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Road Defects

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Road Defects

According to a comprehensive study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), environmental conditions are the critical cause of about 2% of traffic crashes. This number only includes collisions where weather, lighting, and road defects were the primary cause.

Crashes in Florida often happen when road conditions contribute without being the critical cause. Thus, a defective road that collects water after a storm might not cause a car accident. But Clearwater drivers who speed through the puddle might. 

The team at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers helps when careless driving combines with road defects to cause crashes. Contact our Clearwater, FL law firm at (727) 493-4418 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.

How Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You With a Road Defect Claim in Clearwater, FL

How Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You With a Road Defect Claim in Clearwater, FL

Since 2001, Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers has represented injured clients in Clearwater, Florida, against those responsible for their injuries. Our Clearwater car accident lawyers, known as The Aggressive Attorneys, have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for the firm’s clients.

If you suffer an injury due to someone else’s actions, our attorneys can provide the following services:

  • Reviewing your case and explaining your legal options for seeking compensation
  • Investigating your collision and gathering evidence
  • Filing your insurance claim and negotiating with the insurer to settle it
  • Litigating against at-fault parties and insurers that fail to offer reasonable settlements

Road defects can compound dangerous driving behaviors and contribute to crashes. Contact our Clearwater personal injury attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your car accident and how we can help you recover fair compensation.

How Often Do Road Conditions Cause Crashes in Florida?

Florida’s annual Crash Facts Report includes statistics reporting when road surface conditions contribute to traffic crashes. 

Some conditions reported include:

  • Debris in the road
  • Construction, maintenance, or utility work on the road
  • An obstruction in the road
  • Wet or icy road surfaces
  • Ruts, holes, or bumps
  • Uneven, soft, or missing road shoulders
  • Missing signs
  • Inoperative traffic signals
  • Worn road surfaces

Many of the accidents that resulted from poor road conditions were single-vehicle accidents. For example, a driver might swerve to miss a large pothole and hit a highway barrier. Some of these defects resulted in pedestrian accidents. Construction workers can get hit while on foot in work zones. The remaining crashes involved collisions between multiple vehicles.

Crashes resulting from road conditions contributed to 3,644 deaths and nearly 257,000 injuries in 2022. Bear in mind that Florida’s Crash Facts Report includes all causes cited in accident reports. Thus, unlike the NHTSA study, road defects were not necessarily the critical cause of all 3,644 deaths. They may have only contributed to some of those fatal crashes.

Road Defect Crashes

Accident victims in Florida have the right to pursue benefits under the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in their auto insurance policies. Under Florida’s no-fault system, your insurance company must pay 80% of your medical costs and 60% of your income losses up to $10,000 total.

This system applies whether your injuries resulted from another driver’s negligence, your own negligence, or road defects. To pursue additional benefits, you must either have losses greater than your policy limit or suffer a significant, permanent injury. In these cases, you can seek compensation from anyone whose negligence caused your injuries.

Your options will depend on the role the road defect played in your crash.

The Road Defect Was a Critical Factor

If your crash happened because of a road defect, and no other driver contributed to it, you will only have a claim if the road defect arose due to negligence

Some possible parties that might bear liability for a negligently created road defect include:

  • Construction companies
  • Road users
  • City, county, or state governments

A construction company’s negligence could create a defect in the road. For example, it might not have compacted the asphalt correctly, resulting in a soft patch that caused you to lose control of your vehicle. In this case, you might have a claim against the construction company.

Other road users can also cause road defects. Thus, a semi-truck might take a turn too tight and knock down a stop sign. If the trucking company failed to report the sign, later road users might fail to stop and suffer injuries in an intersection crash.

Finally, a government can bear liability for a defective road design. If the government was aware of a problem and failed to fix it in a reasonable time, it might bear the liability for any resulting injuries.

The Road Defect Contributed To Another Driver’s Negligence

In some situations, a road defect is only a contributing factor. Suppose that a speeding driver hit a clearly marked speed bump, and the vehicle bounced so high the driver lost control and crashed into you. In this case, the driver cannot blame the speed bump.

Instead, the driver’s failure to exercise reasonable care was the cause of the crash. As a result, the driver bears the liability for any significant, permanent injuries suffered by the crash victims.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Clearwater Car Accident Attorneys After a Crash Caused By a Road Defect

Road defects are most dangerous when compounded by another driver’s negligence. Contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers at (727) 493-4418 for a free consultation to discuss the car crash injuries you suffered and your options for pursuing compensation under Florida law.

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