Highway and road defects can trigger car collisions that leave drivers, passengers, and anyone in the vicinity of the accident with physical injuries and property damage. Knoxville car accident lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe can provide you with the legal representation you need in your car accident case. With nearly three decades of experience, Mr. Hartsoe can provide the professional background and client-oriented service you need to help you recover for your injuries. Contact us today to discuss your case.Highway and Road Defects in Car Accidents
Highway or road defects can create dangerous conditions that in many instances lead, or contribute to, car wrecks. Even the most cautious and responsible motorist may not be able to avoid defects on the highway or road.
A highway or road defect can exist on a heavily-trafficked thoroughfare or on a less congested road. A defect may exist from the moment the highway or road is constructed, or result from a lack of maintenance by the entity responsible for its upkeep. An inherently poor road design, such as a lack of guardrails on dangerous curves, can make a road defective from the outset. However, a defect may not become apparent until several factors, such as lack of visible signage and inclement weather, result in a collision. In other cases, poor maintenance of the road or highway can lead to a defect, such as buckled pavement or another road hazard.Liability for Highway and Road Defects
A highway or road defect can have several causes, and as a result, more than one person or entity may be responsible for the accident. A victim may have a claim against the government entity responsible for maintaining the area where the defect exists, or the construction company that built the road. Whether the at-fault party is a government or private entity, the injured person must show that the defect was the proximate cause of their injuries.
In cases where a government entity may be responsible, the victim has to overcome the government’s general immunity from liability for injuries that result from the exercise of its functions. The State of Tennessee is responsible for the maintenance of its public roads, streets, and highways. It enters into separate contracts with each city and county for road or highway work, and each city or county is in turn responsible for the maintenance of the completed roadwork.
While these entities are generally immune from a suit, the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act removes governmental immunity for injuries that result from unsafe conditions on roads or highways. To lift the immunity, the victim must show that:
- There was a defective, unsafe, or dangerous condition on a street or highway;
- That the street or highway was owned or controlled by the government entity; and
- The defective condition caused the victim’s injuries.
A victim has up to a year to file a claim. If you were hurt in a car accident due to a highway or road defect, you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney who can discuss your options under the law.Compensation & Recovery
If a highway or road defect led to your car accident injuries, you can seek compensation from one or more at-fault parties. You may be able to recover for your medical bills, long-term care, property damage, and any pain and suffering. If your loved one died as a result of their injuries, you can seek compensation through a wrongful death suit. You can potentially recover for your relative’s hospital and medical expenses, burial and funeral costs, and loss of consortium.Experienced Advocate for Accident Victims
Knoxville personal injury attorney Mark C. Hartsoe is committed to helping his clients fight for their rights in highway and road defects cases. Mr. Hartsoe provides his clients with the comprehensive legal representation they need to recover compensation for their injuries. He will review your case, answer your questions, and discuss your legal options with you. Contact us today at (865) 524-5657 or online to discuss your case.