Residents of Baltimore were recently relieved to see that a 5-foot wide,
10-foot deep hole that opened on I-95 North had been repaired in time for the morning commute.
The State Highway Administration stated that the collapse of a drainage
pipe led to the sinking of the hole. Fortunately, the problem was addressed
before anyone sustained an injury. However, this is not always the case,
and thousands of people are injured in
car accidents caused by dangerous roads every year.
In any community, residents can identify areas where the most car accidents
occur. In many cases, this is due to an intersection’s dangerous
design or the existence of potholes. However, linking a road defect to
an accident can be difficult. Fortunately, highway design experts and
engineers are able to pinpoint exactly what types of road conditions cause
Most claims based on dangerous roads fall into one of three categories:
●Defective road design;
●Improper maintenance; and
●The failure to correct a preexisting dangerous condition.
Road Conditions and Liable Parties
There are a number of road conditions that can cause serious accidents.
Some of the most common include:
●A failure to install a traffic control device;
●Inadequate lane width;
●A lack of pedestrian crosswalks;
●Poorly designed road barriers;
●The existence of trees or other plant life that limit visibility;
●A failure to provide appropriate signs;
●Inadequate lighting; and
●A failure to fix potholes or cracks in the asphalt.
A claim against a government for injuries suffered because of any of these
types of dangerous road conditions requires a showing that the condition
existed and caused the accident, but also that the government knew or
should have known about the danger and failed to respond. Alternatively,
if a government employee used inadequate materials or failed to take appropriate
action, a victim may also be able to hold that employee responsible.
Potentially liable parties include:
Government entities are generally protected by the legal doctrine of sovereign
immunity. However, residents can bring a claim against the state under the
Maryland Tort Claims Act within one year of the date of the accident. State employees are almost
always protected from liability unless the person acted outside the scope
of his or her employment or acted with gross negligence. In that case,
an employee can be held personally liable for the injuries that his or
her negligence caused.
In order to bring a claim against a
county or city, a victim must file within
180 days of the accident. In Maryland, a local government’s liability is
limited to $400,000 for an individual claim and $800,000 for all damages
arising from the accident.
Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident caused by
a dangerous road, it is important to retain the services of an attorney
who can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Please contact a
Maryland personal injury attorney at the
Law Office of Robert R. Castro to schedule a free consultation.
Maryland Injury Lawyers: