While governments may be entitled to immunity in some car accidents that are based on a negligent-design theory, the government can still be held liable for failing to safely maintain a road or highway. However, the distinction between design and maintenance is not always clear-cut. For example, consider the following:
- A turn with visibility obstructed by large trees or rocks;
- An intersection with misleading or improperly marked signage;
- Malfunctioning traffic lights;
- Dangerous potholes or unmarked hazards; and
- Landscaping that obscures motorists’ vision of an intersection or oncoming traffic
A Maryland car accident victim who is injured in an accident that was caused by any of the above scenarios may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against the government agency responsible for maintaining the road. A recent state appellate decision discusses one plaintiff’s case against a local government agency based on the road’s dangerous condition.