Dangerous and Defective RoadwaysTrusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. November 28, 2018
Most auto accidents are caused by the negligence of a driver, but there are times accidents can result from a defective or poorly maintained roadway. When we get behind the wheel, we trust that roads are safe for travel, but defective road conditions can cause serious and deadly accidents. In Florida, the state, county, city, or other municipality that owns the roadway is responsible for properly maintaining it and keeping it safe and free from dangerous conditions or defects.
Poorly Designed Roadways
Some roadways are designed in a manner that makes them unsafe. Examples of defects in a roadway design include:
- Lanes that are too narrow
- Lack of guardrails
- Curves that are unsafe at the posted speed limit
- Inadequate or unclear road markers
- Improper or difficult to see signs
- Blind intersections
- Improper grading or uneven roadways
- Inadequate drainage
Poorly Maintained Roadways
The entity responsible for a roadway must properly maintain the roadway to keep it safe and free from defects. Examples of conditions caused by poor roadway maintenance include:
- Unfilled potholes
- Broken guardrails
- Debris in the roadway
- Broken or hidden signage
- Construction debris or equipment left in the roadway
- Overgrown vegetation
- Faded lane markers
- Malfunctioning traffic lights or warning signals
- Excessive gravel or oil
Holding Entities Accountable
Failing to maintain highways, streets, ramps, bridges, and roadways adequately can amount to negligence on the part of a governmental entity. Under Florida law, the State agrees to be held responsible for damages resulting from defects in public infrastructure that the government is responsible for maintaining. Holding a governmental entity accountable for negligence can be difficult and complex, and there are requirements that must be met before a claim can be filed.
In addition to governmental entities, there are other parties that may also be liable for a dangerous roadway condition. Construction companies must comply with state law and can be liable for creating an unsafe condition on the road. In addition, utility companies may be responsible for hazardous conditions caused by work they perform on or near a road. Engineering firms may also be held liable for a poorly designed roadway.
Contact a Trusted Attorney
If you been injured as the result of a dangerous or defective roadway, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.