When an accident occurs, often it is due to the negligence of a driver or another party, in one form or another. When a typical driver thinks of threats to the safety of travel, the typical threat might bring to mind images of speeding or reckless drivers or those who are using their cell phones behind the wheel. While these types of activities are dangerous and do cause thousands of accidents every year, other dangers continue to cause accidents as well, causing Illinois residents to suffer serious injuries or even death. Among these other accidents are those caused by hazards in the road or hazards that make up the road itself.
A common road hazard that poses a safety threat is a pot hole. Pot holes are a normal part of the wearing process of a road and often form as fractures break the roadway and join together, eventually breaking away from the level surface of the road and leaving a hole after experiencing the weight of hundreds of vehicles. The resulting pot hole may be small and insignificant, creating no more than an annoyance to most motorists. However, some pot holes are large and pose an inherent danger to those in the area with the potential for creating collisions.
Pot holes are most dangerous when a driver is traveling at a high rate of speed, like on a rural road or on a highway. High speeds provides a driver with less time to notice the defect in the road and makes it harder for a driver to avoid a pot hole, meaning that the changes of hitting the hole are greater than if the driver was moving at a slower pace. Pot holes can throw a car out of alignment or instantly cause a tire to go flat. Some pot holes are so large that a car’s tire will get stuck in the pot hole and require the assistance of a tow truck to remove the car from the street. Other times, a driver who strikes a pot hole will lose control of the vehicle and swerve into traffic or off the road, causing an accident. When this happens, the driver, any passengers in the vehicle, and anyone in any other vehicle involved may become injured. Though most pot holes develop naturally as wear and tear occurs on the road, it is the job of the city, state, or municipality to maintain the roads and it may be negligent to allow a large pot hole to remain unfixed on a road.
Another road hazard that leads to numerous accidents are those that surround construction sites. Whether it is a barrel, flag, or sign, if the construction site is improperly designed or maintained, drivers may face danger as they navigate the area. This can be particularly true when construction work causes traffic to shift to the left or right of the roadway. These areas must be clearly marked and safely placed so that motorists are not at an undue risk of accidents, yet sometimes the necessary precautions are not taken and crashes result. When this happens, a construction company or the employees in charge of the project may be liable for any damages that occur.
One of the more unusual road hazards that drivers can experience is debris from another vehicle, commonly a pickup truck. Drivers who move items from one area to another by use of a public road are legally required to secure their loads so that nothing flies off the truck and onto the road. Despite this requirement, many drivers do not secure their loads and as a result, debris may little the road. This can include a mattress that flies out of a pickup truck, heavy furniture that was not tied down, woodchips or mulch that blow out of a truck bed in the wind, or a spare tire that bounces out of a vehicle that hits a bump in the road. Whatever the object may be, if it leaves another’s vehicle and strikes the roadway, it is a hazard that may cause an accident and lead to serious injuries.
These same objects that leave a vehicle might not strike the road but instead make direct contact with a car. Often stories emerge about a chair falling out of the back of an open tailgate and striking the windshield of the car behind it, injuring a driver or passenger and causing the driver to lose control of the car. When the negligence of someone transporting an object causes an accident, the owner of the property may be liable for all the resulting actions that occur. This means that not only would the first driver be liable for the impact of the chair against the windshield, but the driver would also be liable for any subsequent accidents that result if the second driver loses control of his vehicle. When negligence of one person causes injuries to another, the law provides for the possibility of a financial recovery in many cases. Injuries caused by road hazards often include broken bones, neck and back injuries, cuts and scars, or even death.
Legal Relief for Chicago Road Hazard Victims
If you have been involved in an accident that was caused by a hazard in the road, your physical recovery should be your only concern. You should not have to wonder who will pay your medical bills or whether you will be able to provide food for your family while you are forced to be off work. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we focus our practice solely to the representation of injury victims and their families and we fight for our clients’ rights. We know these accidents can impact each member of a family and that an entire family can suffer and we make it our job to remove as much of the stress and struggle as possible. With legal representation, victims are more likely to receive fair and adequate compensation for their losses from an insurance company, including their medical bills and pain and suffering.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we have experience representing numerous victims of car accidents in Chicago and across the rest of Illinois. We keep a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and to see if we can help you. We provide a free case consultation to all injury victims who call us toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575 and everything discussed will be kept confidential. If you prefer to meet with us in person but you are too injured to travel to our offices, we also offer free in-home and in-hospital consultations so that you can get the answers you deserve, whenever you need them.
If you have been the victim of a road hazard car accident, contact us online or call us at (855) LAW-CHICAGO for a free case consultation.