Potholes, cracks, and dips are common in many roads throughout Illinois. Although most drivers travel over these road imperfections without issue, in some cases, they can cause an accident. If you are involved in an accident that was caused by a poor road condition, as opposed to another negligent driver, who is responsible? How do you file a claim?
The first step you should take after you are involved in an accident is to consult with an experienced accident attorney. With the assistance of an accident attorney, your claim will be filed against the appropriate individuals and entities. Additionally, your attorney will pursue all possible avenues of recovery on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Generally, if the condition of a road is what causes an accident, the government entity responsible for repairing and maintaining that road may face liability. States, counties, and municipalities are most often responsible for inspecting, repairing, and maintaining roads. Since these entities are responsible for the roads within their jurisdictions, it follows that they should be responsible for any damage or injuries that occur.
However, government entities cannot financially be held responsible for every square inch of a road at any given time. Laws allow a reasonable amount of time to discover dangerous flaws in public roadways. Government officials usually discover road defects through reporting and road surveys. Most government entities have a route by which members of the public may report dangerous road conditions. When government officials receive notice of these conditions, they should conduct an inspection and determine how to remedy the defect. If a government entity has received several notices about a road defect but has failed to repair it, that entity may have a difficult time avoiding liability.
Government agencies also have a duty to inspect roads regularly for any dangerous conditions. If these agencies fall behind and do not conduct road inspections as needed, they may be liable if they do not uncover a road defect.
Ultimately, to hold a government entity liable for a bad road condition, the claimant must show that the entity had notice of the condition and failed to repair it in a timely manner.
If a road defect has caused your accident, you should immediately file a report. Make note of the type of road defect, where it is located, and the names and contact information of any witnesses who were around.
Determining liability for an accident caused by a road defect can be complex and require an investigation by specialists. Accident attorneys will know how to get in touch with the right experts to provide evidence that will support your claim.
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If you were injured in a vehicle accident in Illinois, contact Stein & Shulman, LLC, today to discuss your legal options with a skilled Chicago auto accident lawyer. You can schedule a case consultation at no cost to you by calling our office at (312) 422-0500.