Memorial Day offers a time to celebrate loved ones lost. It also signals the beginning of another Florida summer which often means road trip! In either case, we all find a reason and a way to cut loose. Unfortunately, these celebrations also lead to an uptick in car accidents. The primary causes? More cars on [..]
Roadway Defects Can Be Deadly for South Florida Drivers
From drunk and distracted drivers to dangerous weather, driving in Florida comes with its share of risks. When you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, you accept that other drivers may do foolish, dangerous things. You accept that the weather is unpredictable and could lead to accident or injury.
However, you probably also expect that Florida roads and highways themselves are safe to travel. Unfortunately, in South Florida, this isn’t always the case.
Every year, there are hundreds of thousands of traffic accidents and thousands of traffic related fatalities in our state. Though the majority of collisions are caused by human error, road defects also contribute a significant portion of accidents and fatalities in our state.
Defective road accidents can be caused by poor design, a lack of maintenance, confusing signage, disruptive construction site setups, and more. Whatever the cause, defective road accidents share one thing in common: their consequences can be serious injury, costly repairs, and staggering medical bills.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident caused by a roadway defect, please get in touch with The Injury Law Firm of South Florida. Our experienced, compassionate injury lawyers have helped Florida drivers and their families who have been involved with all kinds of accidents, including those caused by defective roadways.
Our attorneys can fight to ensure you receive the compensation you need to cover repairs, medical bills, and overall pain and suffering. With our help, you can bring dangerous road conditions to light and prevent similar accidents from harming other Florida drivers in the future.
The Most Common Causes of Road Defect Accidents in South Florida
In our state, the Florida Department of Transportation has a responsibility to design and maintain safe roads and driving conditions. When they fail to live up to this standard, defective roadways can lead to collisions and other accidents.
Over the years working with Florida drivers, we have seen accidents caused by virtually every type of roadway defect imaginable. Some of the most common causes of road defect accidents in South Florida include:
Design problems. Roads are designed by teams of civil engineers to facilitate safe travel. However, civil engineers, like all people, can make mistakes and oversights, and design a road that increases the likelihood for accident. If there is a particular area that becomes notorious for seeing lots of collisions and other accidents, this could be a dead giveaway that the road was designed poorly. Some of the most common examples of poor road design include:
- Narrow lanes
- Blind curves
- Insufficient lighting
- Absence of a shoulder
- Excessive grade
- Short or improperly positioned exit ramps
- Absence of necessary guardrails
- Dangerous dips in the road
- Pavement without sufficient skid resistance
- Dangerous parking policies
- Obstructed visibility by intersections and crosswalks
- Poor drainage that results in slippery surfaces
Careless construction. Even the most sophisticated road design can translate into a dangerous road if the quality of construction is poor. If a construction team neglects to follow approved plans, uses inferior materials, or is made with careless overall workmanship, the resulting road may become a death trap.
Inadequate maintenance. Part of keeping roads safe is constant, diligent maintenance. The Florida Department of Transportation has a responsibility to fix structural damage in roads, remove hazards, and replace missing signs. When roads are neglected, the government may be held legally accountable for any resulting accidents.
Common examples of problems that arise from inadequate roadway maintenance include:
- Potholes and cracked or uneven pavement
- Structural deterioration and damage on bridges
- Overgrown trees and other vegetation blocking signage or line of sight
- Faded paint marking
- Deteriorating or removed signage
- Traffic light malfunctions
- Hazards left in the road
Disorganized construction zones. Construction is performed on roadways to fix them and make them safer for drivers. However, a disorganized, mismanaged construction zone can become just as hazardous, if not more so, than a damaged road.
Construction zones can confuse drivers if there is inadequate signage, insufficient or misplaced barrels or cones, or poor lighting. When a construction company is negligent in their setup of a work zone, it puts the safety of both drivers and workers at risk.
Inadequate pedestrian and cyclist accommodations. Florida is notoriously dangerous for pedestrians, with one of the highest rates of pedestrian deaths in the country. Florida is also a leader when it comes to cycling fatalities, with hundreds of cyclists killed every year.
Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities may be caused by negligent driving, but they also occur when roadways lack proper crosswalks, bike lanes, and pedestrian islands.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Defective Road Accidents in Florida
Because roads are public property, it is typically the local or federal government who may be held liable for accidents caused by defective roadways. This makes accidents involving road defects more complex than other types of auto accident claims.
In Florida, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against a government agency if you have suffered an injury due to a defective road. However, it is critical to take action immediately, as there is a statute of limitations for how long you have to file a claim. Similarly, because government claims tend to be especially complicated, working with an experience road defect accident lawyer is essential.
Contact the Defective Road Accident Attorneys at The Injury Law Firm of South Florida Today
If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident involving a road defect in South Florida, we encourage you to reach out to our law firm. At The Injury Law Firm of South Florida, our lawyers have years of experience helping Floridians
obtain the compensation they are due after suffering a defective car accident.
Contact us now by filling out our online form or dialing one of the following numbers:
One of our top attorneys will get in touch as soon as possible to start working on your case. Our talented legal team will do everything in its power to get you the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, and more, while working to make the roads safer for our fellow Floridians.