New York’s cities are bound by state statute to maintain safe roads. As the seasons change, however, ice, snow, and fluctuating temperatures cause canyons to grow from unsuspecting cracks in cement. The potholes that form can range from a small nuisance on your morning commute to a potential danger to motorists and their vehicles. Who do we hold responsible when potholes strike?
New York Municipalities
Per New York City Administrative Code 7-201(c)(2), “No civil action shall be maintained against the city for damage to property or injury to person or death sustained in consequence of any street, highway, bridge, wharf, culvert, sidewalk or crosswalk, or any part or portion of any of the foregoing…”
So, New York cities are generally not responsible for damage to your vehicle, nor are they liable for any injuries that may have resulted from a pothole gone wrong. Some exceptions may apply, however. If you can verify that the city had prior notice of the pothole’s existence and failed to repair it, you may have grounds to file in small claims court with the city in which the accident occurred.
Driver Liability In Pothole Claims
If another driver’s negligence caused you to swerve into a pothole, that driver may be held liable for your injuries and property damage. A car accident attorney will investigate the accident, negotiate a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company, and represent you in court if needed to help you receive due compensation for expenses related to the accident.
When A Pothole Claim Is A Product Liability Claim
If your vehicle was damaged after a pothole accident, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturers or installers of the faulty product. This could be the case if the defect in the vehicle caused the accident. For example, if the suspension was poorly designed or manufactured, it may not be able to handle the impact of hitting a pothole at a high speed.
Get The Compensation You Deserve After A Pothole Accident
An experienced car accident attorney can help you navigate the complexities of these claims so that you can receive the compensation you deserve after a pothole accident. If you or a loved one was injured as a result of the accident, a New York personal injury attorney can help you hold the responsible party accountable for medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.