Dangerous roads are one of the most often overlooked causes of Indiana car accidents. In part, road design and maintenance may be overlooked because it can be difficult to successfully pursue an Indiana personal injury claim based on the dangerous design or negligent maintenance of a road. However, the possibility of encountering an obstacle should not discourage an accident victim from discussing their case with an attorney.
There are numerous ways in which a road might be dangerous. The most common defects found on Indiana roads are surface defects and planning defects. Surface defects include cracking pavement, potholes, and eroded shoulders. These are often results of poorly maintained roads. Planning defects have to do with the layout of the road itself. Common examples of planning defects are blind corners, confusing intersections, and poorly lit roads. Under Indiana law, it is possible for an accident victim to recover based on either surface defects or planning defects. However, issues of governmental immunity may be a hurdle that accident victims must overcome. A recent case discusses governmental immunity in the context of a car accident that was allegedly caused by a defectively designed road.
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was heading southbound on a motorcycle when a vehicle attempted to make a left turn in front of him. The plaintiff was unable to avoid the collision and crashed into the passenger-side door of the motorist’s vehicle. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the state government, arguing that the intersection was dangerous and that the government failed to warn motorists of the dangerous intersection.
The government called a civil engineer employed by the state, who testified that the state had not received a complaint about that specific intersection within the most recent 180 days. The state also attached an affidavit from the other driver in which she acknowledged fault for causing the accident. That motorist explained that she was familiar with the intersection and negligently failed to see the plaintiff approaching on a motorcycle. She also stated that her failure to take notice of the motorcyclist was not due to a curve in the road or another obstruction.
In the jurisdiction where the accident occurred, a government can only be held liable for a defectively designed roadway if it is unreasonably dangerous. The court dismissed the plaintiff’s case, explaining that the plaintiff failed to establish that the intersection was unreasonably dangerous.
Have You Been Injured in an Indiana Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries that you have sustained. At the Indiana personal injury law firm of Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse, we represent accident victims in all types of personal injury cases, including motor vehicle accident cases. To learn more about how our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers can help you pursue a claim for compensation based on the injuries that you have endured, call 888-532-7766 to schedule a free consultation today.