Causes - Road Hazards
While many accidents are caused by driver negligence, some accidents are caused by hazards encountered in the road. In cases in which a road hazard is caused by an act of nature or wild animals, it may be unlikely that anyone can be held accountable for causing the hazard. In many cases, however, road hazards are caused by the negligent acts of one or more parties. When someone’s negligence causes a road hazard, they may be held responsible for any harm subsequently caused by the accident. If you incurred harm due to a road hazard caused by someone else’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced New Hampshire car accident lawyer as soon as possible to evaluate whether you may be able to recover compensation. The attorneys at Peter Thompson and Associates have more than 60 years of combined experience assisting New Hampshire residents injured in car accidents. Our knowledge and experience enable us to provide you with effective representation.Road Hazards Commonly Encountered
A common road hazard is a slippery roadway caused by rain. Drivers may also encounter hazards posed by wild animals that run in front of their cars, or trees that have fallen across the road. In most cases, it is unlikely that anyone can be held responsible for hazards caused by rain or wild animals, but each case must be analyzed according to its specific facts.
For example, if a roadway is slippery due to snow, whether the entity tasked with removing the snow may be liable for any accident caused by the snow will depend on how long the snow was on the road prior to the accident and whether the entity knew or should have known that the snow needed to be removed. Similarly, when a hazard exists due to deterioration or lack of maintenance, such as potholes, overgrown shrubbery, faded signs or lines painted on the road, or debris in the roadway, an analysis must be made as to whether a person or entity failed to comply with a duty to maintain the road or surrounding areas and whether they had notice of a condition that posed a hazard.Recovering Damages From Liable Parties
Generally, whether a party is liable for damages due to a car accident caused by a road hazard will depend on whether the party was negligent. Under New Hampshire law, negligence arises when a party has a duty of care, the party breaches the duty, and the breach causes an accident, which subsequently results in damages.
You must show that the accident would not have happened absent the breach and that the breach was a substantial factor in bringing about the accident. In a case involving a road hazard, the duty breached will vary depending on the party responsible for creating the hazard. If the party that negligently created the hazard is a government entity, recovering damages can prove challenging. Municipalities are protected from liability by the New Hampshire Tort Claims Act, which only allows an injured party to recover damages in certain circumstances. In cases in which it is alleged that an injury was caused by the maintenance of a highway, you must prove that the road presented an unavoidable hazard or was unpassable and that the municipality received written notice or had actual notice of the hazard, or that the hazard was created by the intentional acts of a municipal employee. An experienced car accident attorney can help you identify the proper parties from which you should seek compensation.Recoverable Damages
Damages that you may be awarded include the cost to repair any damage to your vehicle. Additionally, you may be entitled to recoup any expenses incurred in treating injuries that you sustained in the accident. You may also be able to recover lost wages, if you could not work after the accident, and loss of future earnings, if your ability to earn an income is permanently diminished. In New Hampshire, any lawsuit arising out of a car accident must be filed within three years from the date of the accident. Therefore, if you were injured in a car accident caused by a road hazard, you should consult a car accident attorney as soon as possible to assist you in pursuing damages.Meet With an Experienced New Hampshire Attorney
While sometimes road hazards are unavoidable, road hazards and the accidents that they cause often could have been prevented. If you were involved in a car accident caused by a road hazard, you may be eligible to recover compensation for any harm that you suffered. At Peter Thompson and Associates, our attorneys will work diligently to help you develop strong arguments that provide you with a good chance of a favorable outcome under the circumstances. Our aggressive advocacy has led to a history of strong results. We have offices in Bedford, Nashua, Portsmouth, and Manchester, New Hampshire, and we represent clients throughout the state. Contact us at 800.804.2004 or via our online form to schedule a meeting.