Kankakee Highway Defect Lawyers
Automobile accidents are the leading cause of preventable accidental injuries and deaths in the United States. Highway defects are a major contributing factor to serious accidents. For example, placing a guardrail along a dangerous stretch of highway can help prevent rollover accidents and head-on collisions, but the lack of a guardrail where one is needed can turn what should be a minor scrape into a deadly collision.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured because of a municipality’s failure to safeguard the wellbeing of the public, you are entitled to seek compensation for your losses and suffering. To learn how you can seek justice, discuss your case with the experienced Kankakee highway defect lawyers of Spiros Law, P.C. by calling (815) 929-9292 today.
Types of Highway Defects
There are many types of highway defects that can increase the risk of a fatal car accident. These include the following
Driving on the highway can be a hazardous experience. Travelers depend upon the diligent upkeep of highways by municipal, state, and federal bodies to ensure their safety. One of these agencies’ most important tasks is to ensure that highway shoulders are easily accessible so that drivers can easily pull over in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, shoulder drop-offs, far from providing consistent support, frequently present a danger to highway drivers.
Shoulder drop-offs occur when natural erosion over time creates a height difference between the roadway and the shoulder. Whether small or significant, these gaps have the potential to damage your vehicle, or, in more dire cases, even cause you to lose control of it. Below are some of the most common damages cars experience as a result of drop-offs:
- Tire blowouts
- Wheel / suspension damage
- Broken axles
- Undercarriage damage
- Brake damage
When municipal agencies fail to repair the natural wear and tear that affects roadway shoulders, innocent people may experience devastating accidents.
Wet roads always present a certain level of risk while driving, but water pooling can lead to extremely unsafe driving conditions and seriously degrade a vehicle’s ability to maintain traction with the road. Ordinarily, roads are built with a small grade, or angle, in order to force water off the roadway and into gutters. When this grade is not present, any depression in the surface of the road will result in a pool of water and a danger to passing drivers.
Well built and properly maintained roads will always be constructed to safely remove water from the driving surface. Negligent construction or insufficient maintenance may lead to water pools forming on the roadway in rainy weather, and drivers involved in accidents resulting from these conditions may be entitled to compensation.
What is Hydroplaning?
The primary danger to motorists from water pooling is hydroplaning. Tires are designed to funnel water to either side of the tire as they travel along the surface of a road, allowing the tire to remain in constant contact with the road even when water is present. Tire design can only push so much water out of the way however, and pooled water on the road can cause a layer of water to build between the road and the tire leading to a loss of traction. Without traction, a vehicle is unable to respond to a driver’s actions such as steering, braking and accelerating, vastly increasing the probability of an accident.
When hydroplaning accidents occur because of a municipal organization’s failure to keep roadways safe and well-maintained, they may be held responsible for any accidents that result. If you were injured in an accident caused by water pooling, you should not have to cover the costs related to this accident on your own.
Potholes are a significant problem in many areas, especially after winter weather has taken its toll on the roads. When they are not repaired quickly and properly, potholes and cracks in the road can grow continuously larger and pose a major risk of damage to cars and motorcycles as well as injuries to pedestrians. In general, it is the responsibility of the municipality to maintain the safety of the roads, but if they fail in this duty to you, they can be held liable for your pain and suffering.
Because potholes in the road are such a common sight, people sometimes fail to recognize the true hazards that potholes present for motorists and pedestrians. A pothole can cause a devastating auto accident due to the following problems:
- Tire blowouts
- Loss of alignment
- Damaged axles
- Transmission damage
- Loss of control over the vehicle
Unfortunately, potholes are even more dangerous for motorcycle riders, who can be severely injured or killed should they run over a pothole. If you have suffered in an accident caused by a pothole, you have the right to seek compensation from the municipality or property owner responsible for the maintenance of the road. Contact the dedicated Kankakee pothole attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C., at (815) 929-9292.
Uneven pavement means that the road surface has degraded to the point where there is no longer a consistent, even surface for vehicles to travel on. This can pose a risk of traction loss, tire damage, and other circumstances that may directly contribute to an accident. Uneven pavement is generally the result of normal wear on the road, which should be promptly repaired by the the municipality or property owner responsible for the road. However, other factors that can also contribute to uneven pavement include:
- Large amounts of precipitation
- Significant fluctuations in temperature
- Poor road construction quality
Municipalities in charge of road maintenance must correct uneven pavement and other highway defects as soon as possible to ensure driver safety. If they fail in this duty to you, they may be held liable for any resulting accidents.
Lack of Signs
Due to their essential role in traffic safety, road signs which are missing, damaged, or obscured can lead to devastating accidents resulting in significant injuries and property damage. Municipalities have a responsibility to place and maintain appropriate signage and neglect of this duty may warrant legal action.
Critical Safety Signs
Since they are so commonplace, it is easy for drivers to overlook the importance of each individual road sign. When a necessary sign is missing, however, the consequences can prove to be disastrous and the missing sign’s importance is suddenly made plain. The following are signs the absence of which is likely to result in an accident:
- Lane closures and construction notifications
- Stop signs
- Yield signs
- Dead ends
- Sharp turns
- Steep grades
If you have been hurt in an accident which could have been prevented by the presence of road signs, contact the Kankakee lack of signs attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C., by calling (815) 929-9292.
Lack of Guardrails
Municipalities are obligated to follow many safety requirements when constructing roads and highways, and one of the most important among them is installing guardrails. A guardrail’s purpose is to mitigate the danger when a vehicle suffers a loss of control, creating a barricade which redirects vehicles away from oncoming traffic, collisions with solid objects, or falling into a hazardous area. Without proper guardrails, a simple accident can quickly escalate into a disaster of much larger proportions, putting drivers at risk of significant damage to property and person. If you have been in an accident made worse by insufficient guardrails, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent municipality.
When a municipality is unable or unwilling to maintain basic safety measures like guardrails on its roads and highways, they put drivers and passengers at risk of serious accidents and injuries. While no accident is without risk, the simple application of roadside safety equipment like guardrails can mean the difference between a minor fender bender and a catastrophic incident.
Objects on Roadway
One of the basic expectations of driving is that the roadway will be free of debris or other obstructions as people go about their commutes. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and many accidents are the result hazardous objects occupying lanes of traffic. It is the responsibility of road construction crews and the municipality in general to keep highways safe from construction items and debris, respectively, and if they fail in this duty to you, you can fight back.
Avoiding objects in the road is not always possible in certain traffic conditions, and subsequent collisions can result in damage to vehicles, loss of control, and ultimately a dangerous auto accident. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by an object in the road, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. A variety of circumstances can lead to something on the road obstructing traffic, but any debris can be hazardous to those attempting to navigate the roadway. A few of the more common ways that objects get into the roadway include:
- Unsecured loads
- Unremoved roadkill
- Construction site debris
- Fallen trees or shrubbery
- Tire pieces from blowouts
Motorists are responsible for securing any load they transport, and municipalities are obligated to quickly and efficiently remove objects that are obstructing the roadways.
Negligence in construction is an ongoing problem for motorists attempting to use our streets and highways as they are under repair by municipalities or private companies are carrying out construction projects near the road. The consequences of a carelessly run construction site can be as minor as a flat tire from a stray nail, but there also exists the potential for serious injury and property damage when construction workers and managers are negligent in the execution of their duties.
When workers spend their entire day working in close proximity to traffic, such as with roadway construction or a building going up immediately adjacent to the street, they can sometimes neglect to ensure that their actions do not endanger those around them. Accidents commonly occur involving:
- Equipment or materials left in the roadway
- Falling debris
- Insufficient signage warning of the construction hazard
- Blowouts caused by screws or nails
- Careless operation of mobile machinery resulting in a collision
If you have suffered an injury do to the negligence of a construction company or employee, you are likely entitled to compensation for your resulting medical expenses and any damages. Contact the experienced and knowledgeable Kankakee construction negligence attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C.
Without proper and consistent maintenance, dangerous conditions can arise on roadways that may directly cause or worsen the effects of an accident. A few of the services expected of municipalities are:
- Maintaining even pavement levels
- Removing debris, roadkill, and other obstacles
- Posting appropriate warning signs and guardrails
- Repairing potholes
- Providing road treatments such as salt or sand in snowy and icy conditions
A municipality which fails to provide these services has been negligent and may be found to bear legal responsibility for the effects of a crash which resulted from such a failure.
Municipalities have an obligation to ensure their roads are safe for public use. Failure to put safety measures in place and promptly fix highway defects can greatly increase the risk of a life-threatening accident for motorists and their passengers.
Highway defects are more than an annoyance – they can put many thousands of people who use a highway each day at serious risk. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured because of a highway defect, you are entitled to seek compensation for your losses and suffering. To learn how an experienced lawyer can help you pursue justice, contact the Kankakee highway defect lawyers of Spiros Law, P.C. at (815) 929-9292 today.