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Poor Signage Led to My Car Accident

damaged dead end road signA study that looked at car accidents saw that there were about 7,000 car crashes between 2005 and 2007, and these accidents were caused by various reasons including poor road signage. In Florida 2013, 406 major car accidents occurred. What does all of this mean for you? You may end up in a car accident due to poor road signage. If so, you may be eligible to get money for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer can give you the help that you need to get the compensation that you deserve.

Missing/Hidden Road Signage

The first thing that needs to happen is that you need to prove what caused the accident before you move forward with a claim against a particular company or municipality. For instance, if you go towards a sharp curve then lose control over the vehicle and hit a guardrail, you need to prove that the signage warning you of this upcoming obstacle was completely obstructed from your view. If you can prove this, you may be able to prove that this was in some part the reason for your car accident. However, if you were speeding or texting while driving, it wouldn’t matter if the road signage was obstructed or not. In those cases, you won’t be able to prove that being unable to see the sign was a contributing factor in the accident.

Damage on the Roadway/Other Roadway Conditions

There are several reasons as to why specific roadways may need to undergo construction regularly. Maybe there are frequent potholes that need attention. Perhaps there are no lines on the road due to construction. These are obstacles that can wreak havoc on a car and potentially lead to serious accidents. Whatever the problem is going on in that construction area, there should always be signs that warn drivers of the obstacles that are coming up.

Some other roadway conditions that can lead to potentially serious accidents include poor grading or otherwise flawed road surface. Again, it is important for there to be proper signage that drivers can easily read to help them avoid any dangerous situations. Without proper signage, drivers may not realize the great deal of care that they need when driving through these specific conditions.

Liability

Was your accident caused by poor road signage? Various municipal agencies and other companies are responsible for making sure there are signage warning drivers of potential hazards up ahead. For instance, the Department of Transportation is typically involved in most of these types of projects. There are specific standards that must be met during these construction times, including ensuring that there is proper signage and using various other approaches to give ample attention to construction projects that are currently ongoing. However, there are many instances where these standards are not met and guidelines are not properly followed. This could lead to an accident and there may be a claim against them for damages.

In cases where the road is considered to be “unreasonably dangerous”, there must be proper road signage up and in clear view of the drivers. The potential danger to the drivers and passengers on the road need to be disclosed, otherwise, they will be liable for any damages caused on the road. If this is the case for your car accident, an attorney should be contacted. They can help work with you to determine whether or not you have a claim for damages and get started on the process so that you can get the compensation that you deserve.

It all comes down to who’s responsible for the road sign. If no road sign was ever put up, then the department of transportation or the private company doing the construction is liable for your accident. If the sign was obstructed or even missing, then that’s the responsibility of the municipality especially if the missing sign had already been reported. They do need a reasonable time to replace the sign, but if they never get around to it they are responsible.

Sometimes people go around stealing road signs, which leads to an important road sign going missing. If that’s the case in your situation, then the person who stole the sign can be held responsible for your accident as long as they can be properly identified. But, if the sign had been missing for a long time and the municipality didn’t replace it in a reasonable amount of time, this could give you an even stronger case against the municipality.

Difficulties in Suing a Municipality

In situations where a road sign is obscured from view or missing due to the negligence of the state or municipality, it’s not always as simple as just suing the government. There is a specific process that is often involved in this process. Generally speaking, state and local governments tend to be immune from civil lawsuits. However, there is an exemption to this immunity that can be approached through an administrative filing procedure for claims that involve property damage or injury that was caused by the government, its employees, or the private companies that they hire.

When going through this specific procedure, you need to consider that every jurisdiction is different. The first step will involve filing a Notice of Claim, which is where you are formally informing the government of your allegations against them. This Notice of Claim needs to be very detailed, including the time and date of the accident as well as where it occurred. You also need to clearly describe the incident, giving an itemized list of evidence of the municipality’s negligence. This will also contain an itemized list of the damages you incurred as a result of this injury.

You need to have this Notice of Claim filed in a very short time, usually before 6 months after the accident happened. If you don’t file this claim within that time period, you will not be able to sue the municipality for your accident. This is why you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your car accident.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

Every case comes down to the evidence that you have. From the minute of the accident, you should be compiling as much evidence as possible. This begins immediately after the car accident when you should call the police and have them file a police report. You should explicitly mention about how the sign was missing or hidden and make sure that they mention that in the report. You need to call your insurance company to report the accident, also discussing the missing sign. Collect as much photographic evidence as possible including the condition of the road and the sign that was missing or obscured from your view. If there are any witnesses, you need to compile a list in case you need them to appear in court for your case.

As soon as you can, you should contact a personal injury attorney to take on your case. The sooner that you get a lawyer involved, the better your outcome will be. They will get started by looking at your evidence as well as compiling their own to determine whether or not you have a case against the municipality. A good lawyer will have your best interests at heart, keeping track of all of the essential deadlines to ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible. They will deal with your paperwork and stand up for your rights against the insurance company and handle everything else that you need during the process. If you have any questions throughout the process, the lawyer will walk you through the process so that you know what to expect next.

The goal of the lawyer is to handle everything for you to reduce your stress during this complicated process. After a car accident, you have been through enough already. Car accidents can lead to potentially devastating physical, emotional, and financial strain on a person and/or their family. You need to know that your case is in good hands and that your lawyer is going to fight for you. A lawyer will be the best asset that you have in your case against the municipality. They will handle everything to ensure that you get the best possible outcome. If the municipality was responsible for your car accident, you shouldn’t be the one who has to pay for that.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you were in a car accident due to poor road signage, then you may have a claim against your municipality. Contact us right away so we can get started on your claim. There is a limited period of time where things must be filed in order to file a claim against a state or local government, which is why you need to call us right away. We will take a close look at your claim, helping you to determine if you have a case or not. If you do have a viable case, we will ensure that you get the best possible results. We have your best interests at heart, getting you the compensation that you deserve after your car accident.  Call today for a FREE CONSULTATION: 954-951-0000.

The Injury Firm
2000 N.E. 45th Street
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308

Phone (954) 951-0000
Fax: (954) 951-1000
Email: info@flinjuryfirm.com

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2000 N.E. 45th Street
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Phone (954) 951-0000
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The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only.  This website may contain information about The Injury Firm's past results, testimonials about the firm or a lawyer within the firm, and statements regarding the quality of The Injury Firm's work product. This information has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar. Please be advised that: 1) the facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters for which results and testimonials have been provided: 2) Not all results of cases handled by the firm or its lawyers are provided and not all clients have given testimonials; and 3) The results and testimonials provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the firm or by its lawyers or of the experience of all clients or others within the firm or its lawyers. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

  

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