Road Defect Liability in New York City
So many things can go wrong when you're behind the wheel of a car. Even if you're driving defensively, cars can pull out at the last minute, people can step off sidewalks, and roads are riddled with potholes. Many drivers only worry about potential damage to their cars, but road defects can become increasingly dangerous to other drivers on the road. You can hit a pothole and completely lose control of your car causing an accident. You can also hit a pothole and injure yourself from the impact. Considering potholes shouldn't be on the road in the first place, who should be liable? We should have the peace of mind to be able to drive safely on roadways. Michael Redenburg understands this, and he is experienced in road defect liability in Manhattan. He has represented victims in numerous cases and the results speak for themselves. Hiring an experienced attorney is your first step toward success in any road defect liability case.
Where do you start?
You've run over a pothole and sustained injuries, but you don't know who to contact. You can choose to file a claim against any government agency that was responsible for building, designing, and maintaining the roadway. The government is responsible for making sure roadways are properly maintained and safe to travel, including the design. So, if the government hired a company that provided a poor design, you can sue that company. As long as you can prove their negligence is the reason for your injuries. Michael Redenburg can help you navigate all of the potential parties involved, to narrow down who is liable and negligent in your case.
How can there be a road defect?
We listed potholes earlier, but there are many ways a road or highway can be defective. Some of the most common defects in roads are:
When you're on the road, signs can give you directions or warn you of upcoming hazards. Think about how much order stop lights bring to the road. We take many of these signs for granted when we are driving, so when there is an issue with a sign it can be catastrophic. For example, if a stop light isn't working properly, an intersection can become incredibly dangerous. If the stoplight malfunctions and shows green to both drivers, these cars will collide at high speeds. There have been fatalities as a result of lights malfunctioning or missing stop signs. Another issue can be overgrowth over signs. A stop sign is no longer visible because brush has grown over it. An experienced lawyer can help you determine who is responsible for maintaining the landscaping of the road. There are so many departments and companies to go through, it's important to hire a professional.
Poor Guard Rails:
When taking a curve too fast, the safety of guardrails often crosses our minds. Especially if you are driving around a steep curve and you see a piece of a guardrail is missing. If your car leaves the road because guardrails are missing or defective, you will have a more serious accident. If the guardrail had been in place, your car would have had less of an impact and could have been in a minor accident.
Potholes/Poor Drainage/Other Defects:
Potholes are one of the worst problems on the road. Yes, you have to deal with them on a daily basis, but big potholes are dangerous. There was a man driving a firetruck on a Manhattan road on the way to put out a fire. While he was racing to save lives, he hit a pothole and the impact severed his spine. This healthy firefighter is now paralyzed, and most drivers don't understand this could happen to them. If there has been a serious pothole on the road for a long time, and it's been documented, the city should have taken care of it. Worse than hurting yourself, you could lose control of your car and injure someone else. When you take a pothole at high speeds you really don't know what is going to happen. The city makes reports of serious potholes, which can help us prove negligence in your case.
Poor water drainage can also be dangerous to drivers. When you see standing water on the road you should slow down to travel through it to avoid hydroplaning. Some drivers don't see standing water on the road, and this can cause them to lose control of their vehicles. Then, the last group of defects refers to everything else. Defects aren't solely potholes and drainage. They can be shoulder erosion, a defect in asphalt, or other dangerous conditions.
Debris from Tunnels and Bridges:
When driving through a tunnel or bridge, some of the structure can fall on your vehicle. If a piece of the bridge falls while you're driving, the impact is going to make you temporarily lose control of your car. Any damage that occurs is the result of the negligence of the government department responsible for the bridge.
Road defect liability cases are difficult, but they aren't impossible!
The first step in any of these cases is finding the owner of the road. Some roads are owned by the state while others are owned by local cities. Depending on the road, you have different time restraints to file your defect liability claim.
At most, you have 90 days to file a claim with the government department that owns your road. Any lawsuit you file with the state is filed in the Court of Claims. If you're filing a lawsuit against the city of New York or contractors, you can file in the New York Supreme Court. You can use the Freedom of Information Law to determine which government owns your defective road.
Michael Redenburg Handles Complex Road Defect Liability Claims in New York City
We have the experience to locate the necessary information to file your claim. If you have injuries as a result of a road defect, make your appointment with us today. We have a limited amount of time to research the details of your case and file your claim. Let us help you successfully get the judgment you deserve.