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Dangerous and Defective Roadways and Unsafe Road Conditions

Have you been injured in a collision or solo-vehicle accident in California that you believe was caused by the design or layout of a road or intersection, or a dangerous condition in the roadway? An attorney experienced in road defect cases can help you understand your legal rights, options and obligations to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries or the wrongful death of a family member.

Who Is Responsible For Your Accident?

Every dangerous road design case is unique, and the location of the accident will determine who is responsible for maintaining the roadway. If your accident occurred on a highway, you may file a claim against the California Department of Transportation (Cal Trans). If your accident occurred on a city or county maintained roadway, or for example on Fiesta Island, then you may file a claim against the local government responsible for maintaining that roadway. You may bring a claim against more than one party, if the accident was partially caused by another motorist and a defective road condition, for example.

Types of Road Defects and Hazards

The attorneys at Estey Bomberger represent clients who have suffered serious injury or the wrongful death of a loved one in all types of auto accidents on dangerous or defective streets, roads, highways and freeways, including the following types of hazardous road conditions:

  • Dangerously designed intersections
  • Defectively programmed traffic lights
  • Failure to maintain roads or highways
  • Improper or missing signs
  • Inadequate road lighting/illumination
  • Insufficient median or divider
  • Insufficient or lack of shoulder
  • Lack of guardrails or inadequate guardrails
  • Lack of or inappropriate warning of road work
  • Maintenance neglect
  • Objects left in the roadway
  • Other hazardous road conditions
  • Other roadway design defects
  • Overgrown trees or vegetation blocking signs or line of sight
  • Pooling water / hydroplaning
  • Poorly marked construction zones
  • Potholes or uneven pavement.

Very often, the police, sheriff or highway patrol report will not mention or suspect that a road hazard caused an accident, and the incident will be blamed on driver error, weather conditions or some other cause. In some cases, a defect in a roadway will not by itself cause a crash, but may cause what could have been a non-injury or minor injury crash to result in catastrophic injury or fatality.

Choosing the Right Attorney to Handle Your Case

Roadway defect claims are complex injury claims and many attorneys are hesitant to handle these cases because of their level of difficulty. An experienced auto accident attorney who has successfully won roadway design and defect cases will know what experts to consult with to determine if the condition of the roadway was actually a factor in the accident. The lawyers at Estey Bomberger have helped a number of clients obtain large settlements for road design cases, including a $1.3 million settlement against the County of Riverside, and a $1.6 million settlement against the City of San Diego. See our case results.

Statutory Time Limits to Preserve Your Claim

It is always recommended to talk to a lawyer after any injury crash. But especially in any accident where you suspect a roadway defect may be a cause or contributing factor, it is imperative that you talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.  Typically in all cases involving a roadway defect, you must file a claim within six months of the date of your accident. Contacting a lawyer soon after an accident can ensure you preserve your rights to full and fair compensation for your injuries, lost earnings as a result of the accident, emotional pain and suffering and other related expenses.