Negligent Road Design
Sometimes car accidents result from dangerous road conditions that could have been avoided through good design. Both the U.S. Department of Transportation and CalTrans are responsible for keeping roads in safe condition and good repair. However, roads are not always designed well in the first place, and sometimes serious driving hazards exist. If you are injured as a result of negligent road design, you may be able to recover damages. At Sharifi Firm, PLC, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys understand how challenging these cases are, and we are able to provide tough, aggressive representation. Tight time deadlines are likely to apply to these types of cases, so it is important to call us right away.Accidents Caused by Negligent Road Design
Negligent road design could consist of inadequate signs, landscaping that obstructs the road, poorly graded curves, and inappropriate construction materials, among other things. Sometimes negligent road design is the fault of an independent contractor or design company, but often, the government is responsible for the road and any dangerous conditions on it.
Suing the government is challenging. There is a lot of red tape, and often showing that an accident resulted from negligent road design, which is a condition of the property, rather than bad driving necessitates the testimony of expert engineers. Moreover, both federal and local governments possess sovereign immunity. This means that usually it is not possible to sue them. However, you can sue under certain conditions, including cases in which your attorney is able to establish that the government was very negligent in its duty to keep a road safe and that the negligent road design caused your injuries. For example, if the government knows that a road design is potentially dangerous but takes no steps to make corrections, and then you are injured, it may be possible to recover damages.
Under California Government Code section 835, a public entity can be held liable for a dangerous condition if you can show that the property was hazardous at the time that you were injured, your injury was legally caused by this hazardous condition, the hazardous condition generated a reasonably foreseeable risk of the kind of injury that you suffered, and either a public entity employee within the scope of employment created the hazardous condition or the public entity possessed actual or constructive notice of the hazardous condition under section 835.2 far enough in advance of the accident to have taken steps to guard against the hazardous condition.
A public entity that fails to provide safeguards or warn against a negligent road design could be liable for a car accident. Proving that the design of the road is a dangerous condition does not require you to show that there is a physical defect. A road can be dangerous because of its design, how structural or natural features such as a patch of sand relate to each other, or because of the existence of latent dangers when the road or highway is used normally. For example, in one case, a court found that the state could be liable for failing to build a median, even though the road itself was not dangerous. Similarly, the road does not need to be always dangerous to be inherently so. Even if the road is only dangerous when it is raining, and it rarely rains, there may be a viable claim for negligent road design.
There are defenses that the government may raise to claim a different type of immunity. For example, there is a basis under Government Code section 830.6 for design immunity. However, this is usually construed strictly as an exception to be used in narrow circumstances.Seek Representation from a Car Accident Lawyer in the Los Angeles Region
There is a very short window of time within which you will need to give notice of your claim to a government agency or public entity. It is imperative to retain an attorney who understands the different tactics and claims of immunity that the government may use to try to avoid liability, and who understands how to give timely notice to the appropriate entity. If you were injured or a loved one was killed as a result of negligent road design or poor road maintenance, you should call us. At Sharifi Firm, PLC, our experienced attorneys can provide knowledgeable legal representation. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or via our online form. We also represent people in Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, San Bernardino, and Riverside.