Winter is pothole season in much of the U.S., and depending on the amount and size of the potholes (which is determined by the temperature and/or construction sites), they could cause millions of dollars of damage to cars and trucks. Drivers often don’t see potholes, which can appear overnight, and if they are traveling at a high enough speed when they hit the hole, it can cause serious damage to the tires, the suspension, and the underside of the car, among other things. Even when drivers see the pothole in advance and try to avoid it, they will sometimes swerve without warning into an oncoming lane of traffic, which can result in a collision, serious injury, or even death.
Potholes aren’t the only kind of poor road conditions that can cause an accident. Others include eroded roads, missing traffic signs, nonexistent guardrails, poorly marked construction zones, metal plates, icy road surfaces, improper or missing lighting, and just bad engineering and construction in general.
If poor road conditions have caused damage to your vehicle or injury to a driver or passenger, you may want to think about taking legal action. The public agency responsible for that stretch of road may be liable for not doing enough to correct the road conditions, and you may be able to receive compensation.
However, there are some criteria that have to be met before you have a case. You must prove the road conditions did cause the problem, and you must prove the agency had a reasonable amount of time to discover the problem and fix it. Here is an example of how the city of Atlanta had to pay for vehicle damages caused by metal plates that were used to cover potholes: http://www.cbs46.com/story/32019945/drivers-want- metal-plates-on-atlanta-roads-removed.
There are lots of factors to consider before you start a legal action like this, and the best course is to get expert advice from a personal injury attorney who is experienced in dealing with traffic accidents caused by bad road conditions. In Georgia, that means contacting Michael W. McElroy, P.C., for a free consultation.