While many motor vehicle accidents are caused by a mistake by one of the drivers, sometimes accidents are the result of something wrong with the road. This could be a problem with the design of a part of the road or due to a portion of the road being in a state of disrepair. When people get injured because the roads weren’t fixed, they often want to sue the government for their injuries since they are responsible for maintaining roads.
In Georgia, the government has immunity from lawsuits stemming from the design or construction of roads and other areas of public transit so long as the design and construction were done in an industry-accepted manner. However, you may still be able to sue the government if you allege that your injuries were caused by something other than the design or construction of the road. That being said, suing the government is difficult, so it may be a good idea to look for other parties that may be responsible for your injuries.
If you have questions about your case, have our Georgia car accident lawyers review it for free by calling Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
Road Conditions That Can Cause Accidents in Georgia
Many different problems with roadways can result in accidents that are not the fault of the driver. While most of the time, poor road conditions are merely a frustrating inconvenience to most motorists, they can also lead to accidents where people get seriously injured.
One of the most common and one of the most frustrating road issues for drivers all across the United States is the prevalence of potholes on streets and highways. Many drivers become incredibly frustrated when they have to suddenly alter the trajectory of their vehicle because they do not want to blow out one of their tires or even damage their fenders in some circumstances.
When cars do hit potholes, the most likely outcome is that a tire pops, and the vehicle will temporarily be out of the control of the driver. It is in those moments that accidents are likely to happen. Additionally, a sufficiently large or deep pothole could wreck a vehicle that hits it, injuring the driver in the process.
Potholes are not the only problem with Georgia roadways. There are many other things that could lead to a road becoming uneven and dangerous to dive on. For example, when roads are repaved, there is usually a period of time when the surface is technically okay to drive on but very coarse and rough, making it difficult for vehicles to travel predictably and safely. Additionally, some roads are paved with dirt or gravel, and this could cause a vehicle to behave in a way a driver is not used to, which could result in an accident.
Many roads and highways have guardrails either separating traffic moving in opposite directions or acting as a barrier between the road and some sort of environmental hazard such as a precipitous drop.
Guardrails that have not been routinely repaired or that were improperly installed can injure drivers on the road. A guardrail that is not up to standard could pop loose and protrude into the roadway and potentially damage a vehicle. Additionally, a weak rail may not be able to stop a vehicle from going right through it, resulting in the driver and passengers getting injured far worse than they otherwise would have been.
Expansion joints are metal assemblies that hold sections of the road together. They are commonly found at the ends of bridges, where they reconnect to regular roadways. Expansion joints can cause accidents when they are not properly maintained, are incorrectly installed, or are damaged by the elements.
Who to Sue for Poor Road Conditions that Cause Accidents in Georgia
Most roadways are maintained by state or government entities. Those entities, then, would appear to be the most obvious targets for a lawsuit. However, there may be some difficulty in suing a government entity, depending on the situation. When you go over your case with our Atlanta car accident lawyers, we can determine who the correct parties are to sue to give you the best chance at a good outcome for your case.
In some circumstances, government entities are perfectly valid targets for a lawsuit when you are injured due to poor road conditions. The main obstacle to suing a government entity is something called “sovereign immunity.” Essentially, this means that the government must agree to get sued. Understandably, the government is not going to agree to be sued in many circumstances. For that reason, it may be advisable to look for alternative parties who are responsible for your injuries, as you may have a better chance of a successful lawsuit.
However, this does not mean that you should give up on the prospect of including a government entity in your lawsuit. Sovereign immunity is waived under certain circumstances. Per O.G.C.A. § 50-21-23, sovereign immunity is waived except in certain areas outlined in the Georgia Code. However, one of the areas where sovereign immunity is invoked is for a “plan or design” of roadways and associated things under O.G.C.A. § 50-21-24(10). This makes government entities immune to some lawsuits involving accidents stemming from road conditions when the central issue is how they were built. That being said, whether you can sue a government entity or not will depend on the unique facts of your case.
Talk with Our Georgia Car Accident Lawyers About Your Case
Our Brookhaven, GA car accident lawyers from Howe Law offer free case analyses when you call us at (844) 876-4357.