Chances are, anyone who has spent significant time driving in Maryland or Virginia has come across a section of road or an intersection that seemed unsafe. It may be that a stop sign or stop light was not placed at an intersection that needed it, or a blind corner was too tight to safely navigate without encroaching into oncoming traffic. Regardless, there are hundreds of Maryland and Virginia car accidents that are caused by unsafe roads.
Typically, the local government is responsible for the design and maintenance of roads. Thus, any claim arising from an accident that was due to an unsafe road would necessarily be brought against the local government agency overseeing that particular portion of the highway. However, in both Maryland and Virginia, the states’ immunity laws act to preclude many of these lawsuits.
Government immunity has been around in some form since the birth of the country, and it provides state and federal governments with immunity from lawsuits that are the result of the government carrying out its official duties. The question in these cases often comes down to whether the government’s actions were discretionary in nature. If so, immunity will typically attach, preventing an injury victims’ claim from proceeding. Courts have held that the duty to design roads and place traffic-control devices is a discretionary government function that is entitled to immunity. However, claims against a government agency that allege a failure to keep a road clean and maintain the road safely have been allowed to proceed.
Depending on the circumstances, there may be the possibility of bringing a claim against a non-governmental defendant. For example, a motorist who is injured in a Maryland construction zone accident may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against the company that was hired to perform the work.
Neighbors Demand the Placement of a Traffic Light after Serious Virginia Car Accident
Earlier this month, a teenager was seriously injured after being involved in a Virginia Beach car accident. According to a local news report covering the accident, the collision occurred at around 5 p.m. at the intersection of North Great Neck Road and River Road. The teen was taken to the hospital and admitted in serious condition.
Those who live near the intersection have demanded lawmakers place a traffic signal at the intersection to reduce the number of crashes. One resident told reporters that they routinely hear the sound of cars breaking to avoid collisions. Residents believe that without a stop light the four-lane road is too large to safely cross or to make a left turn.
Have You Been Injured in a Virginia Car Accident?
If you have recently been injured in a Maryland or Virginia car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. While you may be precluded from bringing a claim against the government in some situations, you should not assume that to be the case. Even if immunity applies, there may be additional defendants who can be named. To learn more about how to pursue a claim for compensation for the injuries you have sustained, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Court Concludes Truck Driver Was Independent Contractor of the Defendant Company, Rather Than an Employee, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published November 25, 2018.
The Importance of Error Preservation in Maryland Personal Injury and Car Accident Cases, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published December 11, 2018.