If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a road hazard in California, you may be wondering who can be held liable for your injuries and damages. The answer to this question is not always straightforward and can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. There are several parties that may be held responsible for your accident and the resulting injuries, including the government, property owners, and other drivers. 

Due to the particularly complex nature of these cases, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and help ensure that you recover all of the compensation you may deserve. At Setareh Law, we are here to help you understand your legal rights and options.

What Defines a Road Hazard?

A road hazard is any obstacle or condition that can lead to an accident and cause injury or damage. This can include potholes, uneven surfaces, missing guardrails, poor lighting, inadequate signage, construction sites, speed bumps, improper parking, and more. Depending on the type of road hazard, different parties may be held responsible for any resulting accidents.

Every driver, property owner, and government body has a responsibility to ensure the safety of individuals on public roads. When a road hazard is present, it is likely due to the neglect of duty of care. When this duty is breached and an accident occurs as a result of that negligence, legal action may be taken.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Road Hazards in California?

In California, there are four main entities that may be responsible for a road hazard-related accident: the government, property owners, other drivers, your own negligence, or any combination thereof.

The Government

The government is responsible for maintaining public roads in a safe condition. If hazardous conditions exist due to the lack of proper upkeep or maintenance, then the governing body can be held liable for any resulting accidents. Examples of road hazards that could be the fault of the government include potholes, missing guardrails or signs, and inadequate lighting.

Property Owners

Property owners can also be held accountable if a road hazard is on their premises. This includes both residential and commercial property owners, who both have a duty to ensure that roads surrounding their land are safe for individuals. Examples of hazardous conditions that property owners may be held liable for include improper parking issues or debris in the road.

Other Drivers

In some cases, another driver may be responsible for your accident due to a mechanical issue with their vehicle or other negligence. If a tire blows out on the highway and causes an accident, for example,  then the driver of that car could be held liable for any resulting injuries.

Personal Negligence

In some cases, you may also be held liable for an accident caused by a road hazard. This can happen if you were negligent or failed to take appropriate steps to avoid the hazard. For example, if you were speeding and lost control of your vehicle due to a pothole or animal in the road, then you could be at fault.

Partial Liability

It is also possible that more than one party may be held liable for an accident caused by a road hazard. In this case, each entity will be assigned a percentage of fault and the damages will be divided accordingly. For example, if a property owner failed to properly clear debris from the road, but it was due to the government’s negligence in not providing clear signage, then both parties may be held partially liable.

What to Expect From a Road Hazard Injury Claim

The process of filing a road hazard injury claim can be complex and time-consuming. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the extent of damage to your property, you may be entitled to various types of compensation, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and more.

It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to help you navigate the legal process. They can assess the evidence, build a strong case, and negotiate with insurance companies or other parties involved in order to get you the compensation that you deserve.

How Will My Lawyer Determine Who is Responsible?

When you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer, they will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene and review all available evidence. This can include police reports, eyewitness accounts, photos of the hazard or accident site, medical records, and more.

Your lawyer will use this information to build a strong case against any liable parties and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. With this information, they will be able to negotiate a fair settlement with the responsible parties or take your case to trial if necessary.

How Long Will It Take to Settle My Claim?

The length of time that it takes to settle your claim will vary based on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the extent of damage to your property, and the complexity of your case. In general, however, it is possible for a settlement to be reached within a few months or perhaps longer.

Reach Out to an Experienced Road Hazard Accident Lawyer in Torrance Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a road hazard, our personal injury lawyers at Setareh Law are ready to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Don’t let the complexities of liability in road hazard cases hold you back from seeking the legal representation you need. Working with our knowledgeable and Spanish-speaking lawyers can help you get the compensation you may be owed following an accident caused by a road hazard.

We proudly serve Torrance, Redondo Beach, Lomita, and the surrounding areas. Contact us online today or call us at (310) 659-1826 to schedule your free consultation.