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Phoenix Hazardous Roadway Accident Lawyers

Vehicle Accidents on Dangerous Phoenix Roads

car on the road Although many vehicle accidents are the result of driver error or negligence, there are other dangers out on the road. Hazardous roadways can lead to wrecks involving single vehicles, multiple vehicles, and even travelers not in a vehicle.

We expect roadways in Arizona to be safe and well-maintained, but design flaws, ongoing construction, natural wear and tear that needs fixing, and poor planning can sometimes leave you out to dry...or in a ditch.

If you were involved in a collision caused by hazardous road conditions, you're going to need all the help you can get. Usually, personal injury claims like these involve going after a government entity, and there are specific rules for filing and completely different deadlines. It’s vital to have a personal injury attorney on your side who knows Arizona’s local rules and has experience with hazardous roadway accidents in particular, like the attorneys at The Husband & Wife Law Team.

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What Are Common Road Hazards in Phoenix?

When you're thinking about hazardous roadways, you're thinking about potholes and construction zones. But two of the most common hazards on the road are:

  • No guardrails, which can keep you from going off the road in bad weather, or
  • Poor lighting conditions.

Both of these hazards can cause problems for drivers on the road, and result in serious injuries when they contribute to a crash.

Other major hazards include debris like trash, abandoned furniture, fallen tree branches, and also animals, like burros and cattle, walking down the side of the road. Construction debris left on the sides of the road can also play a major role in accidents and poses a serious hazard to all types of travelers.

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The Most Dangerous Roads in Phoenix

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, after studying traffic-related deaths from 2013 to 2015, these are the most dangerous roads in Phoenix:

  • State Route 101 was listed as the most dangerous road in Phoenix, and the fifth most dangerous in Arizona. During the time studied, six fatal crashes occurred on this a stretch of road just 1.5 miles long.
  • I-17 is the sixth most dangerous road in Arizona and the second most dangerous in Phoenix. Over the two-year time period, this road saw 11 fatal crashes with a total of 12 deaths on a stretch of road just 4.02 miles in length.
  • State Route 202 saw nine fatal crashes with 11 fatalities within 3.94 miles.
  • I-10 in Phoenix. Within the 38.74 miles of this road until it meets East Van Buren Street, there were 21 fatal crashes, 22 fatalities total.

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What Should I Do If a Road Hazard Caused My Crash?

As in any other accident, get medical attention first. Take photos of the scene and especially the hazard that caused your crash.

Many victims of these accidents think that the only recourse they have is to file a claim with their insurance company for comprehensive coverage. Not true.

Actually, if you were injured in an accident that was partly or completely caused by hazards on the road, then those responsible for keeping the roads well-maintained may be held liable. For example, if your crash involved construction equipment left lying in the street, you not only have the right to hold the road maintenance company or municipality accountable, but also the construction company that left the debris.

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Who Can Be Held Liable for Hazardous Roads?

That depends. Who is responsible for maintaining the road? Is it the city government, county, federal, or other municipality? Depending on the cause of the accident, liability will change. That’s why it’s so vital to speak to an attorney about your claim.

For example, inside city limits, stop signs must be clearly visible. If a tree grows to cover the sign, and an accident occurs because someone couldn’t see it; how is it the driver’s fault? It would be the fault of the city’s public works department, which did not keep the stop sign visible, and directly contributed to the crash.

Roads are the responsibility of the government, whether city, county, state, or federal. They are therefore liable for damage that results when roads aren’t "reasonably" safe. But in order to make your claim for compensation, you must prove that the government either knew or should have known about the hazard, and did not repair it in a reasonable amount of time. Plus, there are stricter deadlines for filing such a claim. This is where help from a skilled car accident attorney in Phoenix can make a difference in your case and in your recovery.

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Dangerous Roads as a Cause of Motorcycle Collisions

Motorcycle accidents can happen at any time, for any reason. Most are the fault of other drivers, especially in cases where those drivers jumped a lane or cut the biker off. Other accidents happen as a result of defective products, including brakes that fail and tires that give way at the wrong moment. But a sizable percentage of motorcycle crashes in Phoenix may be attributed to the road itself!

Hazardous roadway conditions can be especially deadly for motorcyclists. For example:

  • If a tight turn or stretch of road is not properly lit, low visibility could contribute to a motorcycle accident.
  • If there are no warning signs leading up to a dangerous turn, dip, construction zone, or other hazardous condition, a motorcyclist could get into a serious collision.

Hazardous roadway conditions may also occur because of time-sensitive conditions, including inclement weather. The dangers of snow, ice and standing water can be significantly amplified on expansion joints, edge breaks, and other road features susceptible to slickness from wetness and debris.

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Filing a Public Entity Tort Claim

If your motorcycle accident was caused by a road hazard, you may be entitled to compensation from the municipality or other public entity responsible for area's road maintenance. However, you must file a "Notice of Claim" against the responsible public entity within 180 calendar days from the date of the accident. Also, you must file a lawsuit within one year. If you fail to comply with either deadline, your right to file a claim will be lost forever. So get started on your claim case by consulting with a reliable motorcycle crash attorney in Phoenix as soon as possible.

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Contact a Phoenix Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation

Attorneys who understand hazardous roadways and poor highway maintenance and how they contribute to accidents, like those at The Husband & Wife Law Team, can help you build a strong case against those responsible for the roadways. We work with you to get you the right medical coverage, and the highest compensation possible. For legal help after your accident, reach out to The Husband & Wife Law Team at (602) 457-6222 for a free consultation so that we can discuss if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit.

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