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Jersey Shore Law Insights

Can yo​u Sue after an Accident Caused by Poor Road Maintenance?

Accident caused by poor road maintenance
July 28, 2016 by Frank Wilton

When you are involved in a car accident, it is natural to immediately assume that one of the drivers involved was to blame. However, some accidents occur through no fault of a driver. A driver can suddenly lose control of a vehicle due to outside forces, and one common cause is a dangerous condition on the roadway. When roads are not properly inspected, maintained, or repaired, serious accidents and injuries can occur. In such a situation, victims are left wondering who they can hold liable for the accident.

When the Government is Negligent

Property owners have the legal duty to ensure their property is free from possibly dangerous hazards that may cause injury to others. If hazards do exist, they must properly and adequately warn visitors of the possibility of harm so visitors can take necessary precautions. There is no exception to this legal duty for property owned by the government.

Most roads and highways in New Jersey are either under the care of the state government or the local municipal government. Government agencies, therefore, have the duty to take reasonable care to make sure roadways are free from dangerous conditions. This includes inspecting roads for possible hazards and conducting repairs or maintenance whenever necessary. If a problem cannot be repaired right away, the government must warn drivers of possible hazards.

Unfortunately, like other property owners, government agencies do not always abide by this duty and certain hazards can cause accidents. Some dangerous conditions that commonly lead to collisions and injuries can include the following:

  • Potholes
  • Large cracks
  • Bumps
  • Objects or debris in the road
  • Unclear lane markers
  • Failure to warn of dangerous curves or intersections
  • Having the speed limit too high for road conditions
  • Having improperly timed traffic signals

If any such conditions caused your car accident, you may be able to hold the government liable for your losses.

Claims Against the Government can be Complicated

The government has many legal protections from lawsuits and personal injury claims are no different. This does not mean it is impossible, however, just that New Jersey law sets out certain procedures for suing the government that are very different from suing a private party. For example, you have two years to file a claim against a private party while you must file an intention to sue with the NJ government within 90 days of your accident. This means that is it critical to discuss your case with an attorney as soon as you can following an accident so that we may get started on your claim right away. The time limit is only one example of how claims against the government can be complex.


Call a New Jersey Car Accident Attorney For Help Today

Filing a legal claim against the local or state government can be challenging and you must comply with all procedural requirements in order to recover. Because of the time limits for these claims, you should never delay in discussing your situation with an experienced NJ personal injury lawyer. At Wilton Law Firm, we have handled a wide variety of auto accident and personal injury cases, including those involving government negligence. Please call us for a free consultation at 732-275-9555 or use our online contact form so we can start helping you recover.

Free Legal Advice New Jersey

Topics: accident

Written by Frank Wilton

Frank Wilton founded the Wilton Law Firm in 1997 and the firm continues to focus on representing accident victims. In 2003 Mr. Wilton achieved the designation of “Certified Civil Trial Attorney,” a distinction held by approximately two percent of N.J. attorneys.  He has successfully tried numerous negligence cases to conclusion and specializes in automobile, product liability and construction accident cases.  He serves on the Middletown Township planning board and is involved with many community organizations.

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