Auto accidents occur for many reasons. Drivers often make errors in judgment, both before they get in their car, as well as while driving their car. For example, driving while intoxicated, using a cellphone, or speeding can all be the cause of an auto accident. Such poor decisions can have horrific and devastating consequences.
But driver error is not the only reason that auto accidents occur. Some auto accidents are caused because of dangerous road conditions. When a dangerous road condition leads to a crash, how is liability determined? Who pays for damages? The following considers what you need to know about auto accidents resulting from dangerous or defective roads in Connecticut.
Types of Dangerous Road Conditions that Lead to Accidents
There are various types of dangerous road conditions that could potentially cause an auto accident, especially when combined with other factors, such as poor lighting or distracted driving. Some of these dangerous road conditions include:
- Potholes or other road surface defects;
- Construction zones;
- Lack of guardrails;
- Defective chipseal;
- Objects in road (i.e. fallen trees, animals, etc.);
- Snowy, icy, or wet roadways;
- Faulty design of roadways; and
- Lack of proper signage.
The majority of these can be prevented or controlled with proper road maintenance.
Who Is Liable for an Accident Caused by a Dangerous Road Condition?
Drivers are unable to control certain road condition factors, such as the presence of a pothole or a construction zone. The Connecticut Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining roads in a reasonably safe condition. If it fails to correct a known hazard, it may be held liable for damages that occur as a result. A claim for damages caused by a defective condition (e.g., a pothole, ice, etc.) on a state highway, bridge or sidewalk is governed by the Connecticut General Statutes. Claims will only be processed if received within 90 days of the incident.
Rules for Filing a Claim Against the Government
In addition to filing a claim against the CDOT for damages resulting from a dangerous road condition, a claim for damages caused by a motor vehicle owned by the State and operated by a state employee is governed by Section 52-556 of the Connecticut General Statutes. All other claims for damages should be filed with the Office of the Claims Commissioner in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 53 of the Connecticut General Statutes, Section 4-141 et seq.
Before filing a claim, you may wish to consult an experienced Connecticut Accident Attorney who is familiar with Connecticut laws and process.
Contact the Skilled Connecticut Accident Attorneys at The APEX Law Firm Today
At The APEX Law Firm, we know that filing a claim for damages resulting from a defective road condition can be intimidating; no one wants to go up against the government. However, filing a claim may be the only way that you are able to recover the damages that you need, and raise awareness about a dangerous condition that could pose a threat to other drivers.
Our experienced Connecticut car accident attorneys are here for you. Contact us today to request your free case evaluation by calling (860) 900-0900 in Hartford County or visit our website and fill out a free case evaluation request form.