Depending on the roadway and what occurred, you may be able to file a claim against the city, county, or state. These cases usually hinge on proving the agency knew about the road damage but did nothing to address it. Filing a lawsuit against the city, state or Federal government is a significant undertaking. You need a competent attorney with experience in these claims. The lawyers at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda have handled numerous claims for car accidents caused by defective roads in Columbia.
Examples of Bad Road Conditions Leading to Car Accidents
There are many roadway defects that can cause car accidents, such as:
- Weak or eroding shoulder
- Dangerous pavement drop-offs
- Lack of signage warning of sharp curves or other hazards
- Overgrowth or obstructions blocking your view of the road
- Lanes that are too narrow to be navigated safely
- Lack of lane markings or confusing lane markings
It’s not enough for there to have been a dangerous road condition that caused the crash. Your case must show that the liable government agency was on notice about the problem and that they did not correct it.
After the crash occurs, you should take photos of the accident scene, your injuries and damage to the vehicles. Collect the contact and insurance policy information of the other driver(s) involved. Report the accident to your insurance company. If you are denied compensation or feel you are not getting offered a fair settlement, contact our attorneys.
Filing a Claim Against SCDOT
There is a process to file a claim with the South Carolina Department of Transportation. You can file a damage claim online by filling out their form. You have a right to file a claim against SCDOT under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act. If you have problems completing this type of claim, please reach out to our attorneys so we can determine if you are being denied the process.
If the accident involves injuries and vehicle damage surpassing a couple thousand dollars, then your claim may need to be handled in court, by our attorneys, instead of through this SCDOT process. There’s no way to know for sure without consulting our lawyers.
According to The State, South Carolina has spent $48 million to settle lawsuits and claims filed against SCDOT since the year 2010. The State reports there were 15,168 claims filed from 2010 to 2016, and a 61 percent increase in damage claims since 2010.
An Issue of Liability
There are many different types of roads, so it may be the city, state or Federal government that is liable for the particular road on which your crash occurred. One of these agencies would have to be responsible for maintaining the road. Our attorneys can help you determine first if liability is even a factor, and then who the responsible party is in that case.
It’s also possible that a construction operation caused the unsafe road hazards, if there was roadwork or nearby construction happening at the time of your crash. We have experience with those claims as well. Work zones are inherently hazardous, so you must navigate them with caution. But if the company responsible was unduly careless in maintaining a relatively safe work zone, then they may be responsible for the car accident.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Defective Road Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by defective roads in Columbia, please call the experienced lawyers at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda. We offer a free initial consultation so you can learn about us and find out if you have a case to pursue compensation.