality responsible for a thoroughfare has a duty to maintain its roads in a safe condition for drivers, and if they fail to do so, you may have a case against the relevant government entity. If we can find evidence that your accident was due to poor road or bridge conditions or a design defect, we may be able to recover your damages from the appropriate agency.

How Does a Bridgeport Dangerous Road Condition Accident Attorney Evaluate Your Case?

We will examine the police report and other evidence to determine if there was an issue with the road’s design or maintenance. If you are able to do so, take pictures of the road or bridge, as well as the damage to your vehicle, to provide us with more information.

However, if you weren’t able to take pictures after the accident, we can have our investigators visit the scene to learn more about what happened.

Anything you can tell us about your recollection of the accident is also helpful. In single-car events, there are often no witnesses besides the driver.

We will look for doorbell cams or security cams in the area in the hopes of recovering a video of the crash, and we’ll canvas the area for other witnesses. But if these efforts don’t uncover additional evidence, we may have to work with your account of what happened.

To this end, we will ask you questions.

What was the weather like that day? Did you skid? When did you first notice you were losing control of the car? Did you hear any unusual noises? How did you respond, and did your efforts have any effect?

The answers to these questions give us clues as to what kind of difficulty caused your accident.

What Are Some Common Road Defects That May Cause an Accident?

A road or bridge can be defective in multiple ways. Here are some issues we see frequently in these cases:

Damaged or Confusing Road Signs

The reality is that road signs are often damaged in car accidents or by weather events like storms or even strong winds. The government agency responsible for the signs should fix or replace those that have been damaged.

Additionally, there may be issues if a sign or combination of signs is confusing and the driver isn’t sure what is being communicated.

Lack of Maintenance

This one encompasses a wide variety of issues. A road could have potholes, cracks, bumps or uneven areas, decaying pavement, faded lines, etc.

If these problems are significant enough to cause an accident, you might have a claim against the responsible agency.

Maintenance also includes keeping the roads relatively clear in snow and ice. This job is often contracted out to a private company, and the agency might assume the company is clearing the roads as promised.

But if the company fails to meet reasonable standards for snow and ice removal, and you suffer an accident as a result, both the government agency and the private snow removal company could be liable.

You will need to show that the maintenance did not meet expected standards and that the road condition was the sole proximate cause of your accident. The agency and/or private company must have had an adequate opportunity to become aware of the weather conditions and remedy them, and the driver must not have been negligent.

For instance, if you were going the speed limit despite the fact that it was still actively snowing or sleeting, the other party might argue you were negligent because you didn’t slow down in bad weather. If it had just started snowing a short time ago, they could also argue they didn’t have a reasonable opportunity to clear the roads.

Poor Lighting on Roadways

Roads should be well-lit so drivers can see obstructions their headlights don’t quite reach. Good lighting may also illuminate other potential hazards, such as a pedestrian or bicyclist near the road or wildlife like deer.

If your accident was related to poor lighting on the roadway, you may have a case against the responsible agency.

Malfunctioning Lights or Traffic Signals

People rely on traffic lights and signals to keep traffic moving in an orderly fashion and prevent accidents. When these items malfunction, collisions are inevitable. Worse, you and the other driver may both insist you had the light—and you could both be right!

Will your insurance company believe you? Will theirs?

If you’re in this situation, please contact an attorney right away. Even if the light wasn’t defective, we might be able to help you find evidence the other driver was at fault.

However, in some cases, we find a video or picture that indicates both parties had a green light or a “Walk” signal was on when it shouldn’t have been. When this happens, we may file a claim against the agency responsible for the traffic signals.

Design Defects

Like traffic signals, road design is intended to keep us safe on the roads, but sometimes, a design defect increases the risk of accidents. One example would be poorly designed shoulders—for example, if the shoulder is positioned close to an obstacle like a wall, there may not be room to use the shoulder appropriately.

Another example: a curb that juts out in an awkward or unexpected way could also cause accidents. Curbside parking is also a potential hazard if it hasn’t been designed correctly.

Other hazards may include intersections or roundabouts that are designed in a way that makes it hard for people to see other vehicles or pedestrians. This can overlap with sign problems—sometimes, a lack of signs providing instruction can make these areas more hazardous.

Poorly Positioned Median Dividers

Median dividers, like curbs, can pose risks if they are not positioned in an intuitive and easily visible way. If these are placed wrong, they increase the risk of a vehicle hitting the curb and the driver losing control of the car.

Defective Bridges

Bridges have a tendency to collect ice and grow slippery before other roadways because the ground retains heat, but a bridge is suspended in the chilly air. While most drivers are aware of this issue, it’s still necessary for the city or other agencies to post warning signs.

An inexperienced driver or a visitor from a warmer climate may need the reminder. If there is no warning, it’s possible the responsible agency was negligent.

Bridges also have specific weight limits and should be regularly checked for signs of stress, wear, or structural damage. If issues like bridge bowing or cracking are ignored, people who drive over the bridge could be at risk of a collapse.

Additionally, bridges can also have design defects. In these situations, we’ll investigate to learn when the bridge was last inspected, what the results were, and if there were any problems the city did not address.

How Long Do You Have to File a Claim for a Dangerous Road Condition Accident?

If you have any reason to suspect dangerous road conditions caused your accident, please call a Bridgeport injury lawyer immediately. Unlike most personal injury cases, which have a two-year statute of limitations for filing a claim, road condition claims must be submitted within 90 days.

There is no time to lose, so contact a car accident attorney immediately.

If you do not have a case against the governmental entity, we will review your other options for seeking compensation, such as pursuing a case against a negligent driver or using your own Collision or MedPay insurance coverage. If there is any way to recover your damages, we’ll find it.

How Can You Learn More From a Bridgeport Dangerous Road Condition Accident Law Firm?

As we mentioned in the previous section, your time to file a dangerous road claim is very limited. If you believe you may have been injured due to road conditions, please contact Bert McDowell Injury Law for a free consultation about your case.

There is no obligation, and if we take your case, you won’t owe us anything until we win or settle it.

Bert McDowell, Jr. is an experienced trial attorney who represents clients in a variety of personal injury situations and has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for them. He has been recognized in 40 Under 40 Connecticut and National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40.

Super Lawyers has also named him a Rising Star four years in a row.

When he’s not busy negotiating a deal or representing clients in court, Mr. McDowell is dedicated to community service and is on the board of several nonprofits. For his community work and stellar legal reputation, he received the 100 Men of Color Award, and the organization Black People Rocks honored him with the Man of Excellence Award.

It’s time to Bring On Bert! Contact him today at (203) 590-9169.