Unfortunately, poor road conditions have kept Los Angeles car accident lawyers busy for years. According to TRIP, a national non-profit transportation research group, Los Angeles has some of the worst roads in the worst roads in the nation. During their study the organization learned that 57% of all the major roads in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim were under the state’s safety standards following San Jose and San Francisco. The study discovered that Los Angeles drivers, spend an average of $921 more on annual car repairs in consequence of terrible road conditions. California also has some of the highest car accident fatality rates in the U.S. For these types of “no-fault” accidents, you may be able to hold your city accountable. For a free consultation call the top rated personal injury lawyers, West Coast Trial Lawyers and discover what you may be entitled to.
Los Angeles City Lawsuits
If you have suffered personal injury or experienced property damage due to the poor conditions of the roads, you may be entitled to financial compensation. In fact, Los Angeles has spent over $19 million settling personal injury and property damage cases in 2017. Generally speaking, most states and federal government agencies have “sovereign” or “governmental immunity”, which protects them from trivial lawsuits. However, there are technicalities that allow a plaintiff to sue under certain conditions. Though going to court with a large authority can be intimidating, it is within your legal right to file a claim against government agencies, such as the city, county, or the state for property damage.
Like most lawsuits the burden is on the plaintiff to prove the negligence of the opposing party. A broken or damaged road does not necessarily constitute as government negligence. In order to strengthen your case, most courts require you to prove that the government was purposely inattentive. In a simple case, this could mean that the governing body knew about the poor road conditions and did nothing to fix it, or did not fix it within a reasonable amount of time.
Common Road Conditions That Suggest Government Negligence
With a city that spans over 500 square miles there is a lot of road to cover. However, that doesn’t mean that your city isn’t responsible for the proper conditions that keep its citizens safe. Though it is impossible to have every road perfect at all times, there are certain time restrictions that compel the city to respond accordingly. Listed below are a few road conditions that your city is responsible for.
Potholes. Older roads are subject to erosion and depreciation. This often causes portions of the street to sink in or become hallow, making it dangerous to drive over, especially at high speeds.
Cracks and Breaks. Los Angeles is victim to severe earthquakes. The shifting of the ground can create uneven tears in concrete and tar which can impact a driver’s path regardless of their driving skills.
Incorrect or Missing Street Signage. If a missing, covered, or incorrect street sign has been unreliable for an extended period of time, this will only strengthen your case in possibly filing a negligence suit.
Unreasonably Constricted Street. Narrow roads that are not built up to the city’s standards may cause an accident if not properly lit or showcasing obvious signage
Construction Debris. This includes, an excess of fallen foliage, tossed about construction materials such as traffic cones, traffic drums, bags of sand and drills that may be left unattended.
How to File A Claim Against The City Of Los Angeles
If you notice a dangerous pothole in your neighborhood the first thing that you should do is submit a “service request”. This can be done online, by the phone, or with the Los Angeles Information App, MyLA311. However, when the damage has already occurred and your vehicle is afflicted you may consider compensation. This can also be done online by filing a “Claim For Damages” form
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
Loss of Earning Capacity
Non-Economic Damages Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
Pain And Suffering
Loss Of Enjoyment Of Life
Punitive Damages The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5% of all verdicts.
Los Angeles Car Crash Lawyer
Going up against a government body can be very intimidating but winning your case is far from impossible. When going up against the city, you want the best defense. Talk to the top personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers for a free consultation and learn what compensation may be owed to you