Traffic fatalities have always been a reality of life in America. What is less commonly known is that the U.S. experiences far more fatalities than other similarly-situated country. Trucks.com reports that the United States has more than three times as many traffic fatalities per capita than Sweden and the United Kingdom. In fact, the U.S. has nearly the highest number of traffic fatalities of any high-income nation. While there are many causes of traffic fatalities, one that does not receive much media attention is poor road conditions and poorly-maintained infrastructure.
Learn more about how poor road maintenance can not only cause truck accidents, but also make local government entities responsible for accidents which occur as a result of dangerous road conditions.
The Real Costs of Poor Road Maintenance
In May 2017, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report on the safety benefits of highway infrastructure improvements. The economic impact of car accidents in the United States was estimated at $242 billion - more than one percent of the country’s annual Gross Domestic Product. The economic impact of car accidents includes emergency services, medical care, court and legal costs, insurance administration, traffic congestion, lost wages, and property damage. Road maintenance, improvements, and upgrades can be a difficult issue for local politicians to tackle. It is not a glamorous issue.
But the fact remains that deaths do occur as a result of poor infrastructure design and maintenance. And in addition to the intangible cost of human life, there are very tangible costs to taxpayers. Cities, counties, states, and other local governments can be sued for injuries sustained in traffic accidents caused by bad roadways. These lawsuits are paid by taxpayer funds which could be better spent making the roads safer for everyone.
The Legal Rights of Accident Victims Injured By Poor Road Conditions
It is important to determine any contributing causes, such as poor roadway structure, so that all parties who are legally responsible for causing the accident can be identified. Injury victims have the rights to be compensated for all losses caused by the accident. This can include medical bills, projected future medical expenses, lost wages, decreased future earning capacity, pain and suffering, property damage, and other losses which are directly attributable to the accident. This compensation can be obtained from any party who is found to be legally responsible for causing the accident. Aside from a driver, this can include a transportation company who employs a commercial driver, or a government entity who failed to adequately maintain the road to prevent accidents.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, you have the right to be compensated for your injuries and losses. This right can be compromised by any statements you make to the insurance company or posts you make on social media. If you're located in West Virginia, Ohio, or Pennsylvania, contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.