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Hazardous Roadways Attorney Fort Wayne

Hazardous Roadway Accidents

Many accidents are caused by negligent or reckless drivers, such as those who run red lights or back up without checking their mirrors. Other accidents are caused by defective parts on a vehicle, such as brakes that fail or a steering column that malfunctions.

But many Fort Wayne accidents are caused by the roads themselves. It’s no secret that Fort Wayne and surrounding areas have dangerous roadways, which can cause motorists to lose control and either crash into another motorist or hit a stationary object.

If you believe a hazardous roadway caused your collision, please contact us today. One of our attorneys will be happy to go over your accident and check whether you can bring a legal claim.

Road Hazards

There are many hazards that make our roads dangerous. Some of the more common include:

  • Potholes. A deep pothole can damage your car when you drive over it. The pothole can also cause you to lose control of your vehicle, leading to a crash.
  • Uneven pavement. Sometimes uneven pavement results when the roads are paved improperly. Uneven pavement can cause a motorist to lose control and jump into the other lane.
  • Shoulder erosion. A defective shoulder is a hazard, which can cause a vehicle to rollover or slide off the road. Shoulders must be properly constructed and maintained.
  • Defective or missing guardrails. Guardrails prevent vehicles from going off the road. If there are no guardrails, or if the ones erected are defective, then you could suffer a devastating accident.
  • Missing or obscured stop signs. A motorist can obey a traffic sign if it is obscured by foliage or missing altogether. The city has a duty to put up traffic signs and to replace them when they are damaged.
  • Unploughed roads. Snow and ice accumulation can make traffic dangerous.
  • Debris in the road. Road construction is ongoing, but the construction company must not let debris accumulate in the road. Tools, wood, and other debris are obvious hazards.
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Bringing a Claim

Before you sue, you need to identify who is responsible for the road. Most roads in Fort Wayne are public, so the municipality and the state are responsible for making sure the roads are safe. If the road is private, then the road owner must make the road safe should he allow other people to drive on it. If you are trespassing on a private road, then the owner owes you a much lower duty of care.

Bringing a claim against a private owner is no different than suing someone for not maintaining their property adequately. You can negotiate with their insurer and then file a lawsuit, or you can go straight to the lawsuit. There are strategic advantages to each approach which you can discuss with an attorney.

If the government is responsible for the road, then different rules apply. The government is generally immune from lawsuits, but Indiana does make an exception if you were injured because of a hazardous road. Nevertheless, you need to jump through certain hoops:

  • You need to give notice to the relevant government entity. This notice should include information about the date and time of your accident, as well as the hazard that contributed to your crash.
  • You must provide notice within a specified amount of time. If you are suing a city or other political subdivision, you must give notice within 180 days (IC 34-13-3-8). If you are suing the state, you have 270 days to provide notice (IC 34-13-3-6). These deadlines are very short.
  • The government might want to negotiate a settlement. This is the reason for the notice. You don’t have to agree to the settlement, but you must give the government a chance to respond to your notice before running to court and suing.

Don’t try to sue the government on your own. You might make a critical error that results in your case being dismissed.

Compensation for a Car Accident

You can receive compensation for a variety of losses, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

If you sue a government entity, there are limits on the amount of compensation you can receive. Under IC 34-13-3-4, the maximum compensation for death or injury is:

  • $700,000 per person
  • Up to $5,000,000 for all people injured in the accident

You also cannot receive punitive damages if you sue a government entity.

Areas We Practice

Other Practice Areas

At the Delventhal Law office, our Fort Wayne personal injury attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights and interests of accident victims. If you or a family member was injured because of the carelessness or recklessness of another party, we can help. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers handle a wide array of legal cases, including:

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Give Us a Call

Delventhal Law Office is here if you have been injured by a hazardous road. To get started on your case, schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. The sooner you get started, the better position you will be in.

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