Well-constructed roadways are an important element of driving. When roads fall below accepted standards, there is a significant risk of people being injured. Recently, a motorist was knocked unconscious after a piece of concrete came off of Highway 969 and crashed through the driver’s windshield. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital with critical injuries, but is expected to recover. A patch crew was promptly sent to the scene to repair the damage caused by the falling debris. In the state of Michigan, motorists who have been harmed by a defective roadway can suffer serious injuries and even fatalities, which makes the assistance of legal counsel particularly helpful. Experienced Michigan personal injury lawyers can help determine the government agency responsible for this type of accident.
Applicable Michigan Law
In many cases, government agencies are exempt from being named as parties in a lawsuit unless certain limited exceptions exist. One exception is known as the defective highway exception. This exception states that government agencies must maintain roads with reasonable repair so that these roads are reasonably safe and convenient for motorists. In the event that a person is harmed by a defect in the road, the motorist is able to proceed with a lawsuit against the government.
The Types of Defective Roads in Michigan
In addition to accidents caused by loose or crumbling sections of roads, there are other ways that motorists in Michigan be seriously injured by road conditions. Some of the most common types of defective road conditions include the following:
- Failure to post adequate warning signs to alert motorists.
- Highway shoulders and other designated drop-off areas.
- Improperly designed roads.
- Malfunctioning warning signs or signs that are not readily visible to drivers.
- Potholes, uneven pavement, and other defects that exist on the road.
- Road closings that do not properly notify motor vehicle operators.
- Trees and other debris that fall in the road.
Advice for Michigan Motor Vehicle Operators
Some of the injuries due to defectively-designed roads include back injuries, fractures, neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries and various other serious injuries. To avoid these accidents, there are some important guidelines to follow if a person is involved in an accident due to a defective road condition. Some of these steps include the following:
- Take Photos of Defective Conditions in the Road: Take a picture of road conditions if you are involved in an accident to document the defective nature of the road.
- Make Measurements of Road Conditions: While it is a wise idea to photograph road conditions, it is also important to take measurements of the exact road defect that led to the accident.
- Notify Within the Specified Time: A Michigan motorist who is harmed due to defective conditions in the road has a limited amount of time to notify related government agencies to conditions in the road. Individuals who fail to provide notice of this claim can have their cases dismissed.
Accidents due to road construction can result in serious injuries and in the worst cases, even fatalities. If you are harmed by this type of an accident, do not hesitate to contact an experience injury lawyer at Jay Trucks & Associates.