Poor road conditions cause wrecks in many ways. Results can be devastating. Defective roads cause fatal accidents and injuries like broken bones, even leaving some victims paralyzed.
As horrific as these injuries are, victims and families can be disheartened to find the State unwilling to help them without a fight. As medical bills mount and wages get lost, victims are often forced to wage a legal battle to win a fair settlement or verdict.
That requires evidence. Here, we look at the basic evidence an experienced attorney looks for in a road defect case.
Start From the Start: What You’ve Got to Prove
Defective highway cases are made against the South Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT), the state authority required to keep our roads safe. To win these cases, you’ve got to prove DOT knew or should have known about a dangerous condition on the road, and failed to fix it.
Proof of this comes from a range of sources.
Sources of Evidence to Win a Highway Defect Case
Evidence to win your case can come from…
- Eyewitnesses. Folks who witness the crash can give powerful evidence. Equally powerful evidence can come from folks who testify they told DOT about the problem—and those people might even be government officials or police. That can be hard for a jury to ignore and really help your case.
- DOT documents. An experienced injury lawyer knows how to get DOT’s own documents about the area where you crashed; those documents can prove DOT should have known the danger posed by the road condition. This can include a record of prior crashes at the same place as yours, which can be incredibly strong evidence. Sometimes DOT files even contain letters from concerned citizens about the danger.
- DOT standards. A talented injury attorney might get DOT manuals with guidelines on keeping highways safe, then use them to show how DOT violated its own standards to create the danger that hurt you. And sometimes these standards are in the law.
- Experts. An expert can be vital to your case. Explaining what an expert contributes is beyond the scope of this article, but can be found elsewhere on this website. Here’s the tip of the iceberg: experts tell the jury what DOT was supposed to do, describe how DOT didn’t do it, and tell how that caused your crash.
Don’t Wait For Help
If you get hurt on a defective road, or because of poor or nonexistent warning signs, or any other way related to our State’s poor road conditions, the DOT isn’t going to call you offering to help. It’s critical to talk to a traffic accident lawyer as soon as possible, especially if someone else collided with you. Settling with the at-fault driver could cause you to give up your right to pursue the DOT. You need a trained eye to protect your rights to the most compensation you can get if you’ve been seriously hurt from an unsafe road.
Call us now at (888) 230-1841 or (864) 582-0416 to set up a free meeting to go over your rights and make sure you don’t get shortchanged by anyone. Remember, this is your only chance to replace as much as possible from what you lost, and no one’s going to offer it to you if you don’t have a skilled voice speaking up on your behalf.