On well-traveled roads and highways throughout Georgia, potholes can be a serious hazard for motorists. But when you hit a pothole, who's responsible for paying for the damage to your car and/or any injuries resulting from an accident? The legal team at KWFDM can help you recover compensation from all liable parties after an accident caused by a dangerous pothole.What Causes Potholes?
In most cases, potholes are caused by changing weather conditions. Moisture seeps into pavement and then freezes, expands, and thaws with fluctuating temperatures. The air pockets created by the lost water weaken the pavement. It’s common to see more and larger potholes after severe winters, such as the one recently experienced in Atlanta and other Southern states.
Asphalt is further weakened by the weight of vehicles, especially in heavily trafficked areas. When pavement finally breaks down and crumbles, a pothole is the result. Potholes can also be the result of poor road construction, which can involve the use of inferior materials or paving when conditions are not acceptable.Government Responsibility for Pothole Damage
After hitting a pothole, most people are frustrated that they have to foot the bill for something that really wasn't their fault. If you've recently been in a pothole accident, you probably feel the same way. Under negligence laws, maybe you don't have to. Generally, government entities are responsible for properly maintaining roads so that they are safe for motorists. If a municipality knew about a pothole and failed to repair it in a reasonable amount of time, it could be held responsible for resulting vehicle damage.
In other cases, the state may be liable for pothole damage, but just like in cases against cities and counties, you have to show that the Department of Transportation knew about the pothole and did nothing to resolve the problem in a timely manner. You can usually find out which government body is responsible for maintaining a roadway by calling your local county commissioners' office.Making a Claim for Pothole Damage
After a pothole accident, it's important to record all relevant information, including:
- The name of the road with the pothole
- The exact location of the pothole in the road
- The size and depth of the pothole
- The direction you were traveling
- The names and contact numbers of any witnesses
We can help you gather all of the information you'll need to make a valid claim.Call an Experienced Atlanta Accident Lawyer
If a dangerous pothole caused your car or truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Talk to the legal team at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC to find out if you have a claim for compensation. You can reach us at (404) 460-0101 or contact us online. We represent clients throughout the Southeast U.S. and Georgia, including Atlanta, Marietta, Macon, Decatur, Rome, and Columbus.