When you are driving on a road, either privately or publicly maintained, you have every right to expect that your travels will be free of hazards, unless you are otherwise explicitly warned. In some instances, though, you will encounter a hazard or a defect that you were not warned of, and that you had no reason to expect, that can cause serious damage to your vehicle, and more importantly, to you and your passengers. If you are hurt in an accident caused by a road defect or hazard, then you have a right to compensation.
1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. After an accident, one of the last things that you will want to be thinking about is how to find an attorney who is ready and willing to take your case, but when you work through 1-800-Injured the process is simplified and you are able to connect with an available attorney as soon as possible. In the days or weeks after first suffering your injuries, it makes sense to take as much stress off of your plate as possible, knowing that you will have all sorts of other stressors that you will need to handle beyond starting a complicated legal process.
Read more below to learn about road defect accidents and how an attorney can help. As soon as you are ready, and before even filing a claim with the insurance company, contact us as soon as possible to be connected with an attorney who can help you make sense of your rights and options in this unfortunate situation.
Always Call 911 After a Road Defect Accident
After any accident, the most important thing to do is to call 911. Once the EMTs, police, and firefighters arrive on the scene, they will provide you with medical care while the police create an accident report and the firefighters address the hazard and mitigate any ongoing risks to public safety. There are a few benefits of calling 911, some of which may not be as obvious as the others.
Get Emergency Medical Care Immediately
After minor accidents, it can be hard to fight through the adrenaline and decide to get help for a seemingly minor injury. However, it is important that you get medical attention for ANY injury, no matter how insignificant you believe that it may be. Too often, it feels like you should try to shake it off, and not make a big deal out of it. When the EMTs arrive on the scene, you will be able to speak with them directly and get advice on how to proceed.
If you don’t have to take an ambulance to the ER, you still need to see your own doctor as soon as possible. Working with the EMTs, as well as seeing your own doctor, creates a record of your injuries. This will be important when you are trying to seek compensation for these injuries at a later date.
Establish Official Details About the Cause Of the Crash
When the police arrive, they will take all of the relevant details into account and produce an accident report. In this report, they will include relevant dates, times, and locations, as well as identifying information for everyone involved, contact information for eyewitnesses, details about the weather, time of day, a chart of the accident, and any relevant statements made at the scene by you, your passengers, or any other witnesses. In addition, this report will include any situations that may have been issued (speeding tickets, DUI, etc) and their own opinion as to what caused the accident.
Seeking Compensation After a Car Accident
Determining who is responsible for your accident is the first step towards filing a claim, and can be complicated depending on a variety of circumstances. If the defect was the result of a public works project, it is likely that the construction company is protected by a surety bond, and you will need to file a claim with the bonding agency.
If the defect was due to improper maintenance, either on a public or private road, you will need to determine who is responsible for the roadway, and therefore for the maintenance. Once you and your attorney have identified the responsible party, you will then either contact them directly or file a claim with the courts and wait for them to be served.
Once you have identified the responsible party, you and your attorney will work to calculate all of your damages, both economic and non-economic, so that you can arrive to the negotiation table with accurate figures and a clear starting point for your conversation towards the money you actually deserve.