Dangerous Road Conditions

Dangerous Road Condition Accident Lawyer

Sink Holes in RoadLess than a decade ago, studies revealed that Louisiana had a major problem with dangerous road conditions. The fatality rate on our highways was 40 percent higher than the national average, with 2.1 deaths per 100 million miles driven. The state ranked in the bottom fifth for pavement conditions and traffic rates, and the bottom third for bridge conditions. At best, Louisiana received a “C” grade for efforts to mitigate congestion on major roads, but government overseers were doled out an “F” for poor road quality and maintenance efforts overall.

When bad road conditions are to blame for a crash, motorists may be eligible for compensation to cover unpaid medical bills, property damage, and lost income. Bart Bernard specializes in accidents caused by road damage and poor road conditions that would have been prevented with the proper planning and maintenance.

Types of bad road conditions

Louisiana drivers may encounter one of the following hazardous road conditions such as:

  • Fallen trees or construction debris
  • Uncovered manholes and deep potholes
  • Steep shoulder drop-offs or loose gravel
  • Narrow roads and sharp turns
  • Broken, obscured, damaged or missing signs
  • Defective traffic signals
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Improper drainage and wet roads

Louisiana’s bad roads are a known issue

The I-10 and I-20 running through Louisiana are two of the most dangerous highways in America. I-10 New Orleans saw 89 fatal wrecks from 2011-2015, and I-20 near Shreveport was the site of 27 fatal wrecks during that same time period. Drunk driving, poor lighting, lane limitations, and heavy traffic volume are a few factors in these crashes.

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association has concluded that many of America’s most dangerous roads could be improved by straightening crooked roads, adding signs and light poles, replacing narrow bridges, widening shoulders, using brighter pavement markings, installing rumble strips, including guard rails, and putting up clearer signage.

Baton Rouge seeks to fix bad roads – but not fast enough

The Green Light Plan started in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2005 to improve the city’s aging infrastructure. Some of the worst stretches of road are costing taxpayers more than $42 million to fix, so progress has been slow. Improvement priorities are being set by cost, environmental impact, overall traffic, and accident totals. Consider this: one stretch of Nicholson Drive running from Burbank to Ben Hur was responsible for 400 accidents in one year’s time!

So far the Public Works committee has overseen upgrades to traffic signals, installation of turn lanes, boulevard extensions to free up traffic bottlenecks, installation of drainage systems, and embankment clearing to remove visible obstructions. By working with a lawyer who specializes in poor road quality lawsuits, you can uncover known issues and accident reports pertaining to the stretch of road where you were hurt to find out if government inaction or poor city planning is to blame for your accident.

Who is liable for poor road conditions?

Bad road conditions are almost always a preventable type of car accident. The Department of Public Works or the Department of Transportation and Development are responsible for the upkeep of Louisiana’s public roads. Your tax dollars go toward the monitoring, repair, and maintenance of highways and main thoroughfares. By law, local municipalities have a duty of care to protect motorists traveling on their roadways. When defective roads are designed or faults in the system are not identified and taken care of promptly, the government entity in charge assumes liability for the damages that ensue.

Who is liable for weather related accidents?

Hydroplaning and crashing in a heavy rainstorm may seem like a natural “act of God,” but in some cases, tire manufacturers have been found guilty of poor design or maintenance personnel responsible for inflating a vehicle’s tires during a service check-up failed in their duties. A number of parties can be implicated in an accident, even if yours was the only car involved.

Dangerous road condition accident attorney

Fortunately, we live in a state that does not shield the government from tort lawsuits.  La. Const. Art. XII, § 10(A) clearly states: “Neither the state, a state agency, nor a political subdivision shall be immune from suit and liability in contract or for injury to person or property.” As a plaintiff, you have every right to sue a government board, commission, agency, or department whose negligence has led to your injuries, property damage, lost income, disability-related expenses, and emotional hardship.

That doesn’t mean every case is a slam-dunk. Even if poor road conditions clearly caused your accident, an experienced attorney like Bart Bernard will work hard to ensure all the facts are presented in an indisputable way to lay out your grounds for compensation. For more than two decades, Lafayette, Louisiana native and personal injury attorney Bart Bernard has been fighting for the rights of car accident victims who have been injured, holding outside parties accountable for their negligence and securing millions of dollars on his clients’ behalf.

Contact Bart Bernard for a free, no-obligation consultation to explore your full range of legal options.

More information on hazardous road conditions

  1. The Green Light Plan – Projects http://greenlight.csrsonline.com/PROJECTS.aspx
  2. Channel 9 WAFB – Baton Rouge’s Most Dangerous Intersections http://www.wafb.com/story/5336843/baton-rouges-most-dangerous-intersections
  3. The Advertiser – Website Says I-10, I-20 Dangerous Roads http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/2016/10/14/website-says–10–20-dangerous-roads/92083626/
  4. Insurance Journal – Report: Louisiana Roads are in Dangerous Shape http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2007/01/09/75719.htm
  5. TRIP – Urban Roads Report (July 2015) http://www.tripnet.org/docs/Urban_Roads_TRIP_Report_July_2015.pdf

Last modified: February 14, 2017

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