There are hazards on the highway every single day, as well as road hazards lurking in city streets or residential areas. This includes things like poorly marked construction sites, potholes, loose gravel, misplaced road barriers, uneven pavement, bumpy asphalt, misleading signs, untrimmed shrubs or brush, and malfunctioning streetlights. There are also often loose items on the highway that fly off of other vehicles like mattresses, bags of trash, tires, industrial items, construction equipment, and more. Regardless of what the road hazard is, it can create a serious danger for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. If you were harmed as a result of a road hazard, a Massachusetts car accident attorney at our firm is prepared to help you determine whether you are entitled to compensation from the person responsible for the crash.Liability in Road Hazard Accidents
The type of road hazard involved in your accident is important to note because it may change the entity or persons that you need to name in your personal injury lawsuit. If the road hazard is something involving a publicly maintained road, foliage, or signage, then you will likely be pursuing action against the municipal entity that is responsible for maintaining that area or aspect of the roadway. There are specific rules that apply to bringing a claim against a government entity, which makes it even more advisable to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.
If the road hazard involved something that another person was responsible for, like items falling from the back of the truck, then you may need to file a lawsuit against the person responsible for the fallen items. Because some people drive off without knowing that cargo has fallen from their vehicles, or they simply don’t stop to clean it up, it’s sometimes impossible to know who is responsible. If the accident involves other drivers, then you may have a claim against the other driver in the accident if he or she failed to use due care in approaching, avoiding, or otherwise addressing the road hazard. If he or she had the last clear chance to avoid an accident but failed to do so, then he or she may be liable. Drivers often engage in distracting activities behind the wheel like texting, talking on the phone, or surfing social media. This can make it next to impossible for them to react appropriately to hazards in the road.Filing a Claim for Compensation
To recover damages from someone who caused you harm in a road hazard accident, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. In this lawsuit, you have the burden of establishing that the defendant failed to use due care, and that this failure was the direct and foreseeable cause of your injuries. When it comes to road hazards, the type of hazard involved will inform the level of care that the defendant needed to exercise. If the accident happened due to cargo falling from a truck directly in front of you, then you will need to prove that the truck driver and/or trucking company failed to use appropriate care in securing the cargo, for example. If it involves improper signage, then you will need to prove that the municipal entity responsible for maintaining the signage did not meet its duty of care.
After proving that the defendant acted negligently, you must show that this caused your harm. If the defendant can show that some other factor was primarily to blame for your injuries, then he or she will not be required to compensate you even if he or she acted negligently. The last phase of the litigation involves determining the amount of compensation that you should receive. You will be asked to submit evidence like medical bills and missed wages as proof of your damages.Seek Guidance From a Massachusetts Lawyer After a Car Accident
Road hazard accidents are usually sudden, terrifying, and completely preventable. If you were injured due to someone else’s carelessness in Massachusetts, you deserve dedicated and compassionate legal counsel to help you navigate the legal system. A knowledgeable attorney at our firm is available to serve clients in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Quincy, Dedham, Somerville, Norwood, Brookline, and Peabody. Call the office today at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.