fault road conditions in los angeles california
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By Pejman Javaheri
Founding Partner

In Los Angeles, where the rhythm of traffic is as dynamic as the city itself, road conditions often add an unpredictable element to this mix. Encountering a sudden pothole or misleading signage can lead to more than just a bumpy ride—it can result in a serious accident. Understanding who is at fault becomes crucial for those caught in such situations. In this article, our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney sheds light on the legal aspects of liability in accidents caused by poor road conditions, offering clear insights to guide you through these complex situations.

Understanding Liability in Road Condition Accidents

In Los Angeles, when an accident happens because of bad road conditions, figuring out who is to blame can be puzzling. Government entities, like the city, county, or state, are often responsible for keeping the roads in good shape. This means if a pothole or an unmarked road caused your accident, one of these agencies might be at fault. 

But it’s not always just about the government. Sometimes, the government hiring private companies to fix or maintain the roads might also be responsible. These companies are supposed to follow safety standards and can be held liable if they don’t.

Common Road Hazards Leading to Accidents

Many accidents in LA are caused by problems on the road itself. Some common issues are big potholes that can damage your car, road signs that are missing or hard to see, and road lines that have faded away. Other hazards include uneven road surfaces, guardrails that are either missing or not installed correctly, and road shoulders that suddenly drop off. Sometimes, debris on the road or roads that haven’t been properly cleared in snowy weather can also lead to accidents.  Recognizing these problems is the first step in figuring out who is responsible for the accident.

Legal Process and Challenges

If you decide to take action because a poor road condition caused your accident, the process can be tricky, especially if a government agency is involved. You start by filing something called a Notice of Claim. 

This is like telling the government, “I’m holding you responsible.” 

It’s important to fill out this form carefully because if it’s not done right, it could be rejected. Government claims have tighter deadlines than other claims, often six months or less. This means you need to act fast. 

If your claim is denied, you might have to go through more steps, like an administrative hearing or even file a lawsuit. Proving that the government or a private company is at fault requires showing they were negligent, which can be a complex legal challenge. This is why having a lawyer to help you through the process is crucial.  

Types of Recoverable Damages

When you’re in an accident caused by bad road conditions, you might face a lot of expenses and losses. Fortunately, you can ask for compensation for these. This includes the cost of medical treatment for any injuries you got from the accident, the money it takes to fix your car or any other property that got damaged, the wages you lost because you couldn’t work while you were recovering, and compensation for the pain and suffering you went through because of the accident. 

Each case is different, so the amount and types of damages you can recover will vary.

Have You Been Injured Due to Poor Road Conditions in LA?

Accidents caused by poor road conditions in Los Angeles present a unique set of challenges in determining liability. The key to navigating these legal complexities lies in the expertise of a seasoned personal injury attorney. Contact our office today for a free consultation to learn more.

About the Author
P.J. Javaheri is an experienced personal injury attorney and a founding partner of Mi Abogado. Mr. Javaheri received his Juris Degree from the University of California, Hastings in 2005. Mr. Javaheri is dedicated to serving clients in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. His practice focuses on the area of personal injury law, particularly in representing people who have been injured in car, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents, the practice also specializes in premises liability matters. In recognition of his skills and dedication to his vocation, Javaheri has been named on the California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Mr. Javaheri is also active in the Consumer Attorneys of California and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.  In 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, Mr. Javaheri was honored with appointments to the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Charities (LATLC) Honorary Board of Directors at its highest level; the Diamond Level. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Mr. Javaheri at 310.694.3084 or by emailing contact@miabogado.com.