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Understanding Liability in an Accident Caused by Potholes in Utah

One of the classic indicators of an unkempt city is a cracked road bleached by the sun and covered in potholes. A generally common hazard on the road, potholes are an unavoidable side effect of weather conditions and the regular wear and tear of traffic. When moisture from the rain or snow seeps into the pavement, it is weakened, leaving the asphalt more susceptible to crumbling. Eventually, a pothole is formed. 

Potholes should be immediately barricaded by cones or other safety barriers to properly alert all motor vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians of the upcoming hazard. Depending on their driving speed, a motor vehicle can experience extensive damage when driving over a pothole. The shock of the collision can even cause an accident between other drivers on the road. If you are currently navigating the aftermath of an accident caused by a pothole in Utah, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help. 

Who Is Liable in an Accident Caused by a Pothole? 

Liability can become confusing when it is directly related to an accident caused by a pothole. Whether you are behind the wheel of a car, on your bicycle, or walking, two main entities may be responsible for the unmarked hazard: 

Property Owner

A pothole is treated like any other hazard on a property in Utah. For example, if someone spills a drink in a restaurant or a supermarket, it must be clearly identified and mediated as quickly as possible. Potholes understandably take more than just a mop to be properly fixed, so in the meantime, they must be clearly labeled as a hazard and blocked off from any possible bystander. 

If they fail to take the necessary steps to fix the situation, this lack of action on behalf of the property owner is considered negligence and you may file a claim for premise liability. A property owner owes all invited guests and visitors a duty of care, and not adhering to this by ignoring an accident-causing hole in the parking lot is a breach of that care. 

Government Entity

If the pothole is located on a road or highway and it is reasonable the government knew about it, you may file a claim against the government entity responsible. Accidents caused while driving on the road can range from whiplash and destroyed property to a multiple-vehicle pile-up with severe injuries. 

Filing a claim against a government entity requires you to do so in a timely manner, with Utah’s current statute of limitations being one year after the accident. 

Been in an Accident Caused by a Pothole? Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney Today

Being injured in an accident due to another’s recklessness or failure to adhere to general safety precautions can make a real dent in your life. If you are currently navigating the aftermath of an accident stemming from an unmarked pothole, call Feller & Wendt today. We will immediately begin investigating and building your case. Time is of the essence in an accident involving a pothole, and we must gather evidence quickly. 

Feller & Wendt has devoted many years to protecting the citizens of Utah and ensuring they get the justice and compensation they deserve. We will fight for every penny of damages available to you. We are even prepared to take your case to court if need be, where we have a 95% success rate. To begin the process today, reach out for a free consultation by calling (801) 499-5060 or through our contact form.

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