Fort Smith Road Defects Attorneys
When a city fails to take care of its roadways, drivers are susceptible to accidents caused by defects in the road that occur over time. These dangerous defects can include a number of hazards such as creating areas with low visibility or stretches of the street without needed traffic signs. There are federal and state regulations that require major roadways to include certain safety features. Safety and traffic controlling devices such as signs and guardrails are necessary for drivers and passengers on public roadways.
At McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm, our Fort Smith road defects attorneys have worked to hold cities and municipalities that fail to repair defective roadways in a reasonable amount of time accountable for the risk they cause drivers. This type of negligence can cause serious accidents resulting in expensive medical bills and long-lasting health conditions. To begin working with a Fort Smith road defect attorney, call us 24/7 at (479) 783-0036.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
The physical, mental, and emotional turmoil of any car accident can be devastating. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, life may seem very chaotic right now. You may be facing a long recovery from injuries, a mountain of medical bills, and a long time out of work.
These issues can make it incredibly hard to get through the demands of daily life. Trying to successfully handle a lawsuit at the same time is simply impossible. However, when you work with an attorney to pursue compensation for your accident, it ensures that you are able to recover in peace while they handle the distractions and build a strong case on your behalf.
If you believe that your accident was caused by negligent road maintenance, working with an experienced legal team is vital in securing a favorable outcome for your case. Establishing who is liable and pursuing damages through the proper channels can be incredibly difficult in a road defect lawsuit.
While picking an attorney is a deeply personal process, it is critical that you choose an experienced and dependable lawyer who understands the complexities of road defects lawsuits to ensure that the outcome of your case is successful.
Why Should I Choose McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm?
Attempting to file a road defects claim on your own or with an inexperienced lawyer can be disastrous. Especially in cases where local governments are liable for your injuries, the logistics of filing a claim can be incredibly complicated.
If you feel a road defect caused your injury, contact an attorney right away. Because deadlines to file claims are shorter and very strict when dealing with government entities, there is no time to waste. A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through your case with both precision and compassion while ensuring that all of the important filing deadlines are met.
At McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm we adhere to the highest legal and ethical standards. Backed by our Client Bill of Rights, we aggressively pursue justice with your best interest in mind. We will never accept inadequate settlement offers because we want to make sure you get the full compensation you deserve. Additionally, you don’t pay us anything unless you settle or win your case.
Our goal is to advocate for our community, not to greedily profit off of it. Along with our client-centered legal services, we give back to our community through supporting the local Boys and Girls Club, aiding in natural disaster relief, and working diligently to prevent distracted driving. At McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm we understand how difficult it can be to keep your life on track after suffering an injury from a car accident, and we are here to serve in whatever role we can to help all of our community members.
Common Road Defects
Road defects are frequent in areas that are ill-maintained. Most municipalities have guidelines for the length of time a road can go without repairing reported defects. The following road defects commonly cause damages when encountered by unsuspecting drivers:
- Shoulder drop-off
- Uneven pavement
- Lack of signs
- Lack of guardrails
- Construction site negligence
- Municipal negligence
At McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm, we hold negligent parties accountable for putting innocent individuals in danger while they are traveling on the road. Do not hesitate to seek legal action when you or a loved one was the victim of a road defect accident that was not your fault.
Who is Liable for My Injury Caused by Road Defects?
Determining who is liable for an injury caused by a road defect can be difficult at times. The first thing that must be proven is that a road defect did, in fact, cause your accident. This can be a complex task since most car accidents are caused by negligent drivers, not poor road maintenance. That is why working with an attorney who has experience handling road defect lawsuits is important.
Once your lawyer has established that your injury was a direct result of negligent road care, discovering who is responsible for ensuring the safety of the road where the defect exists is the next task. This is not always easy either, because a single road may be maintained by different entities for different jobs.
For example, the city may be responsible for plowing streets, while the state may be responsible for filling potholes and performing other similar repairs. Establishing which entity was negligent in maintaining safe road conditions is key because it will determine whether the case can go directly to the court or whether it needs to go through the Arkansas Claims Commission.
How Does Negligence Work?
Holding the responsible party accountable for your injuries after an accident involving road defects will be based upon negligence. Your lawyer must be able to prove that the agency or entity charged with maintaining reasonable safety standards not only failed in doing so, but they were negligent in their duty.
Proving negligence means showing evidence of four things: duty, breach, causation, and damage. What this means is that the government body had a duty to maintain safe road conditions. They failed to do that. That failure caused an accident. That accident resulted in injuries or death.
For a road defect lawsuit, it must be demonstrated that the proper authorities had both reasonable notice and opportunity to correct any hazardous road conditions. However, in the course of investigation, your attorney may discover that the original design or construction of a road was defective, which would make the designer or construction company negligent.
What if I Need to Sue the Government?
If a state-level government entity is responsible for your road defect injuries, you will have to pursue your claim through the Arkansas Claims Commission. This is because of “sovereign immunity” laws, which do not allow the state to be a defendant in court.
In addition, under Arkansas law, no government employee or agency can be held liable for damage amounts that are higher than what their liability insurance can pay. This means that you cannot sue the state in court, nor can you recover damages beyond what their insurance will pay.
Although this makes winning compensation when a state agency or employee is responsible for the road defect much harder, an attorney who has comprehensive knowledge and experience in handling road defect accident cases here in Arkansas can make sure the logistics of your case are properly handled and that your damages are maximized.
How Can I be Compensated for My Injury?
Local governments and municipalities have their own sets of rules and regulations for filing claims that will determine how compensation is paid. Working with the city attorney is often the first step in pursuing compensation in a road defect case against a local government, so having an attorney who is knowledgeable about local laws is very important in recovering compensation in cases against cities or municipalities.
If your claim is against the Arkansas state government, you may be able to recover compensation for medical bills and property damage. However, there are caps on what can be recovered due to the limits on the applicable insurance coverage. Under no circumstances can an individual recover punitive damages from the state, regardless of gross negligence or intentional acts.
Contact a Road Defects Lawyer in Fort Smith Today
If you were injured in an accident caused by a road defect and want compensation for the injuries you suffered, please contact the Fort Smith road defects attorneys at McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm. Our experienced and dedicated lawyers are diligent in seeking justice for our clients. For more information on how our legal services can help you, please call (479) 783-0036 today.