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Can You Sue the City of Los Angeles for Poor Road Conditions?

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a motor vehicle collision caused by hazardous or damaged roads, you may be wondering if you can sue a LA for bad roads. Many different types of poor road conditions can result in serious accidents and injuries, such as faded or missing lane markings, potholes, missing asphalt or blacktop, cracks in the road, and road debris. Generally speaking, property owners in California have a duty to ensure that their premises are reasonably safe and that any defective conditions are remedied in a timely manner. Does this requirement also apply to cities and to local governments? In other words, can a city or municipality be liable for injuries caused by poor road conditions?

The short answer is that yes, a government can be responsible for injuries caused by hazardous road conditions. To find out more about filing a claim against your city for damaged roads, you should seek advice from an experienced Los Angeles premises liability lawyer at our firm.

City Responsibility for Bad Roads in California

Cities and other government entities must maintain public roads so that they are in a reasonably safe condition. While cities are not necessarily obligated to immediately repair a hazard on a roadway, if the city learns of a hazard through a driver or resident report, or should have learned about the defect through regular surveys of the area, then the city may be responsible for injuries resulting from the road hazard.

Common Types of Road Damage Where a City Can Be Liable for Injuries

What types of road damage or hazards is a city responsible for repairing? There are many types of poor road conditions that may be the city’s responsibility. Accordingly, when these types of road hazards cause crashes, the city could be liable for injuries. The following are some of the common types of road defects that a city can be responsible for remedying:

  • Potholes;
  • Road cracks;
  • Missing asphalt or blacktop;
  • Faded or absent lane markings;
  • Damaged or absent reflective markers;
  • Guardrail damage;
  • Absent or damaged rumble strips;
  • Fallen trees or foliage;
  • Road signs obscured by overgrown foliage;
  • Lack of road signs to warn about dangerous conditions such as a curve in the road;
  • Improper road markings;
  • Missing or defective traffic signals or stop signs;
  • Drainage issues resulting in flooding; and/or
  • Damaged or absent lighting on dangerous parts of the roadway.

Filing a Lawsuit Against a City for Poor Road Conditions

In order to file a lawsuit against a city for poor or dangerous road conditions, you must have suffered an injury due to hazardous roadway conditions. To be clear, you cannot sue a city simply because you encountered bad roads. Legal harm must have occurred. If you were injured in a collision that resulted from one of the common types of road damage listed above, or for another dangerous road condition that the city knew about or should have discovered and repaired, you may be eligible to move forward with a lawsuit.

Under California law, you must typically file a claim against a government agency within 6 months from the date of the accident before you can move forward with a lawsuit. This time window is narrow, so it is critical to get started on your case quickly.

Contact a Premises Liability Lawyer in Los Angeles

If you were injured because of bad roads in Southern California, Los Angeles or another city or municipality may be liable. One of our Los Angeles premises liability attorneys can assist you with a claim. Contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers online or call our firm at 213-985-1120 today.