Infrastructure and Roadway Injury: Could Your Accident be the Government’s Fault?

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infrastructure and roadway injury

By now, you’ve probably heard that it’s Infrastructure Week in Washington. As the somewhat self-explanatory name suggests, it’s the week in our capital city where lawmakers and politicians  start the negotiations–bicameral, bipartisan negotiations–to find the best solution for failing or inadequate infrastructures like roads, public buildings, and other public spaces across the country.
Taken as a whole, the administration’s current proposal has been cited as more of a “financing plan” than a “funding plan.” Mike Friedberg, a former staff director of a subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee explains that, to qualify, states and localities would have to be willing to raise new revenue for their projects. And, with most states already swimming neck-deep in lingering deficits, while increases in property or sales taxes, or an increase in tolls or other user fees such as adding to the gas tax, are instinctually called into these negotiations, outcry from the public could just as easily suppress the additional taxation and draw out the negotiations.

How does Infrastructure Planning Affect You Today?

So where does the American people stand while these deliberations go on, and even after the public improvement projects begin over the course of the next ten years, that this offer covers?

For the everyday Joe taking some form of transportation to work, school, or errand runs, the issue of crumbling roadways, poorly delineated pedestrian paths, potholes endangering every cyclist that dare cross their path, what are we to do in the meantime, and who’s to blame for potential accidents that arise under these hazardous conditions?

Dangers While Driving, Cycling, and Walking

While driver errors such as speeding, distraction, and DUI/DWAIs are among the leading causes of roadway accidents, dangerous road conditions are also a significant contributor. Among many more that your personal experience alone could probably add to the list:

  • cracks and potholes can easily cause a driver or cyclist to lose control of their vehicle;
  • signs will be obscured, or will have fallen, or can’t be seen because of overgrown foliage;
  • faded paint markings can become invisible from the driver’s seat;
  • inadequate guardrails, or lack entirely, on curves and overpasses exacerbate the danger to a driver’s safety, particularly if they’re in a less than sound headspace;
  • lack of rumble strips on freeways, or filed down speed bumps that hurt the undercarriage of your car;
  • poor traffic control in construction zones;
  • and placing construction materials and utility poles in a way that obstructs a driver’s vision.

If you find yourself the victim of an accident wherein your condition or the condition of your vehicle was significantly aggravated because of shoddy infrastructure conditions, your case may have an additional personal injury claim against the public entity responsible for the accident site’s upkeep. In these cases, hiring a lawyer is the best way to ascertain that you will establish liability and collect the damages you need to recover.