Texas has more than 70,000 highways, farm-to-market roads, frontage strees, and park roads — and that’s not even counting streets within towns or cities. With all of this infrastructure, it’s no surprise that road defects and hazards are responsible for a staggering number of injury accidents every year in the Lone Star State.
But this shouldn’t be the case. Local, state, and federal governments have a responsibility to keep our roads safe for everyone. That means regularly inspecting them for hazards, correcting poor designs, and taking action when needed — failure to do so can result in tragedy.
If you have been injured or someone you love has been killed in an accident caused by poor or unsafet road conditions or hazards in Fort Worth or the surrounding area, someone should be held accountable. That’s where a Fort Worth road defect accident lawyer comes in.
At Varghese Summersett Injury Law Group, we are dedicated to helping injured victims and their families obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. We understand that no amount of money can undo what happened, but we will fight for the financial security you need to move forward with your life.
In this article, our Fort Worth road defect accident lawyer explains various types of unsafe road conditions, liability in these types of cases, the process of recovering compensation, and how our law firm can help. Importantly, our team works on contingency, which means you will never pay us anything upfront or out-of-pocket. We are only paid if, and when, we get compensation for you.
Common Types of Road Defects and Hazards
There are several types of road defects or hazards that are the basis of personal injury claims in Texas. These defects, if not promptly and properly addressed, can result in accidents causing injury or even death. Here are some common ones:
Potholes and Road Wear
Over time, roads can develop potholes and cracks due to the wear and tear of a road surface, often exacerbated by harsh weather conditions. Potholes can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, leading to accidents.
Changes in the level of the road surface, often due to poor maintenance or construction work, can be hazardous.
Lack of or Improper Signage
Signs are essential for notifying drivers of speed limits, upcoming turns, pedestrian crossings, and other important information. Missing, unclear, obscure, or incorrect traffic signs can lead to confusion or misjudgment on the part of drivers.
Poorly lit roads can make it difficult for drivers to see hazards, other vehicles, or pedestrians, especially at night.
Faulty Traffic Lights
Traffic lights are crucial for managing traffic flow and ensuring safety at intersections. Malfunctioning traffic lights can create confusion and lead to collisions.
Road Design Flaws
Some roads may be unsafe due to their poor road design can include sharp turns without proper warning signs, inadequate or nonexistent shoulder space, and unsafe slopes or grades.
Construction Zone Negligence
Inadequate warning signs, poor traffic control, and other negligence in construction zones can be very dangerous, leading to accidents with construction workers, equipment or other drivers.
Poorly Maintained Bridges or Overpasses
There are about 55,000 bridges in Texas, 36,000 of which are managed by the state. The remaining 19,000 bridges are off the state system and part of city streets or a county road. With so many bridges, it’s not uncommon to find have structural issues due to neglect, which can lead to serious incidents.
Inadequate drainage can lead to water pooling on the road surface, making the roadway slick and potentially leading to hydroplaning accidents.
Debris or Hazards on the Road
Items that have fallen off of vehicles, dead animals, broken glass, or any other debris on the road can lead to accidents, especially if a driver swerves or stops suddenly to avoid hitting them.
When any of these conditions cause an accident, the injured party may have a personal injury claim. However, claims relating to road defects can be complex and often involve different potential defendants, including various governmental entities. That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced Fort Worth road defect accident lawyer if hazardous conditions contribute to an accident involving injury or death.
Determining Liability in Texas Road Defect Cases
Determining liability in road defect cases in Texas can be complicated, as multiple parties may be responsible. Some potentially liable parties include:
Government entities: Federal, state or local governments are typically responsible for designing, constructing, and maintaining public roads. However, in Texas, government entities have sovereign immunity, which can limit their liability in certain cases. We explain soverign immunity futher below and be sure to watch the video.
Private contractors: Private companies may be contracted to design, build, or maintain roads and can be held liable if their negligence leads to an accident.
Road maintenance negligence: If a party responsible for maintaining a road fails to do so properly, they may be held liable for accidents caused by their negligence.
Sovereign Immunity in Texas
Sovereign immunity is a legal doctrine in Texas law that protects federal, state, and local government entities and their employees from being sued for carrying out their official duties. This doctrine is based on the principle that the government cannot be held liable for its actions except under certain circumstances where it consents to be sued.
In Texas, sovereign immunity extends to the state government, its agencies, and local governments like cities and counties. However, Texas law does provide some exceptions to sovereign immunity through the Texas Tort Claims Act, which allows individuals to bring claims against government entities in specific situations.
Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, government entities can be held liable for:
- Personal injuries or wrongful death caused by the negligent use of a motor-driven vehicle or equipment by a government employee acting within the scope of their employment.
- Personal injuries, wrongful death, or property damage arising from a government employee’s negligent use of personal property in the course of their employment.
- Personal injuries caused by a premises defect or the use of personal property if the government entity had actual or constructive notice of the defect and failed to address it.
Despite these exceptions, there are still limitations on the types and amounts of damages that can be recovered and specific procedural requirements that must be followed when bringing a claim against a government entity.
Our Fort Worth road defect accident lawyers can explain the challenges and will guide you through the legal process of holding government entities accountable if their negligence contritubed to hazardous road conditions that lead to injury or death.
Road Defect Accident Claims Process
If you’ve been in an accident in Texas that was caused by a road defect, you may be able to receive substantial compensation for your injuries, lost wages, vehicle damage, pain and suffering, and more. Here’s an overview of the process of filing a road defect accident injury claim.
- Document the Accident: If you believe a road defect caused your accident, document as much evidence as possible. This includes taking photos of the scene, the defect, any injuries, and any damage to your vehicle. Collect contact information of witnesses who can attest to the conditions that led to your accident.
- Seek Medical Attention: It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident. Your medical records will be important evidence in your claim.
- Report the Accident: If you were injured in an accident cause by a hazardous road condition, it’s importnat to report it to the local police, your insurance company, and the Texas Department of Transportation. Be sure to get a copy of any accident reports.
- Contact an Fort Worth Road Defect Accident Lawyer: If you plan to pursue a claim, it’s imperative to contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury car accident claimes. They can help you understand your rights and the potential for compensation. Varghese Summersett Injury Law Group can help. Call 817-207-4878 for a free consulation with an Fort Worth road defect accident lawyer at our firm.
- Filing a Claim: Claims for accidents caused by road defects in Texas can be complicated because they often involve government entities, which are protected by “sovereign immunity.” This means they can’t be sued unless they’ve consented to it. In Texas, the government has waived some of this immunity in the Texas Tort Claims Act, but there are strict rules and deadlines for filing a claim. Our legal team can guide you through this process.
- Negotiation and Lawsuit: If your claim is accepted, you will first enter into negotiations with the government entity or their insurance provider. If you can’t reach an agreement, you might need to file a lawsuit.
Remember, this is a general process and each case is unique. It’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to understand your specific circumstances and the best course of action.
How Our Fort Worth Road Defect Accident Lawyer Can Help
An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide invaluable assistance when pursuing with an unsafe road condition claim in Fort Worth or North Texas. To maximize your chance of success it’s important to let a lawyer and the experts at their disposal handle the process for you. Here’s how a Fort Worth road defence accident lawyer at Varghese Summersett can help:
Navigating the Complex Legal Process
Road defect cases often involve multiple parties and complex legal processes. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through the claims process and help you understand your rights. Personal injury laws can be complex and differ from one state to another.
We will investigate the accident, gather evidence, identify the liable parties, and determine the extent of the road defect and how is contribution to the accident.
Filing a claim involves a lot of paperwork, which can be overwhelming. We will handle this process, ensuring that all forms are correctly filled out and submitted on time.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies will try to minimize payouts. We will calcuate all of your damages and aggressively negotiate on your behalf to secure a fair settlement.
Filing a Lawsuit
If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we will file a lawsuit against the responsible parties, which may include government entities in the case of road defects.
Representation in Court
If your case goes to trial, we will represent you in court, arguing on your behalf to persuade the judge or jury to award substantial damages due to someone else’s or entities negligence.
We will assess all the damages you’re entitled to, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering, and work to maximize your compensation.
It’s important to choose a lawyer with experience in personal injury law and, specifically, road defect cases. You only get one shot at securing the maximum compensation, so it’s best to have the best in your corner.
What Type of Compensation Can Victims of Road Defect Accidents Receive?
Our Fort Worth road defect accident lawyers at Varghese Summersett can help clients in Tarrant County seek various types of compensation depending on the specifics of each case. Compensation typically falls into three categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and, in some cases, punitive damages.
- Economic Damages: These are quantifiable, out-of-pocket expenses directly resulting from your injury. They include:
- Medical Expenses: This can include costs for hospital stays, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, medication, medical equipment, and any anticipated future medical expenses related to the injury.
- Lost Wages: If your injury forced you to take time off work, you may be compensated for the income you lost during that time. If your ability to work in the future has been affected, you may also be compensated for lost earning capacity.
- Property Damage: If your vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident, you can be compensated for the cost of repairs or the fair market value of the property.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are more subjective and are intended to compensate for non-tangible aspects of an injury. They include:
- Pain and Suffering: This includes compensation for physical pain and discomfort endured because of the accident and the injury.
- Emotional Distress: Accidents can lead to emotional or psychological trauma such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may be compensated for this emotional distress.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injuries prevent you from enjoying hobbies, recreation, and other activities you enjoyed before the accident, you may be compensated for this loss.
- Loss of Consortium: Spouses of injured individuals can often claim loss of consortium, referring to the loss of companionship or the ability to maintain a sexual relationship.
- Punitive Damages: These are not awarded in every case, but are intended to punish the defendant for particularly egregious or malicious behavior and deter similar behavior in the future. In Texas, you generally need to prove that the defendant acted with malice or gross negligence to be awarded punitive damages.
- Economic Damages: These are quantifiable, out-of-pocket expenses directly resulting from your injury. They include:
It’s important to note that Texas uses a modified comparative fault rule in personal injury cases. This means that your compensation can be reduced if you’re found to be partially at fault for the accident. If you’re more than 50 percent at fault, you may not be able to recover any damages at all.
A Fort Worth road defect accident lawyer at our firm can help you understand how these rules might apply to your case. Contact the experienced attorneys at Varghese Summersett for a free consultation to discuss your case and potential compensation.
Involved in a Road Defect Accident in Fort Worth? Contact Us.
If you’ve been injured in an accident due to a road defect in Fort Worth or anywhere in North Texas, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at Varghese Summersett Injury Law Group. We’re not afraid to take on the government or big insurance companies and we are right at home in front of a jury.
Our goal is to deliver exception results for our clients and help them move foward with their lives. Best of all, we work on contingency, which means you will never pay anything out-of-pocket. We only get paid after we win compensation for your. Call us today at 817-207-4878 or contact us online for a free consultation.
FAQ: Fort Worth Road Defect Accident Lawyer
Liability in road defect cases may lie with government entities responsible for road design, construction, and maintenance; private contractors involved in road projects; or parties responsible for road maintenance negligence.
To start the claims process, you’ll need to file a claim against the party responsible for the road defect. If the responsible party is a government entity, you’ll need to file a notice of claim before pursuing a lawsuit. Our Fort Worth road defect accident lawyer can handle the process for you. Call 817-407-4878 for a free consultation.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Texas is typically two years from the date of the accident. However, when filing a claim against a government entity, you may have as little as six months to file a notice of claim. It’s important to contact and experienced Fort Worth road defect accident lawyer as soon as possible
Evidence needed in a road defect case may include photographs of the defect, accident reports, and witness statements.
A Fort Worth road defect accident lawyer can help you navigate complex legal processes, prove liability in your case, and maximize the compensation you receive for your injuries.
You can call Varghese Summersett at 817-207-4878 or contact them online for a free consultation.
Compensation in a road defect accident claim may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to your injuries.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is typically two years from the date of the accident. However, when filing a claim against a government entity, you may have as little as six months to file a notice of claim. That’s why it is extremely important to contact an experienced Fort Worth road defect accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
Varghese Summersett Injury Law Group operates on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay anything upfront when you hire us to handle your case. Our fees are contingent upon (or based on) successfully obtaining a settlement or a verdict in your favor. If we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything