When you are driving down the street, the last thing you expect is for a pothole to cause an accident that results in injuries or damage to your car. Unfortunately, this happens more often than people realize. If you were involved in a car accident caused by a pothole, you might be wondering who may be liable for the damages.
When it comes to liability in a car accident caused by a pothole, it is important to remember that fault may be attributed to more than one party. Baker Legal Team’s attorneys can help you figure out who may be liable for your pothole accident and get you the compensation you deserve. Depending on your location and the specific situation, the liability could potentially be assigned to either a private party or a government entity.
Who Is Liable for Pothole Accidents?
In some cases, the municipality responsible for maintaining public roads may be held liable for an accident caused by a pothole. In order to establish fault in these instances, it must be proven that the city or county government knew about the pothole either through prior reports or because it was visible to anyone driving on the roadway. If a municipality does not have sufficient funds to make repairs, there may be an argument that they are liable for any damages caused by the pothole.
In other cases, a private party might be held liable for a car accident caused by a pothole. This could include a property owner or even the manufacturer of an automobile part. For example, if you were to hit a pothole that was on a private road, the landowner may be held liable for not maintaining their property in a safe manner.
Understanding Sovereign Immunity
In the state of Florida, the concept of sovereign immunity applies to liability in car accidents caused by potholes. This means that, under certain circumstances, a local government or agency may not be held liable for damages if they are deemed to be negligent.
The exact rules of sovereign immunity vary from state to state, so it is important to contact an experienced car accident attorney who can help you understand the laws in your area. In Florida, however, the state’s municipalities are liable only to a certain extent. Tort claims are limited to $300,000, while individual claims are limited to $200,000.
Furthermore, there’s a mandatory 180-day waiting period that you must adhere to if you’re suing a government entity. This period is to ensure that the government entity is given time to investigate the incident and decide whether to settle the claim.
Potholes and Driver Liability
Did you know that you could even be held partially responsible for an accident caused by a pothole? Under Florida law, if it can be proven that the driver did not take reasonable precautions to avoid the pothole, they could still be held liable.
This means that you must make sure you are following the rules of the road at all times, including slowing down or changing lanes when you see a pothole ahead.
Since there is such a wide range of factors that could impact liability in a car accident caused by a pothole, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your rights and legal options.
Call the Experienced Car Accident Lawyers at Baker Legal Team
At Baker Legal Team, our board-certified car accident attorneys have years of experience helping clients get the compensation they deserve after being injured in an auto accident—and that includes pothole-related accidents and injuries.
We invite you to contact us if you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident caused by a pothole. Call us at (561) 320-0000 or fill out and submit our online contact form to get started. We look forward to hearing from you soon!