Road hazards are prevalent on Florida roads. From potholes and uneven pavement, the potential issues are vast. Unfortunately, accidents caused by road hazards may cause serious and even life-threatening injuries.
While you have some control over what happens when you are behind the wheel and can avoid some accidents, significant road hazards often make accidents unavoidable.
Usually, if road accidents are present on Florida roads or highways, they are there due to someone’s negligence, omission, or error. The danger lies in the fact that they aren’t easy to spot or anticipate before your vehicle spins out of control.
If you are in the unfortunate event of being involved in an accident caused by a road hazard, and you or your passengers experience serious injuries, the entity or person responsible for the presence of the hazard may be liable and responsible for your damages. This necessitates the need for an experienced car accident attorney in Florida.
Unavoidable Road Hazards and the Possibility of Accidents
A road hazard is any type of roadway condition that can put a driver in danger. Many road hazards cause serious damage to vehicles. Unfortunately, they may also cause serious injuries and even fatalities. This is particularly the case when the hazard causes a vehicle to go out of control or collide with a stationary object or another vehicle.
It is worth noting that all drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles in a manner that is safe for the current road conditions. Hazards on the road pose much danger; however, if a driver does not have a warning that they exist, it may make it impossible for a driver to avoid or even gauge the risks.
Unexpected road hazards may cause the driver to lose control or even create an obstacle the driver can’t respond to or avoid.
Some of the most common road hazards that are seen on Florida roads and highways that don’t provide adequate warning to drivers include the following:
- Large sinkholes or potholes
- Grooved pavement
- Heat-warped Road surfaces
- Construction site obstacles
- Raised or sunken manhole covers
- Washed out bridges or road flooding
- Downed tree limbs and fallen trees
- Cargo that falls from trailers or commercial trucks
Potential Injuries Caused by Road Hazard Car Accidents
If you are in an accident because of a road hazard, the type of injuries and their severity depends on what happens after you lose control of your vehicle. If you are traveling at highway speeds and hit a tree, barrier, or another stationary, solid surface, the impact can result in serious or even fatal injuries.
When two vehicles are involved, the people in both vehicles can suffer injuries. Some of the injuries that are common in road hazard car accidents include the following:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Spinal cord trauma
- Spine and disc injuries
- Traumatic amputations
- Multiple fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Severe burns
- Nerve damage
- Fatal injuries
Serious injuries like the ones mentioned above can result in long-term effects or even fatalities. If you experience this type of injury, you must seek immediate medical treatment. Without this medical care, the damage may be permanent or even result in death.
If you suffer this type of injury, it can reduce your ability to earn a living, and your long-term disabilities may result in you losing your income. The injuries sometimes force you to change careers and experience ongoing financial costs.
Liability in Road Hazard Accidents and Injuries
It can be challenging to determine fault in road hazard accidents. Some road hazards are man-made, while others are caused by natural processes but could be prevented with proper maintenance or warnings. Other issues are considered “Acts of God” that cannot be prevented.
Some of the parties that may be financially liable for road hazard accidents and injuries include the following:
- Property owners. The property owner along a road may be liable if they do not prevent an obstruction or object from going onto the road.
- Government entities. State and local government entities are responsible for maintaining most public roads in the state of Florida. If a government agency doesn’t maintain a road, provide a warning of dangerous conditions, or close a road that is too hazardous to travel, they could be liable for those who are injured because of the hazards present.
- Construction contractors or civil engineers. The companies and people who handle the job of designing, building, maintaining, or fixing roads must do so responsibly. If a road is designed and inherently dangerous, the designer or designing firm may be considered liable for accidents and injuries that occur. Road crews may be responsible if a road is constructed with improper techniques or low-quality materials or if there are no warnings regarding hazardous road conditions while construction is going on.
- Makers of equipment used to build roads and road materials. The manufacturer may be liable if roads are made using low-quality materials or if the equipment does not meet the set safety and performance standards.
Understanding Your Rights to Compensation in a Road Hazard Car Accident in Florida
If you are involved in an accident caused by a road hazard, the first step is to utilize your PIP (personal injury protection) insurance coverage. This will allow you to get immediate compensation for medical costs and lost wages.
However, if the damages caused in the accident exceed the limits of your PIP policy, then it may be necessary to file a lawsuit against the liable party. Since determining liability can be tricky, contact our legal team at Zimmet & Zimmet to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.