The State Bar of California
The State Bar of California
Beverly Hills Bar Association, Lead. Advocate. Serve
ABA, American Bar Association
The Florida Bar, 1950
Client Distinction Award

Road Hazards

Dedicated Car Accident Lawyers Serving Victims in Los Angeles

Many crashes are caused by negligent drivers, but sometimes accidents arise due to road hazards, such as missing guardrails, debris, or potholes. Even a person driving defensively at a safe speed may be injured by an unexpected road hazard or a collision occasioned by swerving to avoid it. Sometimes the danger is on the side of the road, such as a vertical drop-off at the edge of the pavement or fixed objects at the roadside. Road hazard cases are often complex, particularly when the defendant is a city, county, or state that is well funded. At Sharifi Firm, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys represent people who have been harmed by road hazards in pursuing compensation.

Holding a Negligent Entity Accountable for Creating a Road Hazard

Road hazards often arise because of construction or maintenance. Cities, counties, and the state of California maintain roads and highways in Los Angeles and Southern California. Sometimes more than one government entity is responsible for maintaining the road. It is important to find out which government agency was responsible for a road hazard, not only so that the appropriate party is sued but also to determine whether the agency can be sued.

To recover damages for a road hazard caused by the government, your lawyer will need to show that the government knew about or should have known about the danger and should have repaired the road, or that it was built in a dangerous way. For example, if the state decides not to repair a particular guardrail, and as a result a car goes off a cliff, the state might be liable. However, if the guardrail just broke in the last day due to a storm, and the state had no opportunity to discover the danger and repair it, the state might not be liable.

Most government agencies have "sovereign immunity," which means they cannot be sued, except under certain specified conditions. In most cases, negligence in maintaining a roadway is an exception to sovereign immunity. However, you may have to follow specific rules to recover compensation. Generally, you have only six months from the date of an accident to file a claim against a government entity for a hazard that caused your injuries.

Construction companies and the government entities that employ them are expected to follow certain regulations to make sure that the roads remain safe during construction and maintenance. Under these regulations, it is important to post warning signs, clear items from areas of the road that are open, and close the road as necessary. When there is a failure to follow regulations, the construction company hired by the state may be held responsible.

Sometimes drivers of cars or trucks cause road hazards by allowing debris or cargo to fall from their vehicles onto the road. If a truck is hauling cargo that would present a serious road hazard if it came unsecured and fell onto the highway, the truck driver owes a duty to others on the road to take reasonable steps to keep the cargo secure. A failure to abide by this duty may result in liability if the cargo falls from the truck and hits a car behind it.

In cases when the cargo is left in the road, creating a road hazard for a later-passing car, it can be difficult to locate the truck driver or the trucking company that negligently secured the cargo. However, if you are able to locate the truck or trucking company, you may be able to hold the driver accountable for negligence. His or her employer may also be held accountable under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

Explore Your Options with a Los Angeles Attorney after a Motor Vehicle Collision

If you suffer injuries in a road hazard accident in Los Angeles or the surrounding cities, you can discuss your options with the motor vehicle collision lawyers at Sharifi Firm. We provide aggressive representation for injured people throughout Southern California, including in Riverside, Temecula, San Bernardino, and Rancho Cucamonga. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Client Reviews

Attorney, Jubin Sharifi, and his staff are truly a rare find. He has handled a couple of cases for my family with great results. Him and his staff are courteous, professional and caring. They always keep us informed of the status of our case on a regular basis and they really know how to deal with insurance companies and their attorneys. I highly recommend the Law Office of Jubin Sharifi. Matt N.
Law Offices of Jubin Sharifi was able to obtain exceptional results in a very timely fashion for my car accident case. I highly recommend his law office to anyone with an injury case. A. Pak
Attorney Jubin Sharifi handled an accident case for me, and obtained exceptional results in a timely manner. I was extremely pleased with his work and he was there to answer my questions and concerns. I recommend any one with an injury claim to contact him right away. P. Zare
Mr. Sharifi & Firm; Your special ways and generous heart make a beautiful difference. Thank you so much! p.s. Please pass along my gratitude to all involved. Catherine
I had a car accident case. My car was repaired in 2 weeks and got a great settlement from the insurance company. Highly recommended. A. Aminian