The Dangers Of Potholes In South Carolina
It is not just your imagination; there are a lot of potholes on the roads in South Carolina. The South Carolina sections of I-95 are notorious for their potholes and road debris, as snarky Northern travel bloggers take every opportunity to remind us. By various estimates, South Carolina ranks either 12th or 14th in the nation regarding the density of potholes on the state’s roads. Putting aside the Schadenfreude of the people in the approximately 37 states that have fewer potholes per mile of road in South Carolina, it only takes one pothole to cause serious injuries, either from the impact of your car with the uneven road surface or from a resulting collision with another car. If you have been injured in an accident where potholes in the road were a contributing factor, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer.
Who Is Liable for Injuries Caused by Potholes?
South Carolina is legally responsible for maintaining its roads. If you suffer vehicle damage or bodily injury because of a pothole on a South Carolina road, you can file a claim with the South Carolina Department of Transportation. You do this by filling out a form, getting it notarized, and uploading the notarized form and any supporting documentation it requests on the SCDOT website. In the past three years, the SCDOT has paid more than $1 million in pothole damage claims. If you are only claiming vehicle damage and you were not injured, the process is straightforward. If your injuries are severe and your medical bills are in the thousands of dollars, though, you should hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with your claim.
Meanwhile, roads on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. For example, if you get injured when your car strikes a pothole on the grounds of a country club, you should file a premises liability claim against the country club.
Pothole-Damaged Cars Endanger Drivers on Newly Paved Roads, Too
Sometimes the worst damage caused by potholes does not happen in the moment. If your car becomes inoperable after striking a pothole and you get diagnosed with whiplash injury because of the accident, it may be that you have avoided a worse accident. Driving over a pothole can damage the shocks and struts of a car, increasing the likelihood of future collisions. If someone hits your car because he or she failed to repair the pothole damage on his or her own car, this could be an important factor in apportioning fault for the accident. If you are trying to prove to the insurance companies that the other driver’s pothole damaged car is what caused the accident, a car accident lawyer can help you present your case convincingly.
Let Us Help You Today
The personal injury lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you file an insurance claim or lawsuit stemming from a pothole-related car accident. Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.