Road hazards can be challenging to navigate. From road construction zones to malfunctioning traffic signals, drivers must remain alert to avoid harm. If you’ve suffered from an accident due to these hazards, knowing your rights and avenues for legal action is helpful.

Common road hazards

Generally, drivers are expected to drive cautiously enough that they can avoid sudden obstacles. However, even safe and defensive drivers can be caught by surprise.

Common road hazards include:

  • Construction zones: Negligent road construction can result in uneven surfaces, too-narrow lanes or sudden detours, which can be a threat to unsuspecting drivers.
  • Potholes: Caused by weathering and wear and tear, these circular openings can be especially challenging to spot during poor visibility conditions.
  • Road debris: Items like litter, furniture, garbage and auto parts can quickly turn into obstacles.
  • Malfunctioning traffic signals: When traffic signals don’t function as expected, they can create chaos. Although drivers are expected to treat flashing lights like a four-way stop, some malfunctions can display green lights in multiple directions.

Who’s liable for road hazards?

Liability depends on a number of factors. Typically, the government is accountable for maintaining roads. Should they fail in this duty, and an accident occurs due to their negligence, they could be held liable. On the other hand, if a road hazard emerges from a private property or is the result of an individual’s negligence, they may be held responsible.

Although Ohio’s government is typically protected under sovereign immunity, there are exceptions. The state could be held liable for not maintaining roads or for not providing sufficient warnings about obstructions or construction zones. The Ohio Department of Transportation, for example, might be liable if insufficient warning was provided for a work zone. On the other hand, federal agencies follow the Federal Tort Claims Act, making the process different when lodging a claim against them.

If your claim involves suing a government entity, the statute of limitations is often shorter than it would be in normal personal injury cases. It’s important to seek legal advice from the Law Offices of Tim Misny as soon as possible, or your claim could be dismissed.

While staying vigilant on the roads should be your primary preventive measure, legal recourse may be available. If hazardous road conditions caused or contributed to your accident, we can assess your claim and explain your legal options.

Discuss your accident claim with an Ohio personal injury lawyer

The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your accident claim. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 614-9524 so that I can evaluate your case right away.