If you were injured on an unsafe road in Georgia, you might have questions about who will pay for your losses. Parties liable for your injury include:
- Owner of a private road
- A government agency
- Other party
The Factors in Your Case
Multiple factors will determine whether you can take action for your losses and who you can go after for compensation. The facts of your situation will determine who you can sue.
Public Versus Private Road
If the injury happened when you were on a private road, and you were on the road legally (not trespassing), you might be able to pursue financial damages from a premises liability case from the property owner. It can be more difficult to hold a landowner responsible under Georgia law for your losses if you did not have permission to be on the premises.
If you were injured on a public road, you might be able to seek compensation from the government agency responsible for maintaining the roads. The outcome will depend on what type of unsafe feature of the street caused your injury.
It can be challenging to sue government agencies, because they are immune from prosecution in many situations. We know the special rules that one must follow when going after financial damages from the government.
The Type of Dangerous Condition
Different parties have the responsibility for various aspects of public roads. One government agency might design a road or commission the design of the highway. A separate division of the government might have the duty of maintaining the streets after construction. If the dangerous condition is not the road itself, but an object on the street, the person who put the object there can be liable.
Unsafe Road Design
A road can have an unsafe design if the grading is not correct, the speed limit is inappropriate for the location, the materials chosen for construction create a hazard, or some other aspect of the road’s design created an unsafe situation.
Failure to perform adequate road maintenance can subject a government agency to liability. Let’s say that a street has many tall, old trees lining it on both sides. The city knows that when the temperature falls and there is precipitation, the road’s shaded surface can become slick. If the maintenance department fails to apply chemicals to the road to prevent icy patches, the agency can get sued when someone crashes on the slippery street and gets hurt.
Objects on the Road
If another party caused the dangerous condition, you might be able to go after that party. For example, someone transported furniture in the back of a pickup truck while helping a friend move. A chair fell out of the vehicle onto the highway. The unexpected object on the road could cause collisions when cars swerve to avoid hitting the furniture. You might have a claim against the owner or driver of the pickup.
Another example would be if a tractor-trailer carrying massive containers of cooking oil flipped over and dropped its load on the highway, sending thousands of gallons of the slick substance all over the road. A person was hurt when his car lost control on the slippery surface. In this circumstance, the injured person would likely seek compensation from the trucking company.
If someone’s negligence contributed to the personal injury, pedestrian, or car accident, you might be able to proceed against that person for your losses. Let’s say that there was gravel dumped on the highway, causing people to lose control of their vehicles. A driver could avoid the rocks if he saw the hazard in time and switched lanes.
Someone who was speeding did not have time to take evasive action when he noticed the dangerous condition. If you got hurt when he crashed into your car, you could pursue an injury claim against the driver.
Also, your automobile insurance policy might include some limited coverage for payment of your medical bills, regardless of fault.
The compensation that you can recover for your losses after being injured on an unsafe road in Georgia will depend on the facts of your case. Every case is unique. If three people get hurt in the same accident, they might all have different injuries and damages.
Here are some of the types of compensation we have won for our clients:
- Medical expenses. This category can pay the reasonable cost of the medical treatment you needed for your injuries.
- Lost income. You can recover the wages, salary, self-employment, and other types of regular income you missed because of the accident.
- Long-term care. You might need daily assistance with medical care and personal tasks if you sustained severe injuries. These expenses can be astronomical.
- Intangible losses. Some of the ways that your injury affects your life do not come with price tags or invoices, but these items are valid and compensable. Depending on your circumstances, we can pursue a claim for things like pain and suffering, disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and spousal loss of consortium.
How to Get Legal Help
At S. Burke Law, we want to help you get back on your feet after suffering an injury on an unsafe road. Call us today at 404-842-7838 for a complimentary consultation. There is no obligation.