A roadway cannot puncture a tire and cause a car accident. A roadway cannot create a wall, an object with which an automobile might collide. Still, a roadway’s lifetime is limited. The lifespan for most roads is 18 to 25 years. After that lifespan has run its course, the road begins to deteriorate. A deteriorating roadway can become a potential danger. Its existence increases the chances for an accident.
Examples of danger spots on a roadway:
• Pot holes and cracks
• A bridge that is no longer sound
• Unsafe materials used by those doing repair work.
Who might be blamed for the existence of such danger spots?
The company doing the repair work could be blamed for the presence of any unsafe materials. The target of any blame for pot holes or cracks would vary, depending on the time of the hole’s or crack’s appearance, and depending on who owned the damaged road. Some Canadian roads are owned by a city; some are owned by a province.
If a city or province remains unaware of the existence of a pot hole or crack, it cannot be held responsible for that same bit of damage. Yet, as soon as it discovers the presence of such a problem, it must fix it. If a city or province ignores the recognized damage in a roadway, it can be held responsible for an accident that takes place at the damaged location.
Some roads link the boundary for one city or province to the boundary for another city or province. Some bridges link two cities or two provinces. In such situations, it can become difficult to determine exactly who should be held responsible for a given accident.
The lawyer’s role
Sometimes a road’s design invites the occurrence of accidents. When that is the case, the victim of a collision on that same road might be able to charge the city or province that paid for construction of that poorly-designed roadway. Yet the victim that wanted to make such a charge would need to seek a source of support. A personal injury lawyer in Collingwood should be able to find and hire an expert engineer. The engineer’s opinion could support the allegation that the problem stretches (of roadway) had been poorly-designed.
An engineer’s opinion could also prove helpful, if an accident had taken place on a bridge. The engineer could state whether or not that same bridge had produced evidence of its lack of soundness in the days leading up to the unfortunate incident.
It would have been the job of a city or a province to watch for the emergence of such evidence. The city or province that failed to note the appearance of such evidence could be blamed for the resulting accident.