Car accident caused by a pothole, what can you do?

by Dec 3, 2021Auto Accident, Car Accidents

Car accident caused by a pothole, what can you do?

by Dec 3, 2021Auto Accident, Car Accidents

South Florida Car accident caused by a pothole
South Florida Car accident caused by a pothole

Besides damaging a vehicle’s shocks and suspension, hitting a pothole can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents can be caused by potholes, as can poor road conditions that result in serious injuries.

In addition, motorcycle drivers are at a greater risk of serious and fatal injuries due to the dangerous road conditions created by potholes. Whenever a vehicle hits a deep pothole, the impact is equivalent to a 35 mph collision. It is the responsibility of every motorist to look out for road hazards such as potholes and drive carefully to avoid car accidents.

What are some dangers of potholes?

Potholes or poor road conditions cause 33% of traffic deaths every year. The fact that traffic is expected to increase year after year does not help.

In poor or substandard conditions, roads increase the risk of car accidents, injuries, and operating costs for drivers.

Physical injury and financial damage can result from potholes:

  • As a result of poor road conditions, the average driver spends around $377 a year on car repairs.
  • By 2022, poor road conditions will cost businesses in the U.S. $240 billion.
  • Pothole accidents can result in expensive personal injury lawsuits for property owners.

According to a report released by the Committee on National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study for the U.S. Congress, it estimates that all levels of government will have to invest $185 billion per year over the next 50 years to maintain the nation’s highways, roads, and bridges. Approximately $68 billion are invested annually by the nation.

Are you eligible for compensation if you are injured in an accident caused by poor road conditions?

An auto accident can be caused by a combination of factors: the driver, the vehicle, and the road. In most collisions, more than one of these factors is involved. Maybe a driver was illegally texting and driving when he or she hit a pothole and careened into the opposite lane, striking another vehicle. The distracted driver and the pothole both contributed to the crash in this example.

When people must be held liable for their negligent actions, cases are relatively straightforward. However, when a pothole or other defective road condition played a part in the crash, they become significantly more complex.

As surprising as it may seem, these kinds of cases are quite common. In fact, a study found that nearly a third of all car accidents in the United States were caused by poor road conditions, resulting in more than 2 million injuries and 33,000 deaths. The estimated total cost of crashes caused, at least in part, by road conditions was $217.5 billion.

Who is responsible for dangerous roads, and can you receive compensation if a road defect caused your crash and subsequent injury?

In order to understand how negligence, fault, and insurance work in Florida, it helps to have a basic understanding of the state’s insurance laws.

Can I sue the city for a pothole accident?

Drivers in Florida benefit from a warm and sunny climate that inspires them to drive short and long distances to visit popular attractions throughout the state. There are beautiful coastlines, pristine rivers, marshes, and other natural features in Florida. However, there’s a dark side to the Sunshine State’s roads.

There is a high rate of vehicle collisions on streets, roads, and highways due to the high traffic volumes. Additionally, bad weather can cause reduced visibility and slippery surfaces, and constant heat and humidity can make maintenance more difficult.

Road conditions are a common cause of single-car and multi-vehicle accidents in Florida. Potholes can ruin wheels and pop tires or poor drainage can lead to dangerous levels of surface water on the road.

Roads that are poorly designed are another significant cause of accidents and injuries. Drivers can lose control of their vehicles more easily if the road design is poor. Defects in the design, construction or driving laws that apply to the area can be the cause. There can be tilts, slants, crowns, inadequate space, or unsafe speeds on roads.

Car accidents can also be caused by other poor road conditions such as:

  • Missing, damaged, or hidden road signs
  • Cracks in the road surface
  • No rumble strips on highways
  • Inadequate or missing guardrails
  • Fading paint markings
  • Road shoulders that drop off
  • Road debris
  • Inadequate traffic management around construction zones

Who’s to blame for these bad roads?

Road conditions are the responsibility of the state of Florida. Road maintenance, inspections, and cleaning are the responsibility of the state government. If a roadway has known defects or is being repaired, the state has a duty to warn motorists of hazards while taking reasonable steps to solve them.

Several factors can contribute to accidents, such as excessive speed or driver inattention, which can persist for years and cause many more accidents. Occasionally, defective road conditions emerge gradually over time. Repeated incidents at one location can alert both the government and the public to an issue.

A failure to solve an obvious problem can be considered negligent.

How to Provide Evidence for a Pothole Claim

Drivers need to demonstrate that the government was aware of the poor road conditions. Whether the government admits to knowing or not, a person still has the following options:

  • You can request access to past survey results.
  • Examine the area and interview locals to prove that the government should have been aware of the road’s condition.

A lawyer can help those who have been injured in a car accident due to poor road conditions. However, suing anything is a difficult process. You have to meet certain conditions when filing a claim against government agencies.


It’s important that you act as soon as possible if you believe you may have a case. You only have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against a government entity for poorly maintained roads in Florida (one year less than for standard car accidents).

Bodden & Bennett employs thorough examination, measurement, and research to determine why a collision may have occurred. Our team has extensive experience in analyzing evidence. Contact us to schedule your free case evaluation.

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