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Car Accidents and Road Conditions

Published: Feb 12, 2020 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
Road hazards

When it comes to car accidents, common contributing factors include everything from driver behaviors, distractions, mistakes, the actions of other drivers, or conditions of the roads. It can be easier to determine liability when the actions of a driver clearly led to the accident. In these cases, determining fault makes it easier for injured parties to seek compensation for the accident. Collecting damages in accidents caused by road conditions can be more difficult.

Road Condition Issues

The types of road conditions that have been known to cause car accidents include roads, bridges, and highways that need repair.

Road conditions that cause problems include potholes, cracks, debris from chipped or broken surfaces, worn or faded road markings, uneven lanes, erosion, or crumbling edges. In addition to road damage to surfaces, guardrails, lane markings, or sign postings in disrepair can cause potentially dangerous situations for drivers.

Sometimes road conditions cause issues when the roads are new. Often a road’s design is flawed. If turns are too sharp, proper signage is overlooked, or guardrails are omitted, the road may not be suitable for use.

Likewise, attempts to remedy defective or damaged road conditions may lead to problems as well. Areas of road construction or repair projects must be closed off to traffic or kept from presenting a potential hazard to travelers. Not only must road crews warn passing drivers using signs and traffic cones, but they must keep road construction materials from becoming a danger.

Road Responsibility

Government agencies are often responsible for the design, construction, and upkeep of highways, bridges and other roadway infrastructures. It might be the responsibility of the municipality, county, or state to maintain a road. Sometimes road maintenance duties are shared among governments, such as when a municipality is responsible for snow removal, but it is the county’s duty to repair potholes.

If you are hurt in an accident caused by a road condition, you must determine which government agency is responsible. The local county commissioner may be able to provide this information.


Once you know who is responsible, you must prove negligence in order to collect damages from the liable party.

To prove negligence, you must show that the agency knew or should have known of the problem and had a reasonable opportunity to address it but failed to do so. Finally, you must also prove that this failure caused your accident.

Alternatively, negligence may hinge on a case that is trying to show that planning or construction presented safety issues that caused your accident.

Claims Against Government Agencies

Government agencies operate under special rules regarding injury claims. Instead of suing directly, a lawsuit against the government must go through an administrative claim process to effectively obtain approval to proceed. Also, claims against the government typically involve a strict statute of limitations that requires timely filing.

Edwardsville Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Represent Injured Crash Victims

If you were hurt in a car accident that occurred on an unfit road, you may be able to collect damages for your injuries. Our dedicated Edwardsville car accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC can help you obtain compensation. Contact us online or call us at 618-277-3644 for a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we also represent clients in Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.