Dangerous Highway Defects
Millions of drivers utilize highways daily in their daily commutes. As a large state, Texas, in particular, is known for its large and extensive highway system. IH-35 is particularly busy and lengthy. While many drivers are aware of and try to avoid other reckless motorists, fewer consider the dangers presented by road defects.
Sadly, highway defects, including those on IH-35, lead to thousands of car accidents annually in the United States, injuring many innocent drivers and, tragically, killing some. At the Burch Law Firm, we know how destructive road defects in New Braunfels can be for drivers. Fortunately, municipalities can often be held accountable for these defects, especially when they cause harm to innocent and unsuspecting drivers.
Common Highway Defects
Highways often become defective as a result of normal wear and tear; however, it is the responsibility of local municipal agencies to address these deteriorating road conditions. When these companies and organizations fail in this duty, it can cause the following dangerous highway defects:
- Shoulder Drop-Off
- Lack of Signs
- Lack of Guardrails
- Water Pooling
- Uneven Pavement
- Roadway Obstructions
These highway defects can cause car accidents that injure innocent drivers. What often makes dealing with the consequences of these accidents more difficult is the knowledge that they could likely have been prevented if the municipalities had taken the time to repair and maintain roads.
Optimal driving calls for well-maintained, flat surfaces. Weather and overuse can have a major impact on roads, often destroying the integrity of its surfaces and creating unsafe driving conditions.
The most common result of weather and overuse on unmaintained roads is the creation of potholes. Potholes are essentially holes on a road surface caused by the erosion or wear of the road’s surface. Potholes are usually characterized as convex, but depending on the type of wear that has caused it, they can be more jagged and less spherical. If a road with a pothole goes without repair, a pothole can grow in size, possibly spreading several feet from an origin.
Potholes are one of the most common causes of car accidents and can damage your car even if you’re not in a crash. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident because of a pothole, you might be entitled to fight for compensation. Call the New Braunfels pothole accident attorneys of the Burch Law Firm at 830-629-0955 today to discuss your case today.
Causes of Potholes
Potholes generally refer to an defect on a road surface that falls inward, creating an schism or opening. Potholes can be caused by:
- Periods of extreme weather
- Overuse without maintenance
- Improper construction
The formation of potholes on road surfaces is not in itself a surprising event. However, the neglect of road maintenance agencies allowing potholes to persist after forming is a problem that can cause car accidents and injuries.
Lack of Signs
Government transportation agencies have a responsibility to the public to install proper, visible signage and road paint when necessary. A lack of signs and other important traffic indicators can contribute to serious collisions on the road, caused by driver confusion or a lack of forewarning for known hazards. Should accidents occur as a result of a municipality’s failure to install and maintain road signs, it may be held accountable for its mistakes. Injured motorists may be entitled to file for financial compensation from these negligent transportation agencies.
Dangers of Missing Road Signs
Road signs and paint are instrumental for directing drivers and maintaining a safe and steady traffic flow on the roads. Road signage and paint should provide much-needed direction for motorists, keeping them from becoming confused and endangering other drivers. The following are common examples of issues that may arise without proper road signs or paint:
- Without stop signs at intersections, it can be difficult to safely establish who has right-of-way.
- Without yield signs, drivers may collide at fast-moving merging or entrance ramp lanes.
- Without construction warning signs, motorists may not know to slow down around work zones and may collide with a barrier, machine, or construction worker.
- Without clear road paint, motorists may not know where the lanes are actually divided and may drift into other lanes without noticing.
These types of road signs and paint are just a few of the many fixtures that are crucial for basic traffic order and safety. Government agencies that fail to provide this direction may be held legally accountable for the injuries and damage their negligence causes.
Optimal driving calls for well-maintained, flat surfaces. Roads must be even and straight in order for a driver to operate their vehicle without losing control and potentially crashing. Unfortunately, some roads are not built in a way that ensures safe driving, accident-free driving. Additionally, they can accumulate certain defects that will deter the ability of a driver to operate their vehicle safely. One of the most common defects is uneven pavement. Uneven pavement can be the result of poor construction or maintenance practices or materials, manifesting itself as large cracks, hills, or even potholes. Any of these can create poor driving conditions, especially if they go unfixed. The longer uneven pavement goes unfixed, the worse the problem becomes, as the environment and use can cause uneven pavement to become exponentially worse.
If you or a loved one has been burdened, medically or financially, by the negligence of a road-maintenance agency, you may be entitled to fight for compensation. Call our New Braunfels uneven pavement attorneys of the Burch Law Firm today at 830-629-0955.
Dangers of Uneven Pavement
Uneven pavement impairs the ability of a driver to safely operate a motor vehicle and can result in:
- Tire blowout
- Axle damage
- Windshield damage from loose debris.
Uneven roads present dangers to even the most careful drivers. Thus, when a municipal entity neglects their duty in maintaining or building safe roads, they should be held accountable for their negligence.
When roads get wet from rain or inclement weather, drivers could face a number of challenges that increase their risk of an accident. In severe cases, pools of water can develop on highways and roads. When vehicles drive over them, they may lose traction on the road surface, making a crash unavoidable. Roadways are to be built in such a way that such pools will not form, and when depressions in the road surface appear, municipal authorities are to take the appropriate steps to eliminate them. The failure to do so is inexcusable.
If you or your loved one has been harmed in an auto accident that was caused by pooled water on the road surface, a civil lawsuit may grant you the opportunity to recover financial compensation for related damages. Contact the New Braunfels water pooling attorneys of the Burch Law Firm at 830-629-0955 to discuss your potential case with a committed and capable legal representative.
Potentially Recoverable Damages
Water pooling has a number of dangers, but the most serious one is the threat of hydroplaning. Tires are designed to push water out of the way so they can stay in contact with the road at all times. Unfortunately, when there are large pools of water, tires cannot adequately funnel this water. As a result, tires can lose traction, compromising one’s ability to steer, brake, and accelerate.
- Medical bills associated with the accident
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repairs
When a driver gets behind the wheel, the last thing that he or she expects is that the roadway itself will cause them to have an accident. Regrettably, poor maintenance – particularly of the shoulder – can allow for a dangerous drop-off to develop at the edge of the road. A motorist who is already attempting to pull over to safety in response to mechanical or other difficulties may lose control of the vehicle as the vehicle crosses onto the shoulder.
If you or your loved one has been hurt in an accident resulting from insufficient or improper road maintenance, it may be appropriate to pursue financial compensation through a civil lawsuit. To discuss your legal rights and options, contact the New Braunfels shoulder drop-off lawyers of the Burch Law Firm at 830-629-0955.
Hazards of Shoulder Drop Offs
When a vehicle crosses onto a shoulder that is significantly lower than the principal road surface, the vehicle is likely to be jarred violently and the tires may be subjected to extraordinary physical strain. The following are some of the possible outcomes of a shoulder drop-off accident:
- Tire blowouts
- Rollover accidents
- Collisions with other cars
- Collisions with objects in the vicinity.
Any people who are hurt in such a serious crash are at risk of sustaining severe, potentially life-threatening injuries. A successful lawsuit can help these parties to obtain financial compensation to address medical bills and other damages.
Know How to Respond When a Highway Defect Causes a Car Accident
Texas is famous for its size; it’s a large state, and it has large cities filled with large cars. For many people, Texas’ size is a source of pride. However, in order to get from one place to another in such a large state, it’s often necessary to travel on one of the state’s many highways. These highways can be dangerous places and are the scene for many serious and deadly car accidents.
When people think about these deadly accidents, they might think about other drivers. They may think about the reckless, negligent or otherwise careless people that do not take their responsibility behind the wheel seriously. While negligent drivers are often to blame for car accidents, they are not the only thing that causes them. Defective car parts, for example, can also be to blame for serious accidents.
Additionally, the highway itself can be the culprit. The state has the responsibility to ensure that its highways are properly designed and maintained. However, this responsibility is often overlooked.
Faulty roadways can be to blame for many accidents. In some cases, it can be uneven pavement, pooling water or the lack of guardrails that is responsible for the accident. Other objects in the road, construction negligence or potholes can also be to blame.
Our firm understands all the dangers that a driver faces on Texas’ roads. We work with people every day that have had their lives turned upside down because of the negligence of another. Our skilled attorneys want to make sure that no one suffers financially because of a car accident.
With these injury attorneys‘ skill, experience and attention to detail, a personal injury suit can be brought against the negligent party. The negligent party can be the state, construction companies or design firms, depending on the situation. While people focus on their own physical recovery, we can focus on their financial recovery.
For more information about our firm and highway defects, please see our website. No one should be left alone to deal with the devastation created by a car accident.
If a road-maintenance agency has failed in its responsibility to keep roads safe and has left you or a loved one injured, contact our compassionate car accident lawyers at Burch Law Firm today at 830-629-0955 to discuss your case.