Long Beach Road Hazards and the Accidents They Cause
Anyone who has gone more than a few miles through Long Beach, whether on the 1 Freeway or any number of side streets, has experienced a rocky ride through the city. Despite years of complaints from Long Beach residents, the city is still struggling to improve road conditions. While some of these hazards merely result in an uncomfortable drive, a failing infrastructure can cause devastating car accidents.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Any seaside community sees their roadways suffer from the wear and tear of salty, wet climates, but those issues can be aggravated by heavy traffic, which Long Beach is no stranger to. When these conditions aren’t met with an equal amount of care and upkeep, drivers can easily be caught up in serious accidents as a result of:
Potholes: Every driver has at some point tried to dodge a pothole or, barring that, nearly lost control of his or her vehicle when rolling over them. Sometimes avoiding one is as simple as drifting slightly to the right or left within your lane; other times, it is too wide or improperly positioned to avoid hitting. While a handful of drivers get lucky and maintain control, others can easily swerve out of their lane and strike another car, suffer a tire blowout, or mount a curb and strike a pedestrian.
Cracked roadways: Though not as obvious or as dangerous as potholes, cracks in a street can quickly add up and make a road hard to navigate. At high speeds, these roads can go from uncomfortable to dangerous, limiting your ability to control your vehicle. Throw in one or two potholes, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Faded lines: We all think we have good driving habits and know exactly how to navigate a road, but, oftentimes, we are at the guidance of traffic lines. When the paint begins to peel due to a constant fleet of tires rolling over it, we can easily become unsure of where the dividing lines are or not realize a merge is occurring, resulting in a side-swipe or underride accident with a larger vehicle.
Damaged, missing, or obscured signs: Like traffic lines, signs are invaluable in keeping us safe on unfamiliar roads. Even when we do know a road really well, a stop, yield, or speed limit sign can keep us from crashing into other vehicles or pedestrians. If a sign gets knocked down or is covered up by low-hanging branches, it can be difficult to tell if you have the right of way or not.
Construction equipment: The road to recovery is long and difficult, requiring a large number of construction workers, materials, and equipment to remedy. As a result, drivers have to slow down or change their route to avoid an accident with a bulldozer or excavator. In some cases, road crews may neglect to clean up a street or highway, leaving debris or equipment in the way of oncoming traffic. This carelessness can easily lead to a tire blowout or even a rollover.
Who is Liable for Long Beach Roads?
In a car accident with a drunk or distracted driver, it can be rather straightforward to establish fault, but road hazards are a different story altogether. Often, keeping roads clean of hazards and up to standard is the responsibility of the local government. For Long Beach residents, that is the Public Works Department.
But to hold the city accountable for your accident and subsequent injuries is no easy task. First, you must establish that the city knew about the road hazard and neglected to fix it, resulting in the accident. Second, filing a personal injury claim against a California city requires a specific legal process. You must abide by the statute of limitations, which is reduced down to six months for a California government department. Within that time period, you must file a claim with the city of Long Beach and thoroughly explain the accident, providing the time and date of the event, the cost of your medical bills and property damage, and provide supporting documentation.
Alternatively, if you were on a private road, your claim could be with the property owner or a third-party construction company who was overseeing the repairs, which would follow a standard process for filing a personal injury claim.
In either situation, you will need an experienced and knowledgeable Long Beach car accident attorney at your side to ensure not a single detail is missed. At the Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV, the founding attorney has worked with multiple clients to win millions of dollars in compensation. He has the perseverance, the skill, and the expertise to fully investigate your case and determine who is responsible for your injuries. Contact him at (562) 901-0840 or toll-free at (888) 454-5569 to secure sound legal representation after an accident.