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Can Potholes Cause Car Accidents?

Contact a Wilmington Car Accident Lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. if You Were in a Serious Pothole Accident

Potholes pose a severe threat to road safety and contribute to car accidents. They create hazardous conditions for drivers who may or may not see them in their paths. They are more likely to form in the spring after harsh winters but can appear or become larger without warning. They can also cause car occupants and others to become seriously injured.

One of the main dangers associated with potholes is the unpredictability of their impact on driving. Drivers might swerve suddenly to avoid potholes, leading to collisions with other vehicles or objects on the road. Potholes also cause uneven road surfaces, increasing the likelihood of skidding, especially during poor weather conditions.

In addition to those safety concerns, repeated exposure to potholes can cause gradual damage to a vehicle’s suspension, tires, and alignment. That kind of deterioration can contribute to accidents over time because the vehicle’s performance is affected. Potholes also cause tire blowouts and wheel damage.

When a vehicle suddenly hits a pothole, its occupants can be jerked around and lose contact with their seats. Body parts can roughly come into contact with dashboards, seatbelts, airbags, and objects flying about in the car upon impact.

If the vehicle crashes, the injuries can be just as severe or worse, especially when cars travel at higher speeds. The depth of the pothole can also increase the seriousness of the injuries.

Who Is Liable for a Pothole Accident?

The answer to this question depends on the circumstances. If a negligent driver sped over a pothole, swerved, and crashed into your stopped car, they could be held liable. Things become more complicated when other parties are responsible, however.

That other driver might share liability or not have been negligent; it could be a single-vehicle accident if you drove into a hidden pothole, your tire blew out, and you crashed. In that case, the tire and wheel installer or manufacturer might be responsible if their work or product was defective.

People often wonder if municipalities can be held liable for pothole damages and injuries, and while that is possible, it can be challenging to prove. An experienced car accident lawyer can investigate which agency is legally responsible for repairing and maintaining the road where the accident occurred. Then, they need to prove that the agency knew or should have known about the safety hazard and was negligent by failing to fix the pothole.

Should I Report Potholes?

Many motorists make it their business to report potholes, and we encourage them to do so. Depending on where you live, you can look up the State Highway Authority and follow their instructions. You will need to provide the pothole’s exact location, as well as its length, width, and depth.

Contact a Wilmington Car Accident Lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. if You Were in a Serious Pothole Accident

If you were injured in a pothole accident, speak with a Wilmington car accident lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we work with clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.