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Vehicle Damage Due To Poor Road Conditions: Who Is Liable?

Was Your Car Damaged On The Road? Call Our Lawyers Today

As a frequent driver, the last thing you want is to sustain damage from potholes, lack of road signs, or intermittent lousy weather. Determining who is at fault for an accident is often more straightforward when someone else is involved.

Suppose a driver runs a red light and plows into your car. It is obvious who caused the accident. But what about situations in which unsafe road conditions led to the crash? If you’re a Los Angeles resident, our auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles can help. We will distinguish which situation warrants filing a compensation claim.

The Government is Responsible for Public Roads – Within Reason

A state, city, or county agency is likely responsible for maintaining the road on which your accident occurred. After all, it’s their responsibility to keep safe road conditions. However, the government is only responsible for roads “within reason.”

Within reason means you must demonstrate that a government entity was unaware of the hazardous road conditions. States give the government a certain amount of time to learn about dangerous road conditions. How much time gets based on the unique facts of your case.

Because most victims suffer from injuries after an accident, the time you have to act is much shorter. Once you have a better idea of which agency might be liable for your damages, reach out to a traffic accident lawyer Los Angeles residents trust. We can help you notify them of the accident and road conditions before filing a claim to recover damages.

The government learns of hazardous road conditions when:

  1. Someone reports the dangerous condition.
  2. The dangerous condition is discovered during a government inspection.

After bringing a claim against the government, they have more time to repair the hazardous conditions. The responsible agency must have a reasonable amount of time to improve road conditions. It would be considered unreasonable to expect the repair to occur immediately.

What Happens If The Government Never Discovers This Issue?

If the government is unaware of an unsafe road condition, it’s not responsible for any accidents or damages caused by the hazardous road.

The only exception is if the dangerous condition existed for a while, and the government should have known about it. But even if that’s the case, the government may still not be at fault. If officials haven’t had time to repair it, the government is also not liable for your injuries.

What Do I Need To File a Claim?

Your car accident attorney in LA can help you with the claim filing process. They’ll give you details about how to proceed. You’ll need several pieces of information to get the process started.

You’ll have to provide:

  1. The name of the road or premises where the incident occurred.
  2. The location of the dangerous condition. Providing landmarks helps.
  3. The exact position of the hazardous condition on the road.
  4. The direction in which you were driving.
  5. A detailed description of the road condition.
  6. Injuries you’ve sustained: brain damage, back injury, spinal damage, fractures, or others.
  7. Contact information for any witnesses.

Moving Forward with Your Claim

An attorney for personal injury claims will determine what your case is worth as we move forward with your claim. In doing so, we’ll need to establish which agency is liable for damages. You can do this by contacting your county commissioners’ office. If this doesn’t yield results, then your lawyer will continue efforts to locate the responsible agency.

After you’ve found the government agency responsible for the road, you’ll need to notify them of your claim. Your lawyer will likely handle this step as part of the claims process. The plaintiff must file within six months of the incident in California. Missing the deadline will ruin your chances at compensation. A lawyer can make sure you file within a reasonable amount of time.

Get to Work Proving Your Claim

The government isn’t going to make the process easy. Just because you file a claim doesn’t mean the government isn’t going to dispute it. Your lawyer will have to prove that your claim is valid and that the government is responsible for your damages.

Survey records will indicate the last time the agency inspected the road in question. There may be mention of the condition that caused your damages. It will prove that the government did know about the hazardous conditions and failed to repair the problem within a reasonable amount of time.

Why Should I Hire A Lawyer?

To increase your chances of a successful claim against the government, work with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney. Fighting the government isn’t easy, and having a lawyer on your side helps. We have 35+ years of experience and secured millions for our clients. From the time you retain our firm, we build your case. For a free case evaluation and consultation, reach out to us at (323) 857-9500 or email

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