February 14, 2024

Can Potholes Cause Car Accidents?

Looking for a Montgomery County Car Accident Lawyer? Contact the Law Firm of Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C.

It is nearly impossible to drive anywhere in Philadelphia without encountering at least one pothole. Even when you know where they are, it can be impossible to avoid them. New ones appear every spring, and older ones keep getting bigger – both can cause serious car accidents.

How Do Potholes Form?

Potholes are openings in the road that can be many feet deep and wide. They start as pavement cracks after the water begins to get in. When temperatures drop, that water freezes, expanding and stressing the asphalt.

When temperatures rise again, the ice melts, leaving gaps beneath the surface. Vehicle traffic intensifies the damage, causing the weakened pavement to crack and break. The repeated freeze-thaw cycle and the weight of passing vehicles contribute to a pothole’s growth.

Neglected maintenance and aging infrastructure amplify the problem. To combat that, regular road maintenance and timely repairs are essential to keep the roads smooth and safe. Unfortunately, responsible parties are not always conscientious about maintaining their roads.

Do Pothole Accidents Damage Cars?

Yes, potholes greatly strain your car’s suspension and shocks, which absorb most of the impact.  A pothole accident can cause expensive damage to your vehicle and cause you to make an unexpected appointment with your auto mechanic.

How Do Pothole Accidents Cause Injuries?

When a vehicle goes into a large pothole, the sudden, unexpected force can cause different injuries. One is whiplash, where the sudden jolt causes the head and neck to snap forward and backward rapidly. That can result in neck muscles and ligament strains or sprains.

Other, more severe injuries can occur, especially at higher speeds. Drivers and passengers can get thrown around inside the vehicle, making contact with airbags, dashboards, and steering wheels. Those can be even worse if seat belts were not buckled during the accident.

Potholes also cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, leading to collisions with other vehicles or objects. When that happens, occupants may suffer more severe injuries, like fractures, concussions, and internal injuries. Pedestrians and cyclists are also at risk, as they may be thrown off balance or struck by vehicles attempting to avoid potholes.

Who Is Responsible for My Pothole Accident?

Much of the time, roads are maintained by cities, counties, or states. If you are injured or have property damage from a pothole or road in poor condition, you may be able to file a claim against the government. You must prove that the agency failed to maintain the road safely and in a reasonable manner.

You can imagine that receiving fair compensation for a pothole on a government-owned road can be challenging. You would need to prove that they were negligent via these elements:

  • The government agency was aware of or should have reasonably known about the pothole.
  • The government agency failed to repair the pothole within a reasonable amount of time.

There are a few other potentially liable parties for pothole accidents. One is a negligent driver who may have been driving recklessly. Another might be a tire manufacturer who produced a defective product that failed when you drove over the pothole.

Looking for a Montgomery County Car Accident Lawyer? Contact the Law Firm of Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C.

Pothole accidents can be dangerous, and you might be entitled to compensation if injured. A knowledgeable Montgomery County car accident lawyer at the law firm of Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. can provide a free consultation on your case. Call us at 267-861-7100 or complete our online form today. Located in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Norristown.