Potential Government Liability for Poor Road Design and Maintenance

While most car accidents involve the negligence of at least one driver, the cause of some single-vehicle car accidents can be traced back to a poorly designed or improperly maintained roadway. In some cases, this may mean that the roadway obscures the vision of motorists, making it more difficult, or even impossible, for them to see what lies around a corner. In other cases, a rough or deteriorating road surface makes it difficult for vehicles to maintain control or come to a safe stop.

Sunny RoadUltimately, the duty resides with the state or federal government to design and maintain a safe network of roads and highways. However, liability for the design or maintenance of a roadway is not always present and depends on a number of factors. Generally speaking, if a government agency has knowledge that a road is dangerous, the government should take action to remedy the danger. Many times, this comes down to presenting a court with statistics of car accidents that have occurred on the same stretch of road, or submitting evidence that an inspection of the road was completed but no action taken.

Road to Be Redesigned after Several Fatal Accidents

Earlier last month, a bicyclist was killed on a stretch of road in Chicago when she was struck by a passing cement truck. According to a local news source covering the tragic accident, the 18-year-old bicyclist accidentally turned into the side of the passing cement truck. The exact details are unclear, but authorities believe that the bicyclist misjudged the length of the truck and initiated her turn too soon.

In the wake of the fatal accident, the government entity in charge of maintaining the stretch of roadway decided to take a second look at the design of the road. After careful consideration, it was determined that the speed limit should be reduced, and a bike lane should be created. In addition, a three-foot-tall cement median will be constructed to keep bikes and vehicles separate.

According to the article, the bike accident was the most recent in a series of accidents along the same stretch of road involving bicyclists and pedestrians. The plan to widen the road and make the necessary changes was actually approved last year, although construction was delayed for an unknown reason.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Motorcycle or Bicycle Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Maryland bicycle or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Depending on the type and cause of the accident, responsibility may lie with another driver or even with the municipality responsible for maintaining the roadway. Call the skilled Maryland personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC at 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case and your options moving forward. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our time unless we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

More Blog Posts:

Multi-Vehicle Accidents Involving Motorcyclists, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published November 4, 2016.

How Self-Driving Cars May Affect Motorcycle Safety, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published October 20, 2016.

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