Houston Road Hazard Car Accident Attorneys
Road hazards are dangerous and can cause severe injuries to car accident victims. If you sustained an injury due to a road hazard car crash, contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury immediately for legal representation. We understand the state laws that determine liability when hazardous road conditions cause harm to drivers. You deserve compensation for your suffering, and we’ll advocate for your rights.
Unfortunately, road hazards are common throughout the country. Even when government entities and companies are diligent in maintaining and repairing roadways, hazards can still go unnoticed. Something like a small crack in the pavement can get bigger over time and lead to a dangerous situation.
Road hazard car accidents often involve government entities and can be complicated to pursue. The attorneys at Gibson Hill Personal Injury are highly experienced in this specialized area, and we’ll dedicate ourselves to fighting for your compensation, as we’ve done for so many other clients.
Call us at (713) 659-4000, and we’ll discuss the process for holding parties responsible for their negligence.
What Is a Road Defect?
A road defect is any area of a highway, road, or construction area that doesn’t meet safety regulations. Defects can cause physical injuries to people and damage to cars. When a road defect is the result of some form of negligence, the at-fault party could face financial consequences.
Road hazards occur because of one of the following: design defect, inadequate maintenance, or construction site.
When someone designs a new road or updates an old one, they have to ensure their plans provide a safe place for motorists to drive along. The design should make sense and allow for the smooth flow of traffic. If someone makes a mistake, that hazard could cause dangers to the drivers.
Examples of issues with the design of a road that can cause a road hazard include:
- Blind curves
- Small or no shoulder
- Lack of guardrails
- Poor lighting
- Excessive grade
- Poor drainage systems
- Narrow lanes
- Minimal visibility at intersections and crosswalks due to obstructions
Maintenance is required routinely on all roads throughout Houston. If there’s a hazard, there should be a repair or removal of that hazard. If a damaged or defective roadway results in a car crash, the entity responsible for maintenance ends up being the liable party.
Examples of inadequate maintenance include:
- Traffic lights that malfunction
- Faded paint
- Cracked or uneven pavement
- Hazardous objects on the street
- Structural damage
- Confusing, damaged, or missing traffic signs
Construction is an essential part of maintaining roads to keep drivers safe. Unfortunately, disorganization and human error can create an unsafe environment for anyone driving by.
Construction workers are supposed to place traffic cones, barriers, and warning signs that alert motorists to the upcoming construction area. If they fail to provide appropriate warning or don’t set up their work area correctly, an oncoming driver could crash into them or construction materials.
Who’s to Blame for the Road Hazard?
There are multiple parties you could hold responsible for your road hazard car accident. It entirely depends on the circumstances surrounding the crash. You should contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury for assistance with this part of the legal process. It’s possible that more than one party caused your accident, and they could each have their own separate liability insurance policy.
- Government entity: Governmental entities maintain and repair all roads throughout the city or town. You could potentially file a claim for compensation; however, sovereign immunity protects most entities from civil action. You’re only allowed to sue under special circumstances. We’ll use our experience to navigate your case strategically to help you pursue compensation.
- Private company: If a governmental agency hired a third-party, such as a construction or engineering company, to perform work on the roads, you might be able to go after them for the hazards. These companies are typically responsible for designing, building, and maintaining roads within city limits. Sovereign immunity doesn’t protect contractors, but it could be challenging to win compensation from them without developing a strong case.
- Another driver: A road hazard is dangerous in and of itself. However, if another motorist wasn’t driving to accommodate the hazard or behaving carelessly, you could seek compensation for your injuries.
- Business: If the road hazard that caused your car accident was in a driveway or parking lot in front of a business, you could hold the business owner or property owner responsible.
Texas Car Accident Laws
If you own or operate a motor vehicle in Texas, you must carry liability auto insurance with bodily injury and property damage limits. Those limits cover an injured individual’s expenses after a car crash. If another driver involved in the accident did something careless that contributed to it, you could file a claim with their insurance for the maximum settlement available.
You’re also entitled to file an insurance claim with your policy. If you chose to purchase UM coverage, you could collect a settlement up to the limits you opted for. UM stands for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It’s available for injured victims when the other driver doesn’t hold liability auto insurance, or their limits aren’t high enough to cover your expenses.
You might find yourself with a lower maximum compensation under the modified comparative fault rule. This rule reduces the injured party’s damages by the percentage of fault they share for the car accident. Let’s say you have a total of $100,000 but hold 20% of the blame because you sped over the road hazard; the most compensation you could receive is $80,000.
Follow These Important Steps After a Road Hazard Car Accident
A road hazard car crash case is complex. It can be difficult to find the right evidence that proves liability and shows you deserve compensation for your damages. If you follow the steps below, you can help protect your rights and ensure the insurance company pays you a full and fair settlement.
- Call 911 if anyone sustained an injury in the accident. Don’t leave the scene before law enforcement arrives. They will investigate the cause and write a crash report.
- If there were other drivers involved in the accident, write down their names, contact information, and auto insurance information. You could file a claim with one of their policies if any of them were partly responsible.
- Take detailed notes about where the accident happened and why it happened. If possible, take pictures of the road hazard that caused the crash.
- Speak to people who witnessed what happened and get their names and phone numbers.
- Get transportation to a nearby hospital for treatment of your injuries. Even if you think your injury is minor, you should still undergo a medical evaluation. Some injuries have delayed symptoms or take a few days to cause medical problems. The sooner you get checked out by a doctor, the sooner you can begin a treatment plan.
- Hire a Houston road hazard car accident lawyer to help you with your case.
How to Determine the Value of your Case
When you hire Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we’ll collect evidence and review all the details of the road hazard crash to determine the compensation you deserve for your damages. To adequately reimburse your damages, we’ll evaluate the compensatory damages incurred as a result of your injuries.
Compensatory damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repairs
- Disability or disfigurement
- Emotional trauma
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical bills
Generally, the formula for determining the compensation for a car accident victim involves a multiplier. A multiplier is often a number between 1.5 and 5 that an insurance adjuster will multiply with the total medical costs to determine a fair amount for non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering).
Factors that could contribute to a higher multiplier include:
- Serious injuries, such as nerve damage, traumatic brain injury, or broken bone
- Medical costs used mainly for the treatment of the injury
- Medical care provided by an M.D., hospital, or clinic
- Prescription medications to manage pain or symptoms of the injury
- Long-term treatment required
- A long duration of recovery
- Permanent injuries, such as loss of mobility, paralysis, or muscle weakness
- Emotional trauma experienced after the accident
- The negative impact on daily life
Factors that could contribute to a lower multiplier include:
- Minor injuries, such as a bruise or sprain
- Most medical bills are to diagnosis the problem rather than treat it
- Medical care by non-M.D. providers
- Medication isn’t necessary for the injury
- Short duration spent recovering
- No permanent damage or disability caused by the crash
- Quality of life is similar to before the accident
What Should I Do If I Can’t Afford to Hire a Lawyer?
If you don’t have the financial means to seek legal representation, call Gibson Hill Personal Injury. We don’t require upfront fees or costs from our clients. We’ll take your case on contingency and won’t expect payment unless we win. If we’re unable to recover compensation, you won’t owe us legal fees.
Additionally, we offer an initial consultation at no charge. We understand you’re already facing financial strain from your accident. Road hazards can cause severe injuries that require expensive medical treatment. We don’t want to add to your burden by charging you for every phone call and meeting you have with us.
How We Can Help
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we know the laws and procedures involved in a road hazard car accident case. Our Houston car accident attorneys have the experience, resources, and knowledge to fight for our clients and help them secure full compensation for their damages. When you hire us, we’ll work tenaciously to reach your goals and hold the negligent party responsible for their actions.
If a road hazard led to your car accident and resulting injuries, call (713) 659-4000 to schedule your free consultation and get legal services to help you recover.