Roadway Defects

While most traffic accidents happen as the result of negligence on the part of a driver, that is not always the case. Poorly constructed or maintained roadway can cause car or motorcycle accidents with no fault on the part of the driver. We have successfully handled numerous accidents with injuries caused by defects in the roadways in the Jacksonville area. The following are summaries of a few of those cases:

First Claim against the City of Jacksonville

We represented the estate of a teenager who was tragically killed when the driver of the sport utility vehicle she was in ran a stop sign and struck another vehicle proceeding through the intersection. Shortly following the collision, the driver could not understand how he missed the stop sign. On further inspection it turned out that the stop sign was completely blocked from view by a palm tree growing directly in front of the sign.

We sued the City of Jacksonville for her wrongful death because it has a duty to maintain the visibility of its stop signs. One of the issues in the case related to the length of time that the tree obscured the stop sign. Of course, the longer the stop sign was blocked, the stronger the claim was that the City failed to inspect and maintain it. In order to do so, we hired a botanist who was a professor at the University of North Florida as an expert witness. The botanist identified the type of palm tree at issue and was able to provide his opinion that, based on its growth rate, the tree had been blocking the stop sign for months, if not years.

The claim was resolved by settlement with the City of Jacksonville.

Second Claim Against the City of Jacksonville

We represented a hardworking father of three children who was driving to work on Chafee Road on Jacksonville’s Westside. A driver heading the opposite direction lost control of his car and slammed into our client’s vehicle causing an especially traumatic accident. Unfortunately, our client’s ankle was shattered requiring surgical reconstruction and extensive medical care. The client’s medical bills and lost wages almost cost him his house.

Because of the poor state of the road, we obtained records from the City of Jacksonville relating to complaints made by residents. We were shocked at what we received. For months, concerned citizens had been informing the City that the ruts and potholes in the road made it very difficult to drive without losing control. One concerned person told the City that “someone is going to get killed.”

The City was unable to provide a good explanation why the complaints regarding this roadway were not addressed for months on end. As a result, the City of Jacksonville settled the claim.

Claim against Road Construction Company

We represented a husband and wife who were seriously injured when the husband lost control of his motorcycle after striking a large height difference in the road on Highway 17 south of Jacksonville. This area of the highway was under construction. The inside lane had been repaved and the outside lane was going to be repaved in the near future. As a result, there was a height difference between the two lanes.

Our research revealed that there are specific regulations that apply to this exact circumstance that detail exactly how much height variation is allowable. The construction company failed to meet these standards as the height difference was greater than three inches. The claims were resolved in favor of our clients.