125 East Victoria Street,Suite A, Santa Barbara, California 93101
McCarthy & Kroes
Personal Injury Free Consultation 805.564.2085

California Liability for Accidents Caused by a Highway Defect

Santa Barbara lawyers guiding you through claims for road defect injuries

With speeding vehicles of all sizes, traffic congestion and sudden stops, California highways and roads are already dangerous places. Unfortunately, negligence by government agencies and their employees, as well as engineers and construction workers, can result in deadly highway defects, greatly increasing the risk of an accident.

At McCarthy & Kroes, our highway defect lawyer works hard on your behalf to obtain the compensation you need when a defect in highway design, signage, maintenance or improvements results in a serious or deadly traffic accident. With 25 years of experience, we fully understand the complexities of the law as it applies to road defects, including when a city, county or other government agency may attempt to prevent your claim through sovereign immunity. We take a strong stance at the outset to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Public entity liability for highway defects

The laws governing road and highway defects are complex, and liability generally depends on whether the road is privately owned or a publicly owned and maintained highway. A public entity may be held liable for a dangerous highway, with exceptions, in certain situations:

  • The property was in a dangerous condition at the time of injury.
  • The injury was caused by the dangerous condition.
  • The dangerous condition created reasonably foreseeable risk for that kind of injury.

In addition, the injured party must prove one of the following:

  • A government, city, county or other public employee must have created the dangerous condition during the scope of employment through a negligent or wrongful act or omission.
  • The public entity had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition and sufficient time to remedy it.

If you were injured in a car accident, many parties may be responsible for your harm, including cities, counties, Caltrans and its employees, and negligent contractors or subcontractors. Our attorneys analyze the facts of your defective road accident to help you determine who is responsible and build a strong case for fair compensation.

Types of road defect accidents

In general, a road may be dangerous because of a highway design defect such as inadequate on-ramps or off-ramps, a maintenance defect such as a highway with dangerous potholes or construction hazards, or a defect in signage or signals. At McCarthy & Kroes, an accident attorney can assist injured victims and surviving family members in recovering compensation for all types of road and highway defects:

  • Sinkholes or potholes
  • Poor highway maintenance
  • Dangerous shoulder drop-offs lacking sufficient guardrails or warnings
  • Weak or nonexistent shoulders
  • Missing, inadequate or weak guardrails
  • Inadequate or missing medians, barriers, highway division, line striping or shoulder lines
  • Broken signals
  • Inadequate signage or warnings of approaching conditions
  • Trees or branches covering stop signs and other road signs
  • Construction hazards, including lack of warnings, equipment or debris in the road and other dangers
  • Excessive oil or gravel, inferior grout materials or poor drainage
  • Poor or inadequate base course materials or thickness
  • Insufficient curve grading or dangerous surface slope
  • Failed, inadequate or missing expansion joints
  • Inadequate abutments
  • Inadequate concrete reinforcing or corrosion protection
  • Dangers that have not been modified despite past indications of hazard

Seek assistance from high-quality lawyers in Santa Barbara County

Since 1988, insurance companies, injured victims and surviving family members of victims killed in deadly road accidents have relied on McCarthy & Kroes for high-quality, professional legal assistance throughout Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo and Ventura. To schedule a free initial consultation regarding your case today, contact us online or call 805.564.2085.

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