The Buena Vista corridor, between 19th St. and Colorado St., has seen 22 car crashes in the past few months. A study was commissioned from Transportation & Capital Improvements (TCI), which showed that roughly 8,000 cars travel that particular corridor every day, and on average, each car is traveling above the posted speed limit by 6-8 mph. Given the potential for liability, the city is seeking solutions to make the area safer. If an injured plaintiff could establish that the city has been negligent in allowing Buena Vista to become dangerous, it could lead to significant compensation.
Poor Roads Cause Liability
Most people think of accident lawsuits in the frame of bringing suit against a negligent driver. However, in some cases, it is eminently possible to allege negligence against a company or governmental entity that is tasked with maintaining roads and all their appendices. The specific facts of the situation do matter, as well as the company or government agency that would be in the frame, so to speak. In Texas, lawsuits have been brought over issues like poorly marked potholes, missing guardrails, and inadequate signage.
Most of the time, governments are immune from suits brought by the average taxpayer. This is due to a doctrine called sovereign immunity, which dates back to English common law. The rationale behind sovereign immunity is that if the government was required to defend against every suit brought against it, no time would be left for governing. However, Texas has waived sovereign immunity to a limited extent, allowing certain types of suits under a law called the Texas Tort Claims Act (TTCA). Auto accident cases are one of the permissible types of suits.
If you have been injured due to what you believe is a negligently maintained road, and you believe that your case meets the requirements to waive sovereign immunity, you will then need to look at premises liability law, which is the type of law that governs claims over dangerous conditions on someone else’s property. In Texas, premises liability claims dealing with roads and other government maintained constructs have to prove what are called either special defects or premise defects.
“Special defects” are somewhat difficult to define; Texas law is quite vague on what they are, citing only “excavations” and “obstructions.” However, beyond the dictum that the “defect” must be large enough to affect an average driver, the law gives no real guidance. There are certain obstacles that have been held by courts not to constitute “excavations” or “obstructions” – for example, gravel, barrel signs, and roads that are underwater or flooded. If your injuries took place due to a road condition that could conceivably have been better maintained, it is generally a good idea to consult a legal professional for help on what to do going forward.
Call a New Braunfels Auto Accident Lawyer
The hope of city fathers is that the TCI study will yield possible solutions to make the Buena Vista corridor safer. Either way, if you have been injured in an accident where there is a possible element of governmental negligence, consulting an attorney experienced with these types of cases is always a good idea. The dedicated New Braunfels car crash attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm can sit down with you and try to help you determine the best path for you and yours. Contact our office at 888-392-0039 today to schedule a free consultation.