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Road Defects

Car Accidents Caused by Road Defects

A road defect, like a pothole or piece of construction zone debris, can not only cause significant damage to your vehicle but can also result in personal injury to you, the driver. Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer David Tapalian can efficiently and compassionately help you with a personal injury claim for a car crash caused by a road defect in RI or MA. Whether you incurred property damage to your vehicle or suffered a serious injury due to the negligent behavior of another party, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your losses.

Damage to Vehicles

Physical property damage to a vehicle is common with road defect accidents. For example, a pothole or sharp debris in the road can damage a car by causing the tires to deflate, damaging the rim, bumper, or suspension of the vehicle, or adversely affecting the alignment and/or shock absorbers. If you notice a bulge on your tires, an uncentered steering well, strange vibrations within the vehicle, unusual noises, or warning lights, you may have experienced vehicle damage. Take note if your car seems to be driving toward one side more than the other. A serious car accident can result if a vehicle’s tire is punctured by a defect in the road and a tire blows out or the rim is seriously damaged. An experienced road defect accident attorney in RI can determine if another person or entity’s negligence caused your crash and seek compensation for your vehicle repairs.

Physical Injuries

Road defect car accidents can result in personal injury to the driver, passengers, nearby vehicle operators, and pedestrians.  For example, if a vehicle is driving at a high-speed on the highway and unexpectedly encounters a fallen traffic sign, in an attempt to avoid the sign, the driver may swerve and lose control of their vehicle, potentially hurting themselves and those travelling nearby. Many motorists will attempt to swerve and drive around a pothole or road debris to avoid this damage, but instead can accidently cause an accident by sideswiping another motor vehicle.

Other motorists may stop their car abruptly to avoid hitting the defect or object, causing others to hit them from behind them in a rear-end collision. Motorcycles are particularly vulnerable to potholes which can potentially eject the driver from their seat.

As an effect of driving over uneven pavement, hitting a pothole, or other object in the road, a car may bounce up and down, causing head trauma such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Like other car crashes, road defect accidents can result in broken bones and internal organ injury upon impact with another vehicle or object. Whiplash can also occur due to movement of the neck that occurs when there is a depression in the road caused by the pothole. If you’ve been hurt in a Rhode Island car accident caused by a road defect, contact a qualified attorney to determine your eligibility to file a personal injury claim.

What Other Ways Can A Road Defect Accident Occur?
  • Construction Zones. Common road defects at construction zones include uneven pavement due to roadwork as well as lack of clear signs warning vehicle operators that a construction site is nearby. Worker negligence can also cause road defect accidents, such as when an employee of a construction company leaves objects in the roadway. When entering a construction zone, accidents can occur due to cars not realizing the need to merge lanes or not understanding the reduced speed limit in effect. Additionally, some drivers get confused or frustrated during detours which can distract them from keeping their full attention on the roadway.
  • Road Signs. If a sign was removed or not designed clearly for a driver to view, they may get into an accident because they were unaware of the need to stop or yield at a certain location. They also might not have adequate time to prepare for an upcoming merge, or roundabout.
  • Traffic Lights. Traffic lights are essential to ensure safe travel of traffic. When not working properly, drivers will not know when to stop or continue driving introducing the potential for dangerous vehicular collisions.
  • Poor lighting and visibility on roadways can also be a problem if drivers are unable to see where they are going, as well as if there are other vehicles close to them.
  • Loose Objects. An object in the middle of the road, such as a loose piece of wood, can cause a driver to swerve and hit another vehicle resulting in a dangerous auto accident.
  • Improper drainage results in water building up on the roadways. Managing a car then becomes more difficult, especially with the risk of hydroplaning. Engines are also at risk of flooding.
  • Crosswalks. When a road lacks necessary crosswalks or contains them at a dangerous location, pedestrians are at an increased risk when attempting to get to the other side of the street. There is an increased chance of a pedestrian car accident if a car is unable to prepare for people who may be walking up ahead.

If you’ve been hurt in a Rhode Island car accident, contact an experienced lawyer at Tapalian Law to discuss filing a personal injury claim for your losses.

Who Is Responsible for a Pothole or Other Road Defect Accident?

Different parties or entities may be held liable for road defect accidents depending on the specific circumstances of the case at hand. To successfully hold another party liable for your damages, negligence on their part must be proven. Proving negligence in a road defect accident in RI can be extremely complicated and is best done with highly qualified legal representation.

  • Government: The responsible party can range from government agencies in cities all the way to the federal level. The culpable party will be whichever agency manages the specific road where the accident occurred. If you are involved in a road defect accident, you want to alert the government as soon as possible. Many Rhode Island agencies require the damage be noted within a short time window to pursue a personal injury claim. The driver will need to prove the government was negligent in their failure to address the road defect in question. The government will often counter that the driver has partial or full responsibility in the accident when accused.
  • Drivers: In some cases, there may be other drivers at fault if the accident involved negligence on their part. Other times, the driver of the car may be held liable, emphasizing the importance of speaking to a qualified car accident attorney regarding the specific details of your case.
Tapalian Law Offers a Free Consultation for Car Accident Victims

With decades of experience in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Florida, Attorney David Tapalian can help ensure you receive the best representation when pursuing a personal injury claim. Our office locations in Providence, Warwick, and Seekonk provide easy access to our RI and MA clients. Victims of a wide variety of car accidents, including those caused by road defects, aggressive driving, and reckless drivers, have successfully received help from Tapalian Law. To discuss your personal injury claim today, schedule a free, no obligations, consultation, by calling our office at 401-552-5000 or use our online form to further discuss your case with our team.

Client Reviews
He took care of everything and kept me updated as well. It was such a smooth process and in the end I won my case. I would highly recommend David Tapalian! Patrice F.
When I contacted David Tapalian, Attorney & Counselor at Law, all my worries were immediately alleviated. He handled my case from beginning to end and kept me updated every step of the way. Susie M.
I visited David a couple of days after my accident and he gave me clear and concise details on what would happen throughout the process... David N.