The last thing that anybody expects is that they will be involved in a vehicle accident caused by poor roadway conditions. However, potholes are everywhere. In some situations, roads are so marred by defects and potholes that they can be difficult to drive on. But who is responsible for vehicle damage as a result of a pothole? Here, we want to discuss who is responsible for roadway maintenance as well as how to prove a pothole damage claim in Kentucky.
Most people simply think of potholes as an inconvenience. However, the reality is that potholes can lead to significant damage to a vehicle.
Potholes begin as water seeps into the cracks of a roadway. Temperature changes over time can cause the water inside of the payment to expand and contract, leading to eventual weaknesses and structural collapse of the pavement.
Various parts of a vehicle can be damaged as a result of potholes, including the following:
Severe potholes can even lead to a person being involved in a serious auto accident. If a person strikes a large pothole, this could cause them to lose control of their vehicle. It is not uncommon for potholes to cause drivers to run into other vehicles or run off the road altogether. This can lead to significant property damage as well as personal injuries.
In general, we will find that government authorities are responsible for maintaining the roadways. This can include state, county, or city governmental agencies. In theory, because the government is responsible for maintaining the roadways, they should also be responsible for any damages that result from potholes if the roads are not kept reasonably safe.
However, properly defining “reasonably safe” here can be challenging. The government is not going to be responsible for covering damages simply because there was a questionable condition on the roadway. In fact, government agencies often argue that they did not know about a pothole and should not be responsible for any vehicle damage.
State law does allow government agencies a reasonable amount of time to discover bad roadway conditions as well as a reasonable amount of time to repair them. Governments usually only find out about major dangerous potholes if individuals report the problem or if they discover the pothole through regular surveys of the roadway.
In order to recover compensation for pothole damage to a vehicle, individuals will need to show that the dangerous condition has been around long enough that the government should have discovered it. An individual will also have to show that the government has had a reasonable amount of time to repair the issue.
When making a claim, it will be important to have the following information:
If you are able to do so after a pothole accident occurs, you should take photographs of the damage as well as the pothole and the surrounding area. You may need to contact a skilled vehicle accident attorney who can look into your claim and determine whether or not a governmental agency will be responsible for covering your damages.