Complicated roadways are a source of anxiety for many drivers, especially those who consider themselves to be safety conscious. That anxiety is legitimate, since roads that are challenging to drive on can increase your risk of being involved in an auto accident.
What Makes a Roadway Complicated?
Although every driver may have a slightly different opinion of what makes a road difficult to drive on, complicated roadways often have the following several factors in common:
- Poor construction. Roads with tight or unexpected curves are difficult to navigate, as are roads that are very narrow. This problem is compounded when the complicated roadway is a high speed highway or interstate.
- Inadequate signage. When road signs are missing, not readily visible, or confusing, drivers may struggle to safely navigate within the flow of traffic.
- High traffic. Roads with heavy traffic increase your risk of being involved in an accident simply due to the number of vehicles on the road.
- Poor maintenance. With city budgets under strain, many roads aren't as well maintained as they used to be. A road with potholes or uneven pavement is a safety hazard that can be difficult to navigate.
- Weather conditions. The weather can also make roads much more difficult to navigate. Snow, ice, rain, and fog can make driving difficult, especially for those who have minimal experience on the road. Weather conditions can be compounded by poor road maintenance, further increasing the risk of an accident.
A skilled driver can help compensate for some of these factors by following standard safety procedures. However, complicated roadways often prove too challenging for drivers who are newly licensed, elderly, intoxicated, and/or fatigued. One small mistake or a reaction time that's just a second or two slower than normal can result in an accident with serious consequences.
Who Is Liable for My Injuries?
In most cases, one or both drivers in an accident are considered to be at fault. Financial responsibility for injuries and property damage is allocated according to the percentage of fault. For example, if you were determined to be 20 percent at fault for an accident and had $100,000 in medical bills, the other driver would pay $80,000 (80 percent) of your expenses.
Accidents caused by complicated roadways are a little different because they can sometimes involve a third party who is liable for the damages. For example, a local government that fails to fix potholes or replace damaged signs could be held liable if this failure caused an accident. Similar liability exists when a road is privately owned and poorly maintained.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive?
In a personal injury claim, you can receive compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses. This compensation includes surgery, doctor visits, medication, physical therapy, and any ongoing accident-related medical care.
- Lost wages. This compensation includes reimbursement for time you missed at work when you were recovering, as well as any loss of future earning potential due to the injuries you've suffered.
- Pain and suffering. This compensation is intended to provide financial reimbursement for the emotional and physical trauma of being in an accident.
In most cases, personal injury compensation is awarded as a lump sum payment. However, you may be offered the option of a structured settlement where you receive several smaller payments over a predetermined time period.
Do I Need an Attorney?
When fault and liability are in question, it's crucial to have a skilled legal representative who can advocate for your interests.
Since personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis, there is no need to let financial concerns keep you from seeking representation. Your attorney will accept a portion of the settlement you receive as payment for his services. You won’t have to provide up-front payment, and you won't be held responsible for legal fees if your attorney is unable to negotiate a settlement.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is dedicated to assisting Louisiana accident victims in obtaining the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. Contact us for a free, no-obligation case review.