According to KHOU.com a safety expert has stated that the guardrails on Texas roadways are not regularly inspected. Only the guardrails that are related to bridges are checked at least once every two years, and even in the case of those inspections, the safety check is not comprehensive. Further, the Texas Department of Transportation does not make their safety inspection reports public, so there is a lack of transparency for drivers who want to know about the safety features of a specific roadway. The government has an obligation to provide motorists with reasonably safe roadways and an obligation to provide reasonable road maintenance. If you have been injured in a car accident, and you believe that negligent road maintenance was a partial cause of your injuries, contact an experienced San Antonio car accident attorney.
Can You Sue a Government Entity for Poor Road Maintenance?
Many different levels of the government are responsible for road maintenance. This includes the federal government, the state of Texas and local counties and cities. Oftentimes the burden is shared in many different directions and different agencies are responsible for separate types of highway maintenance. Almost all government agencies have what is known as ‘sovereign’ or ‘governmental’ immunity, broadly this means that you are not able to sue them. But, this immunity is waived in specific situations. Oftentimes negligence in maintaining a roadway is one of those situations. Though, you may only be able to sue in a very narrow way. An example of this would be a requirement that highway negligence must rise to the level of gross negligence to recover damages. Determining when, where and how you can sue a government agency is very complicated, contact an experienced auto collision attorney to learn more about how this applies to your case.
Proving Negligence in a Road Maintenance Case
Proving negligence requires showing that the agency could and should have known of the unreasonable safety risk caused by the poor road maintenance. As an example, if a tree falls in the highway during a storm one night, and then ten minutes later that fallen tree causes an accident, that would not be a case of negligent road maintenance. Highway authorities could not have reasonably responded quickly enough to prevent that accident. However, if a tree falls in the highway during a storm and it is reported the authorities by a dozen different motorists, and the authorities do nothing about it for an entire week, and then it causes an accident, that would be a different story. In that case, you could potentially have a successful negligent road maintenance lawsuit. The important factor is whether or not the highway authorities knew or should have known about the safety risk, and then could have eliminated the safety risk by taking reasonable precautions.
Contact An Experienced San Antonio Car Accident Attorney
The government has a responsibility to maintain reasonably safe roadways. If you were injured in a Texas car accident, and a poorly maintained roadway was a contributing factor you may be entitled to substantial compensation. At the Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos, we have extensive experience handling complex car accident cases. Contact our office today for a free consultation.