Potholes may not seem like a big deal in parking lots or residential areas, but hit one on the highway and you could be in serious trouble. For most people, potholes might be little more than a nuisance or the reason why your mechanic suggests an alignment during a routine oil change. Unfortunately, there are many cases where potholes are much more serious and troublesome for drivers in and around the Jackson area. If you hit a really deep pothole going at even a moderate speed, an alignment might be the least of your problems.
Losing Control of Your Car After Hitting a Pothole
A common side effect of hitting a particularly dangerous pothole is temporarily losing control of your car. This can be incredibly dangerous on a busy highway or going at moderate speeds. Your car could jump into another lane, which could lead to a collision. You could go off of the roadway. Overcorrection after a loss of control could also lead to an injury-causing or deadly rollover accident. You do not want to be hitting potholes at speed. It’s also possible that a driver in front of you or near you could hit a pothole and have some kind of roadway emergency. Remember to always remain vigilant and refrain from engaging in distracted behaviors behind the wheel. It only takes a split second for somebody to hit a pothole and lose control.
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If you’ve noticed or had an incident involving a dangerous pothole, it needs to be reported to the proper authorities. Depending upon where the pothole is located, you will need to contact the state, county or city road authorities. Prepare to give as many details about the pothole as you can. You need to be able to give an exact location and description of the pothole. Can you describe the pothole’s length, width and depth? Was it filled with water, or on a bus route?
Potholes and Motorcycle Accidents
While for many people potholes are little more than bothersome and damaging to one’s car, for motorcyclists, they’re deadly. A motorcycle is only on two wheels, and if it hits a pothole its entire balance could be impacted. Riders could be thrown. Bikes could roll or lie down and skid across the roadway. Motorcyclists who hit potholes also might lose control and end up in harm’s way with oncoming traffic. A motorcyclist could also get into trouble trying to avoid a pothole. This is why it’s absolutely critical for drivers to give motorcyclists plenty of room to maneuver in the event of an emergency. A patch of gravel or a pothole might not even register as a safety issue for many drivers, but for a motorcyclist, those road hazards could be deadly serious.
Liability in Pothole Accidents
Liability in a pothole accident can be complicated. Your lawyer will likely ask you plenty of questions to get the ball rolling on your case. Were any other drivers involved? Where did the accident occur? Your attorney will need to find out, depending upon the location of the pothole, if the government agency involved and responsible for the road can even be sued at all. A lot of factors are at play in this type of case. It will be necessary to prove that the agency tasked with road maintenance did not do its job and was negligent.
$144 Million Death and punitive damages
$120 Million Injuries from dangerous drugs
$20.4 Million Fraud settlement that went to Mississippians
$2.3 Million Brain injury settlement
$2.1 Million Civil rights death
$1.6 Million Fraud settlement for Mississippians
Negligent roadway maintenance puts everybody on the road at great risk, especially motorcyclists. An in-depth investigation will need to be conducted to find out the history of the area or pothole, and find out if the agency in charge of maintenance had similar issues or complaints with that particular stretch of roadway. Did the agency or person tasked with maintenance fail to do what a reasonable person would have? Was proper protocol being followed? The unique details of your situation will dictate how the investigation into potentially negligent roadway maintenance goes.
After any kind of accident involving a roadway hazard, it’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer. Liability in this type of case can be complicated. There could be multiple people or government agencies involved. Additional investigative efforts will probably be necessary. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the better.
If you have been injured in a car accident or motorcycle accident because of a dangerous pothole or poorly maintained road, contact the skilled legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate free consultation.