Desert road with broken pavement and gravel.

How Is Responsibility for an Accident Caused by Road Damage Determined?

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Car accidents may occur every day, but they’re not solely caused by reckless drivers. Sometimes, road damage may be the primary causal factor in a crash, for instance, but at the same time, determining responsibility in accidents like these can be complex. 

The process of investigating how and why a road was damaged and who should pay for the resulting crash can be difficult. As such, it’s important to get a car accident lawyer involved immediately if you’re hoping to prove liability and recover injury compensation after a road damage crash. 

Understanding Road Damage Crashes

Road damage can take many forms, with some of the most common including the following:

  • Potholes
  • Cracks
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Crumbling edges
  • Infrastructure issues
  • Construction work 

These issues can — and often do — significantly contribute to accidents that lead to vehicle damage, injuries, and even fatalities. While most car accident cases focus on the actions of one of the drivers, road damage crashes involve an additional layer of complexity. 

Identifying Liability in a Road Damage Car Accident

Determining liability in a road damage-related accident requires an in-depth investigation in which the victim’s lawyer must establish that the road damage was a direct cause of the accident. Doing so involves gathering evidence such as: 

  • Photographs
  • Eyewitness testimonies
  • Road maintenance records
  • Past reports of the damage, if any

In most cases, safely maintaining roads is a responsibility that falls on local or state governments, though in some cases, a private entity might be responsible for the road’s upkeep. When construction work is a factor, determining liability can grow even more complicated. 

Regardless of the entity that ultimately holds that responsibility, one of the most important elements of establishing it is proving that the road damage was a known issue, along with proving that there was a failure to promptly respond in a way that would protect the safety of drivers. A lawyer will need to determine whether the road damage had already been reported and whether any steps were taken to address it promptly prior to the events of the crash.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

As stated, proving liability in a crash caused by road damage can be difficult to accomplish, and in order to succeed at obtaining compensation out of such a claim, you need the aid of an experienced car accident lawyer who has won similar cases in the past. 

A skilled attorney will know how to conduct a thorough investigation, gather evidence, and build a strong case. They’ll understand the legal challenges that surround road damage crashes and be able to assess — right from the start — whether there’s enough evidence involved to build a winning case. 

While proving liability in a road damage accident can be a challenge, that’s not the only complexity these cases entail. Since road maintenance usually falls upon a government entity, your case may involve seeking compensation from a local or state government, and injury claims against such legislative bodies come with their own set of challenges and compensation limitations.

As such, if you need to recover damages to cover items like medical bills and lost wages and benefits, it’s crucial to find a car accident lawyer with the skills and experience needed to win a car accident claim centering around a damaged road.

Need a Car Accident Lawyer in New Mexico?

For over 20 years, Hunt Law has successfully recovered car accident compensation for injured clients across New Mexico. Our experienced team of car accident attorneys understands the challenges a road damage crash entails, and we’re ready to review your case and identify your next steps. 

Contact Hunt Law today to schedule a consultation with an experienced New Mexico car accident attorney.