D.C. Roadway Defect Lawyers
Roadway defects can cause or contribute to the cause of serious auto accidents. Determining who is at fault is an important part of any lawsuit. It is especially important when bad roads are involved.
If you have been injured in an accident due to a roadway defect, contact an attorney at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. for a free consultation. We will help you determine if you have a valid claim and work to get you the compensation you deserve.
Roadway Defect Lawsuits
Because most roadways are the responsibility of government entities (federal, state, county, or city agencies or departments), defective roadway lawsuits are different from lawsuits involving individuals and businesses and involve different procedures, time limits, and notification requirements.
Unresolved road surface defects will continue to cause more accidents, injuries, and deaths. Sometimes accidents caused by bad roads are a one-time occurrence, but most result from an ongoing problem, and there may even be a recorded history of many accidents caused by the same defect.
In some cases, the responsible parties are aware of the road defects and simply fail or refuse to take the necessary action to correct them until they are penalized for their negligence or wrongdoing in court.
Common Roadway Defects that Lead to Car Accidents
Many different types of roadway defects can lead to car accidents. Some of the most common include:
The most common types of cracking are:
Slipping cracks are crescent-shaped cracks or tears in the surface layer of the pavement. They occur when the pavement surface can no longer bond to the underlying layer. This can happen for various reasons, but it is often the result of poor drainage or inadequate base material.
Slipping cracks usually appear as longitudinal cracking (parallel to the direction of traffic) in the wheel path. They can also occur as transverse cracks (perpendicular to the direction of traffic) across surrounding pavement. These cracks can be hazardous because they can cause vehicles to lose traction and even overturn.
Black cracking is a type of pavement defect caused by shrinkage of the asphalt pavement. This can happen when the pavement is exposed to sunlight or other heat sources. Over time, the asphalt will start to turn black and then eventually crack. Black cracking can be very unsightly, but it is not usually dangerous. However, if the cracks are left unrepaired, they can eventually lead to potholes.
Alligator cracking is a type of pavement defect caused by the deterioration of the pavement’s surface. It can happen for various reasons, but it is often the result of weakness in the surface, base, or subgrade; poor drainage, or a combination of all three.
Edge cracks usually start as crescent shapes at the pavement edge. However, they can expand from the edge until they resemble alligator cracking. Edge cracking results from a lack of support of the shoulder due to weak material or excess moisture.
Potholes are bowl-shaped depressions on the pavement surface. They are usually caused by water seeping into the pavement layers and freezing. This causes the pavement to expand and then contract, leading to a hole forming in the surface. Potholes can be very deep and large, and if you hit one with your vehicle, it can cause serious damage.
Faulty guardrails are another type of roadway defect that can be very dangerous. Guardrails are supposed to protect vehicles from going off the roadway, but they can become a hazard if they are not properly maintained or made of poor-quality material. Faulty guardrails can cause serious injuries or even death if a vehicle hits them.
Other Common Roadway Defects
Additional roadway defects that often result in auto accidents include:
- Improper design
- Debris that has not been removed in a timely fashion
- Shoulder drop-offs
- Inadequate or insufficient notification of changes in the shoulder
- Excessive oil or gravel
- Failure to post warning signs or signals
- Inadequate or malfunctioning warning signs or signals
- Inadequate or insufficient notification of impending conditions such as construction zones, merging traffic, or hazardous weather conditions
Proving Roadway Defects
If you know that a defective roadway caused your auto accident, it is imperative to collect evidence as soon as possible before the error is corrected. Some defects are immediately obvious but not necessarily visible in time for drivers to avoid an accident. Other, less obvious defects may only be revealed by conflicting statements from witnesses and those involved in the accident.
Ongoing roadway problems often have a documented history of causing accidents. You might assume that a defect that is known to cause accidents would be quickly repaired, but this is not always the case. Correcting defective roads can be very costly and may be interpreted as an admission of fault, meaning that the responsible party could be subject to multiple lawsuits.
Contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.