It’s springtime in Texas and here in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex we’re all too familiar with the sudden rain and thunderstorms that wreak havoc not only on our daily commute, but the roads we all commute on.
What Causes Potholes?
Potholes are usually caused by a combination of water and vehicle traffic. Rain water seeps through cracks in the street, eroding away the road base and soaking the underlying soil. This in turn weakens and destabilizes the pavement’s supporting foundation. Large pockets of air can also be left in between the pavement and its base. When it rains during the winter months, large voids can occur when water that is trapped between these layers freezes and thaws repeatedly. As vehicle traffic passes over these voids, the road, which is now too weak to support the load, begins to develop cracks and break apart. Over time the damaged pavement collapses into the void, resulting in a pothole.
Resulting Damages to Motor Vehicles
According to the American Automotive Association (AAA), the following are the most common types of damages caused by potholes.
- Tires: When damaged by a pothole, tires are commonly cut, torn, or punctured in a way that is not repairable. A new tire can cost over $500 depending on the vehicle.
- Wheels: The force of a pothole strike can bend or break wheels in a way that cannot be professionally repaired. In that case, a driver can expect to spend $300 or more for each replacement wheel. Loss of balance weights is also a common form of pothole damage and wheel rebalancing and alignment which can cost hundreds of dollars.
- Suspensions: Potholes can also inflict expensive suspension‐related damage. Vehicles with damaged suspensions may have bent or broken parts that require attention, resulting in repair bills that can add up to $1,000 or more.
Road Travel Is A Necessity
Travel is a vital part of our daily lives. Whether driving our own vehicle, or taking advantage of pubic transportation, each day millions of Americans take to the road to get where they need to go each year.
- Over 24 million kids ride a school bus
- Over 50,000 emergency vehicles make 60 million trips to healthcare facilities
- Commercial trucks carry over 32 million tons of goods across the country
- Over 240 million registered vehicles travel 2.9 trillion miles
With numbers like these, it’s easy to see why there is a high frequency in vehicle damage and accidents caused by poor road conditions.
When Road Conditions Cause Accidents
Unfortunately, when the weather turns bad, accidents happen, and because many drivers in Dallas are unfamiliar with operating motor vehicles in treacherous conditions, accidents occur. When an accident happens because of poor weather, you may still be entitled to receive compensation if you’re injured in a car wreck.
Not only do potholes cause serious vehicle damage, they sometimes cause serious car accidents. If a driver hits a pothole it can cause a tire blowout, which in turn can make it difficult or impossible for them to safely bring their vehicle to a halt. This can lead to them rear-ending another driver, or worse causing a multi-vehicle pileup.
Potholes are significantly more dangerous obstacles for motorcycle riders. Even a small pothole can make a motorcyclist lose control of their bike, leading to catastrophic injuries.
Determining Fault Due To Poor Road Conditions
Texas Transportation Code §545.351 requires that motor vehicle operators adapt their driving to accommodate poor road conditions. This means that if they fail to lower their speed below the posted speed limit, they can be held liable for an accident, even if the root cause of the accident was an icy road. If you’re involved in a car accident on an icy road, make sure you collect any and all evidence you can to corroborate your side of the story. Be sure to take pictures of the vehicle involved, as well as the roads and surrounding conditions. Most importantly, call the police and get a police report!
If poor road conditions contribute to your vehicle wreck, there may also be other parties, other than the another driver who is responsible for paying for your injuries and/or damages. In accordance with Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §107, you can file a lawsuit against the government for damages in certain situations. These situations may include when a motor vehicle wreck is caused by a government employee during the course of their work duties.
What To Do If You’ve Been In An Accident Caused By Poor Road Conditions
Named one of the “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Dallas” by Expertise.com, Brian Brunson is Texas personal injury lawyer who is dedicated to helping clients who have suffered a car, truck, or motorcycle injury through the negligent or wrongful conduct of other drivers. In addition, his professionalism is unmatched and the firms’ client reviews speak for themselves.
We proudly serve the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and surrounding areas, our office supports the legal needs of a wide variety of clients. Let the Law Office of Brian Brunson be your advocate in your time of need and help you put your life back together. If we can’t win or settle your case, you don’t pay a dime! We know it can be daunting to take that first step after you’ve been hurt. Contact Brian Brunson today via email or call us toll-free at 1-844-41-WRECK. We can help, when no one else will.