If you have sustained injuries after being involved in a car accident caused by a pothole, contact Goodman Acker P.C. immediately. We can review your potential case to see if you are entitled to benefits.
A pothole is a depression underneath asphalt and concrete that forms when the ground weakens and the weight of traffic continually presses down until the spot gives away, forming a hole in the street.
Potholes are so common around Detroit due to seasonal temperature swings and moisture in the region. Water in the ground pools in the day, freezes in the night, and thaws again in the morning. The continual cycle breaks apart the surrounding soil until it finally collapses, forming a pothole.
The best practice is keeping a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, allowing you more time to watch the street for malformations. You should also look for puddles of water where it seems water should not have collected.
Local and state governments are responsible for repairing potholes in a timely manner to prevent car accidents and vehicle damage caused by running over a pothole. If you see a pothole, try to remember the details about its exact location and call the Michigan Department of Transportation hotline for potholes: 888-296-4546. Remember to never use your cellphone while driving.
Running over a pothole is likely to burst the tire that sinks into it. If this happens, the driver could lose control of the vehicle and crash, causing significant damage. Even if the driver does not crash, hitting a pothole can snap tie-rods, loosen axles, and cause a number of other problems.
Getting the government to pay for your pothole damage repairs is difficult, as they are usually only held accountable if they knew or should have known about the pothole yet did not do anything to repair it in a reasonable amount of time. If the pothole is newly formed, or there is no evidence as to how long it has been in the street, then the government will probably not be held liable for your damages. While the government should be held liable for these types of claims, they often don’t pay them when someone has property damage or is injured. Instead of putting forth the effort and funds to fix the roads, residents are often enticed with tax breaks instead.
Since government liability for a pothole is extremely difficult to prove, you might be better off filing a claim with your own insurance company. Depending on your policy’s coverage, you may be able to get all the financial help you need from them.
Assuming the pothole is on a public street, you can start by getting information about that road and its maintenance history by requesting reports from appropriate Departments of Transportation. You should also take pictures of the pothole, the surrounding area, and your vehicle. If you get hurt, save a copy of your medical records, too.
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