When Road Hazards Cause Car Accidents
There are many causes of car accidents, including distracted driving and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Today we’re going to talk about road hazards and how they can cause car accidents. Motorcycles, in particular, are vulnerable to road hazard accidents and must pay particular attention to road conditions but this is an important topic for all drivers.
What are road hazards? Road hazards are any object or debris, including fallen cargo, animals, construction materials or tools, loose gravel, fallen trees or electrical wires, very rough roads, uneven expansion joints, standing water, snow or ice, etc. that is on the road unexpectedly.
Determining fault in a road hazard accident
When a road hazard is the cause of a car accident, it can be tricky to determine fault in some cases. In truth, there are situations where nobody is at-fault such as when a wild animal crosses the road or when a road is icy during a snowstorm. There are some road hazard accidents where fault can be assigned, such as a government or construction company that designed and built a road that has unreasonable hazards. For example, a negligently designed bridge could cause ice spikes to crash down onto vehicles as they melt or a negligently designed road could cause water to pool on the roadway. If, however, there is a roadway that floods during heavy rains and the city crew diligently places hazard warning signs or blocks the road from motor vehicles during times of flooding, it could be very difficult to prove negligence.
If you or a loved one was injured in a road hazard accident and you are not sure who is at fault, contact an experienced car accident attorney for help. The injury lawyer can assess the details of your accident and discuss your legal options. If they determine that this is an at-fault party such as a construction company, they may be able to help you recover damages. There is no fee to hire a personal injury lawyer and you pay only a percentage of your settlement.
Partial liability for car accidents
In some cases – and in some states*, there can be partial blame assigned for accidents. This means that the driver who was in a road hazard accident may be partially to blame for their own accident and that they may only recover damages for the percentage of fault assigned to the other party. For example, if a driver was speeding at the time they hit the debris or other road hazard, they may be partially at fault for their injuries.
* Washington State is a comparative fault state, which means that fault can be shared in a personal injury case. Damages are awarded based on contributory fault law which says that you may only be awarded damages proportionate to the percentage of fault contributed by the defendant and nothing for the amount of fault that you contributed.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!