Poor road conditions can lead to a number of hazards on the road. Potholes are one such hazard. A pothole is a disruption in the surface of a road. Typically a portion of the road will have broken off or been damaged in some way, leading to the formation of a hole in the road. Potholes can vary in size and be located on various parts of the road.
Poor road conditions cause auto accidents throughout Orange County, which is why our lawyers take these matters very seriously. With that in mind, let's consider why potholes are a major danger.
How Do Potholes Form?
Potholes form as a result of pressure from car tires and moisture. When it rains, the moisture can seep through cracks in the asphalt and wind up in the roadbed, which is the underlying layer of material that supports the road. The roadbed is comprised of sand, gravel, and rock. As car tires pass over the asphalt, more water is forced into the roadbed, leading to erosion. Eventually, the asphalt sinks into the eroded portion of the roadbed, and then breaks away.
Potholes can be fixed by being filled in, but many times this can take weeks or months before a pothole is attended to. During this time, accidents can happen.
The Dangers Posed by Potholes
When a driver hits a pothole, they run a risk of a losing control of their vehicle. This can contribute to a single-vehicle or multi-vehicle collision. The dangers are even higher for motorcyclists, who may be thrown from their motorcycle or skid with their motorcycle after losing control.
If the danger isn't from hitting the pothole itself, there are also serious dangers from trying to avoid the pothole. Motorists may swerve very suddenly to avoid the pothole, which can cause its own dangers. A motorist may lose control of their vehicle as they dodge a pothole, or they could collide with another motorist in the process.
Potential Vehicle Damage from Potholes
For some perspective on the dangers of potholes, it's been estimated that hitting a deep pothole causes the same amount of force on impact as getting into a collision at 35 miles per hour. Just driving over a major pothole can lead to tie damage, damage to your suspension, and damage to your vehicle's steering system. In addition, this force can result in injuries to the driver and any passengers in the car.
Who Is Held Liable for Poor Road Conditions?
Usually a city, county, or state is responsible for filling in potholes and maintaining roadways. The difficulty can be in proving negligence in road maintenance and holding the proper authorities responsible. This can be challenging to do on your own, which is why it's so important to work with a skilled attorney.
An accident lawyer can handle the complexities of the legal system and ensure the negligent government agency is held accountable for their actions or lack of action. Your lawyer will seek damages from the government agency to cover medical bills, vehicle damage, and other losses related to the accident.
Contact the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke
To learn more about your legal rights and options following a serious motor vehicle accident, be sure to contact our team of personal injury attorneys today. The team at The Law Offices of Sean M. Burke are here to help you in your time of legal need.