In many situations, drivers may encounter road hazards that result in accidents. Potential hazards include potholes, uneven surfaces, slick surfaces, or objects that have fallen from a truck or delivery vehicle. Other road hazards include unmarked or inadequately marked construction zones and railway crossings. If you are hurt in an accident due to a road hazard, you may be able to recover compensation from the person or entity that created the condition. At the Fine Law Firm, our car accident attorneys may be able to assist Albuquerque residents in investigating who created the road hazard, or allowed it to persist. If you have a claim, we can represent you in holding the appropriate parties accountable.Pursuing Compensation for Road Hazards
Who created the hazard is the first question to ask when considering liability for an accident caused by a road hazard. In some cases, drivers see an object fly off a flatbed or other vehicle but are unable to avoid hitting it. In that case, the party responsible for the hazard is another driver. Failures in maintenance or construction are also often the cause of road hazards. If a municipality fails to maintain the roads, and an enormous pothole develops, and as a result you experience a rollover accident, you may have a negligence cause of action against the municipality.
To establish negligence, you would need to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care, which was breached, causing an accident and injuries. Sometimes, one party will be responsible for another party's negligence under the doctrine of vicarious liability. One of the most common scenarios in which vicarious liability comes up involves an employee who is driving on behalf of an employer and gets into an accident or creates a hazard.
For example, if a box falls off a delivery truck because it is not adequately secured and it hits your windshield, causing you to lose control of the vehicle and crash into another car, you can potentially sue not only the driver of the delivery truck but also possibly his employer. The employer may be vicariously (indirectly) liable for your damages. If the driver has had a long string of DUIs and he was drunk when he failed to adequately secure the goods, but the employer hired him without performing a background check, the employer may also be directly liable for negligent hiring or negligent supervision.
How long you have to file suit depends partly on whom you are suing and for what. If you are suing the government, you would need to provide written notice to all government entities that you blame for the road hazard within 90 days of the accident. Failure to follow this rule can result in losing your claim against a governmental entity.Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Collision Case with an Albuquerque Attorney
If you have been involved in an encounter with a road hazard, you may sustain serious injuries. Insurers for the responsible party may try to find some way in which the accident was your fault, so that they can avoid paying you the full compensation you are owed. Before talking to any insurers, you should retain a motor vehicle collision lawyer who is experienced in advocating for injured individuals in Albuquerque and the surrounding communities. At the Fine Law Firm, our attorneys help accident victims seek the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. Set up a free consultation with us via our online form or by calling us at (505) 243-4541. We also represent accident victims in Rio Rancho and elsewhere in New Mexico.