Pennsylvania roads are in bad condition, riddled with annoying potholes that can cause vehicle crashes that may damage property and result in serious injuries or even death. Those who survive a crash can wind up with injuries such as whiplash, neck injuries, and paralysis that can maim, disfigure, and cause pain and suffering that may last a lifetime.
Conditions are so bad that a 2017 study by TRIP, a national research transportation group, ranked our state eighth in the country for rural roads in poor condition. The report found that about 22 percent of Pennsylvania roads were rated as being in poor condition. Pennsylvania was also ranked third for structurally deficient rural bridges and 16th for fatality rate on rural roads.
When poor road conditions and potholes play a part in causing accidents or cause damage to vehicles and injuries to their occupants, you may have a legal claim for damages against the state or local government responsible for maintaining the roads and highways. However, there are special rules for filing a claim against a government entity. In order to ensure you get the settlement you are entitled to, you should CONSULT AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER REGARDING YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.
The seasoned Pennsylvania vehicle collision attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With decades of experience with many types of crashes and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well positioned to handle even the most difficult cases, including those involving government entities.
We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation, so contact us at our office or online today.
What Pennsylvania Law Says
Pennsylvania has specific laws about what you can do if you have been in an accident caused by poor road conditions:
1) State-owned roads
If the road is owned by Pennsylvania, including the PA Turnpike and other state roads:
- You cannot sue the state for property damage.
- You can receive money for your injuries, but only if you can prove that PennDot had notice of the road condition and had a reasonable time to fix it and failed to do so.
2) Roads maintained by a local government
- You can sue for property damage to your vehicle and for serious injuries if you can prove that the local government knew, or should have known, about the condition and had time to fix it.
For both state and local governments, there is a time limit of six months from the date of the crash for you to file a Notice of Claim, which should include the date and location of the accident, details establishing the government’s fault, plus a list of claimed damages.
It can be difficult determining who is liable for accidents caused by poor road conditions, because there may be other factors involved. You will have to prove that the road conditions actually caused or contributed to the crash accident and the damages and injuries that resulted. Even if the road was in poor shape, the agency will likely argue that there were other factors that contributed, such as distracted driving.
If you can show that the poor road conditions did cause your accident, you will have to:
- Identify the state, local, or private entity responsible for maintaining the roadway.
- Prove that the entity was negligent and failed to meet its legal obligation to maintain a reasonably safe roadway, repair the condition within a reasonable amount of time, or adequately warn drivers of the danger.
Contact us for Help
If you or a loved one was injured or if someone has died in a crash involving poor road conditions and potholes, you may have a claim for compensation for your losses. However, Pennsylvania laws are complex, and your case must be handled correctly and competently or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.
The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania vehicle crash personal injury attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence.
Cliff Rieders is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center. Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute, which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States. He is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award. Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years. Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir. Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania, and he wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state. Cliff has authored a number of other textbooks and articles and he frequently teaches the law to other experienced lawyers.
Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure and is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.
If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or using our online contact form.
Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. Cliff Rieders is also admitted in New York, the District of Columbia, and, as indicated above, numerous federal courts. He can offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.