Los Angeles Hazardous Roadway Attorneys
The experienced Los Angeles Hazardous Roadway Lawyers at Bisnar Chase have had significant success specifically in handling cases involving road hazards. We have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for injured clients and their families.
Dangerous roadways are one of the most frequently cited causes of car accidents in Los Angeles and across the nation. However, they are also the least discussed when it comes to reducing injury accidents due to these hazardous conditions.
As Los Angeles hazardous roadway attorneys, we've seen how roadways that are dangerously designed or maintained have the potential to cause catastrophic and/or fatal crashes. Investigators in such cases focus on the driver's actions and whether or not all vehicle occupants were buckled up. But, often times, they tend to overlook the part that the roadway had in causing or contributing to the car accident. Dangerous road defects are usually filed against government entities, which makes them costly and intimidating to most plaintiffs.
Proving such a case can also be challenging.
If you're a victim of such an incident, you need an attorney who has the resources and access to experts to evaluate the roadway in question and help you build a solid case against the governmental agency.
Please call us to find out how we can help you. Contact us at (323) 238-4683 and earn a free consultation with a top-notch legal expert.
Los Angeles's Challenge with Defective Roadways
It is no secret that the city of Los Angeles has long struggled with dangerous conditions such as crumbling infrastructures. This includes city streets that are riddled with potholes, uneven pavement, crumbling asphalt and cracked sidewalks.
According to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times, TRIP, a nonprofit organization that reports on transportation issues, noted that the average Los Angeles-area driver spends $832 or 71 percent more than the average American on additional vehicle operating costs each year, mostly because driving on these deteriorated roadways uses up more gas and damages car parts such as wheels, suspensions and tires.
About 25 percent of the city's roadways are said to be in a deplorable state of disrepair. As a result, drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians are placed in a vulnerable situation.
Three Types of Roadway Hazards
Dangerous roadways exist primarily due to defective design and/or construction, poor maintenance or the failure by a governmental entity to make changes to the roadway in order to adapt to evolving conditions.
Three types of common roadway hazards include:
- Faulty design: Examples of faulty design include dangerous curves in the roadway, slopes and dips, any types of hazards that block visibility at crosswalks or intersections and exit and entrance ramps that are too short and don't allow for safe merging. Other examples include dangerous or missing guardrails, lack of proper signage that warn motorists about dangerous conditions, poorly placed traffic signals and shoulders that are not visibly distinct from the roadway, etc.
- Poor construction: When construction plans are not followed properly or when the contractor uses substandard materials or hires inexperienced workers for the construction project, the resulting roadway may be one that proves dangerous for those using it.
- Inadequate maintenance: The proper maintenance of a roadway is usually the responsibility of the governmental entity under whose jurisdiction that roadway is located. Examples of shoddy maintenance include pothole-riddled roadways, dangerous guardrails, allowing erosion of the roadway, lowered visibility of painted markers and allowing signage to deteriorate or be covered by foliage, etc.
How Dangerous Roadway Cases Are Different
If you believe a dangerous or defective roadway caused your Los Angeles car accident, it is important that you quickly contact an experienced Los Angeles dangerous roadway lawyer who has handled similar cases. Your attorney may ask that you preserve your wrecked vehicle right away so it can be examined by an engineer who has expertise in roadway design and vehicle crashworthiness.
During these inspections and evaluations, a number of details including information about the speed at which the car left the road and what caused it to leave the roadway may be revealed.
Experts will look at crucial physical evidence such as skid marks, which must be photographed and measured. A knowledgeable lawyer will also work to get other important pieces of evidence such as photographs of the roadway, plans that were used to build the roadways and topographical maps of the area where your accident occurred. These items may provide valuable information about roadway design, construction and maintenance issues, if any.
Dangerous roadway cases, in particular, can be complex. The defendant in these cases are not another person or insurance company, but a governmental agency such as a city, county or state, which has abundant resources at its disposal and deep pockets. Your lawyer will need to work with a traffic engineer and an accident reconstruction expert to determine what type of evidence is needed to prove your case. It is then important to establish that governmental immunity doesn't apply to the case.
Please remember, you may have a case even if you are partly at fault for the accident. It is a good idea to consult with a dangerous roadway lawyer even if you have been determined at fault for the accident. The basis for these lawsuits is whether the government failed to fulfill its agreements to make the roadway safe. So, if a dangerous or defective roadway led to your accident, you may still have a dangerous roadway case against the governmental entity.
It is also important to remember that in dangerous roadway cases, the statute of limitations, or the deadline for filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim, is very short. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, plaintiffs have only six months from the date of an accident to file a claim with the governmental entity.
If a claim is not filed within six months of 180 days from the date of the incident, then a petition should be immediately filed with the court seeking relief for the failure to file the claim within that required period. This petition must be filed within one year of the date of the incident. A failure to do so may bar any claim against the governmental entity. So, it is important that you act quickly to preserve your rights.
In such cases, plaintiffs (injured victims) have the burden of proof, which means you, as the plaintiff, must show evidence of how the governmental entity was negligent and why they must be held responsible for your losses. In these types of cases, our attorneys collect valuable evidence about how the government knew or should have known about the dangerous condition – be it a maintenance issue or poor design – and why they should have repaired the condition, which caused injury or harm. Plaintiffs must also show that the dangerous or defective roadway condition directly caused or contributed to their injuries.
What is Your Claim Worth?
The value or worth of your car accident claim may depend on the nature and extent of injuries you sustained and the extent of negligence of the other parties involved. For example, if you have sustained a severe traumatic brain injury or if you have been paralyzed by a spinal cord injury, your claim may be worth millions of dollars.
Compensation you can seek for your hazardous roadway claim:
- Medical expenses: This includes everything from emergency transportation to hospitalization, surgeries, cost of prescription drugs, medical equipment and other expenses relating to your medical care and treatment.
- Lost income: Dangerous roadway accidents often cause significant if not catastrophic injuries that lead to victims missing workdays and losing valuable income. You can claim lost earnings due to your injury. If you have lost your capacity to earn a livelihood, you may also be able to seek lost future income.
- Rehabilitation costs: When you suffer injuries, in addition to medical treatment, you may also require rehabilitative care on an ongoing basis. These costs may add up very quickly and often, are not covered by health insurance policies. Examples of rehabilitation might include physical therapy, chiropractic care, occupational therapy and so on.
- Pain and suffering: There is no question that accident victims undergo significant physical stress and emotional pain in the aftermath of a traumatic event. As part of your injury claim, you can also seek compensation for past and future pain and suffering caused by the defective roadway car accident.
The Los Angeles Hazardous Roadway Lawyers of Bisnar Chase have a long and successful track record of handling and winning dangerous roadway cases on behalf of injured clients.
Our law group offers clients a no-win-no-fee guarantee, which means we don't charge you any fees or costs unless we win compensation for you. This is particularly beneficial to victims of dangerous roadway cases as the initial costs to retain experts, obtain depositions and preserve evidence will be significant.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a hazardous roadway condition in Los Angeles, please contact us at 323-238-4683 for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.