Road Hazards

Cape Cod Car Accident Law Firm

The Plymouth car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of John C. Manoog III have been helping clients injured in car accidents, including those caused by unsafe conditions and other unexpected dangers, since 1994. These cases often involve complex legal questions about liability and require the assistance of a knowledgeable, skilled attorney who understands both the relevant law and kind of proof necessary to establish responsibility. With more than 146 years of combined experience representing clients in car accident cases, we have the background, competence, and ability to identify the liable parties and maximize the monetary recovery to which our clients are entitled.

Common Road Hazards and Unsafe Conditions

Between staying alert and aware on the road, dealing with traffic and adapting to the sometimes dangerous behavior of other motorists, driving requires a certain level of mental acuity and physical ability. No matter how safe you are as a driver, there are simply some hazards that you may not be able to avoid. That includes not only a fellow driver who runs a red light or neglects to use a turn signal while changing lanes, but also dangerous conditions created by non-drivers. Some of the most common hazards are:

  • Debris in the road
  • Pot holes
  • Blown tires
  • Parked cars
  • Malfunctioning traffic signals
  • Weather
  • Pedestrians darting into a street or road
  • Construction crews and work zone equipment
  • Slow moving vehicles like oversized trucks or farm equipment
  • Missing manhole covers

Safe, responsible driving – maintaining appropriate speeds, using lights when necessary, allowing safe distance between cars, etc. – can help drivers avoid some of these hazards, but accidents can and do happen. Many of these conditions raise particular risks for motorcyclists, who may have a hard time noticing and responding to an unexpected fallen tree branch or errant trash item.

Determining Liability for Hazards

So, just who is to blame for that pot hole? Determining liability in a standard car crash can be difficult enough. When an accident is caused by an unsafe condition on the road, it’s even more important to seek competent legal advice in order to identify the responsible parties. It may be the local, state, or federal government entity obligated to maintain the road in a safe condition, the owner of a construction company whose workers create hazards for drivers, or another motorist who parks his or her car illegally, throws trash out the vehicle’s window, or fails to keep the automobile in decent condition.

Under the state’s negligence laws, a person, business, or government entity that breaches a duty of care owed to another person is legally liable for any and all injuries that result. For example, drivers generally owe a duty of care to others on the road to operate their cars in a reasonably safe manner. Similarly, a property owner – like a government entity that owns streets and roadways – is required to keep the premises in an adequately safe condition. Road crews and construction companies are also likely to be expected to limit any hazards they present while doing their jobs.

Often, there is more than one person or entity responsible for a car crash. Massachusetts operates under a “joint and several liability” system, meaning that defendants’ liability is divided equally among them, regardless of the degree of their fault. In situations where the injured person is also deemed partially at fault for an accident, he or she may still recover from other liable parties based on their proportion of the fault, so long as the injured person is determined to be less than 51 percent responsible for the collision.

Results-Oriented Legal Representation

At the Law Offices of John C. Manoog III, we regularly handle accident cases involving road hazards. We know how to identify the parties at fault, working with investigators and accident reconstruction experts when necessary, and gather the evidence required to prove liability. Among other recent victories, we’ve previously obtained settlements of more than $1 million for clients injured in car accidents.

Located conveniently in Hyannis and Plymouth, our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. We can come to you if you can't make it to our offices, and we don't charge a fee in many cases unless we are successful. Call us at 888.262.6664 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. Nós Falamos Português.

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