The warmer and longer days are a telltale sign of spring. For many people in our region, it is a welcome sight after such a challenging winter. Unfortunately, one of the rites of spring in central New York is dealing with the potholes that have developed during the winter.
Potholes commonly form when ice and snow melt and seep through the cracks in the asphalt that are caused by wear and tear. The moisture may re-freeze as temperatures get colder, and when the weather warms up, the road tends to give way when the ice underneath melts. Indeed, potholes can be a nuisance and provide an unexpected jolt. Also, they can lead to injuries.
But when potholes become dangerous, who can be held accountable? This post will explore this question.
If an injury is linked to going over a pothole, the authority responsible for maintaining the road could be held liable. There are several questions to be answered in assessing liability. First, an injured party will have to find what agency is responsible for correcting potholes. This is an important step because while the state may be responsible for treating roads by clearing snow and ice, the city may be charged with fixing defective roads.
Also, an injured party must show that the responsible agency was negligent in failing to fix the pothole. This means that the agency was capable of fixing the road or should have done so, failed to do so even though the road was in a dangerous condition. If you have questions about your rights and options after being injured in an accident, an experienced lawyer can help.