Who’s Liable for Accidents Caused by Road Defects in Pennsylvania?

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    Potholes, cracks, and other road defects are dangerous to drivers, sometimes causing serious car accidents in Pennsylvania. When something like that happens, who is liable for a victim’s damages?

    If road defects cause a car accident in Pennsylvania, the local municipality responsible for maintaining the road in question might be liable. To file a lawsuit against a local government in Pennsylvania, victims must submit a notice of a claim within six months of an accident. To prove that a road defect caused your accident and injuries, our lawyers will use evidence, such as eyewitness statements, security camera footage, medical records, and testimony from accident reconstruction experts. After proving the liable party’s fault, you can recover damages for your economic and non-economic damages. If your claim involves a local municipality, damages might be capped.

    To get a free review of your case from our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers, call The Reiff Law Firm now at (215) 709-6940.

    Who is Liable for Accidents Caused by Road Defects in Pennsylvania?

    Road defects might cause even the most responsible drivers to lose control of their vehicles, resulting serious and damaging auto accidents in Pennsylvania. Should this happen to you, determining liability for your injuries will be paramount.

    When municipalities don’t address road potholes, cracks, and other imperfections in the road, car accidents could happen. These might include single-vehicle accidents or multi-car accidents. Drivers might hit potholes and run into telephone poles, trees, parked cars, or other vehicles in motion. Determining liability in these cases is paramount, especially if you hit another car because of a road defect.

    Generally speaking, your local municipality will be liable for an accident caused by a road defect. Based on the specifics of your case, our attorneys can identify the government responsible for maintaining roads in the area where your accident happened. We can also investigate to determine if other parties share fault for the accident so that we hold everyone involved in the crash accountable.

    Under 42 Pa.C.S. § 7102, a plaintiff’s damages will diminish according to their own liability. For example, suppose a victim was driving just over the speed limit when they drove over a pothole and lost control of their car. If the jury decides that the victim was partially negligent, it could lower the victim’s awarded damages.

    Deadline to Sue for Accidents Caused by Road Defects in Pennsylvania

    When car accident claims involve local governments, different filing deadlines apply. Learning about these filing deadlines is crucial for victims, as missing them could block them from recovery in Pennsylvania.

    Under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5522, before filing a lawsuit, victims must submit a notice of a claim to the proper government agency within six months of an accident. You will still have two years to file your lawsuit under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524. This notice must contain certain information, including the plaintiff’s name and address, the accident’s date and time, and the victim’s medical team’s information. If a victim is incapacitated because of an accident, the deadline to file a notice of claim is tolled for up to 90 days.

    If you don’t file a notice of a claim and then do not file a lawsuit within six months, you will be barred from recovery in Pennsylvania. Our Chester County, PA car accident lawyers will make sure that, if the local government is liable for your recent car accident, we submit a notice of a claim within the proper timeframe as to not negatively impact your claim.

    How to Prove Liability for an Accident Caused by Road Defects in Pennsylvania

    Because your local government will be informed of your intent to file a lawsuit before you do so, it will have plenty of time to prepare a defense against your claim and gather its own evidence. Because of this, you should consider your recovery immediately after an accident and take pictures at the scene.

    Doing so might be even more important if there are no eyewitnesses to an accident. If a pothole or other road defect caused the accident, photograph the hazard in relation to your vehicle. Accident scenes get cleared away fast, and physical evidence might be lost if you don’t photograph or otherwise preserve it. Our Conshohocken car accident lawyers may enlist an accident reconstruction expert to review the evidence left from the scene and determine its cause, such as a road defect. An accident reconstruction expert can then present their findings to the jury through testimony.

    We will also survey the area where the accident happened to identify possible surveillance systems nearby. In single-vehicle accidents with no eyewitnesses or other involved drivers, video footage might be useful in corroborating a claim that a pothole or other defect caused the accident. We can request surveillance footage from owners or subpoena it if necessary.

    What Happens After You Prove Liability for an Accident Caused by Road Defects in Pennsylvania?

    Our goal is to prove that the local municipality breached the duty of care they owed you by failing to maintain the roads, and that this directly caused the accident that injured you and caused you financial and emotional damages. After we do this, you can walk away with the compensation you deserve.

    Once you prove the local government’s liability for your recent car accident in Pennsylvania, the jury in your case will award you damages. Compensation typically covers victims’ financial damages, like their medical bills and lost wages. As you incur damages, keep track of them so that we can request an accurate amount in your complaint and back that up with evidence of your losses.

    Pennsylvania limits compensation for victims in certain cases. Under 42 Pa.C.S. § 8553, victims who sue local governments for negligence can only recover up to $500,000 in damages. Recoverable losses include past and future lost wages, reasonable medical expenses, and pain and suffering in cases of serious bodily injury. Our attorneys can demonstrate to the court the pain and suffering you have dealt with because of your car accident injuries so that you can recover the most non-economic damages available in your case.

    Call Our Pennsylvania Attorneys About Your Car Accident Case Today

    The Reiff Law Firm’s Delaware County, PA car accident lawyers can evaluate your case for free when you call us now at (215) 709-6940.

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