The vast majority of car accidents that occur in our state and nationwide are the result of drivers’ negligence. Things like driving too fast for conditions, driving while distracted, and speeding are common causes of car crashes. But drivers aren’t always to blame for accidents—sometimes, unforeseen hazards such as road defects are the cause of a collision. If you have been involved in an accident caused by damaged roads in Massachusetts, our legal team at Tetzel Law, LLC may be able to help. Reach out to us today to learn more about accident claims related to damaged roads and how our attorneys can help.
Types of Road Defects
When roads aren’t well-maintained, repaired, cleaned, and otherwise serviced, they could be dangerous for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Examples of road defects that may pose a risk to those who use the roads include:
- Uneven pavement
- Debris in road
- Missing guardrails
- Missing speed or warning signs
- Poor drainage/flooding
- Poorly designed intersections
- Defective traffic signals
The above list is not inclusive. If you believe that you have been involved in an accident that would not have occurred but for a preventable road defect, you should consult with a legal professional.
Who’s Liable for an Accident Caused By a Damaged Road?
Responsibility for road maintenance and repair generally lies with the Commonwealth. This means that in the event that you are injured in an accident caused by a road defect, you can file a claim against the Commonwealth for damages (or another party if there is another party responsible, such as a construction company). However, claims against the government have special rules that differ from typical personal injury claims, so it’s important to consult with an attorney.
Claims Against the Government in Massachusetts
The state of Massachusetts is protected by sovereign immunity, which essentially means that the government cannot be sued without its consent. While the state does allow for actions in the event of road defects, there are certain rules regarding these civil suits. For example, as found in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 81, Section 18, there are certain limitations on what constitutes a “defect” under the law. What’s more, there’s also a limit on the amount of damages that can be recovered—the state holds that there can be no recovery for property damage, only personal injury damages which are limited in recovery. There are also specific rules regarding filing a notice of claim and the statute of limitations on claims against the government.
Get Help from a Car Accident Attorney in Massachusetts Today
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may be able to be compensated. At the office of Tetzel Law, LLC, our Massachusetts car accident attorney is here to help you when you need it most. For assistance navigating your claim against the government following an accident caused by a road defect, call our law firm directly or send us a message online at your convenience. We offer free consultations: 617-742-1700.