car pothole

Despite most car accidents arising from driver negligence, poorly maintained roads can also contribute to the cause of a collision. When the appropriate parties fail to uphold their legal duty to ensure the roadways are safe for users, devastating accidents and injuries may occur. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident due to poor road conditions, contact our qualified Westchester County Car Accident Attorneys, who will work tirelessly to help you obtain the fair compensation you deserve. Please continue reading to learn who may be liable for injuries caused by dangerous road conditions. 

Who is responsible for road maintenance in New York?

Property owners in New York must exercise reasonable care, meaning they must take the necessary measures to maintain safe premises by remedying dangerous conditions to prevent accidents and injuries. That said, it is the responsibility of the local and state government that owns the roadway to maintain it. Municipalities share different maintenance responsibilities for certain roadways, which means more than one agency may be liable for your damages. For example, the state could be responsible for filling potholes, while the city could be responsible for clearing weather-related hazards. In such cases, both government agencies could be subject to a claim for damages as they were responsible for maintaining certain roadway conditions. Determining who is responsible for road maintenance is vital as it will help you determine which party you can take legal action against to seek monetary compensation for your losses.

Can I pursue legal action against a government agency for injuries caused by poor road conditions?

Like other states, New York is protected from lawsuits under sovereign immunity. Essentially, sovereign immunity prevents private citizens from suing the government without its consent. Fortunately, New York can waive its sovereign immunity as long as injured individuals follow the strict guidelines and meet the requirements for filing a claim against a government entity. To ensure you follow the specific claim-filing procedure that must be filed under these circumstances, you should hire an experienced attorney to guide you through this intricate claims process. To pursue legal action against a government agency for injuries caused by poor road conditions, you must file a Notice of Claim.

A Notice of Claim is the first legal document to be filed before your personal injury case commences. The primary purpose of a Notice of Claim is to alert the municipal entity to potential claims, allowing them to investigate the merits of the claim. Ultimately, it notifies the government agency of your intent before the commencement of your lawsuit that they may be subject to a claim for damages. In New York, you must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident date. Failure to do so will result in relinquishing your right to pursue legal action for the damages you’ve endured.

To ensure you meet the strict filing deadline, it is in your best interest to retain the legal services of an adept attorney from the legal team at Hausman & Pendzick, who can guide you through your legal options and effectively represent your interests in court.