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25 Crash Causes: Pothole Accidents

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Top 25 Causes of Car Crashes


Unrepaired potholes and poor road conditions can catch drivers off guard, causing them to lose control of a vehicle, or swerve into oncoming traffic. Striking a large pothole may even generate an impact comparable to a front-end collision, especially for smaller cars and motorcycles. All of these scenarios can end in an auto accident with serious injury to the driver and/or passengers.

Avoiding Pothole Accidents

Potholes inevitably form after years of wear and tear on Chicago’s main roads, and government agencies are often backed up with maintenance requests. However, as a responsible driver, you should be aware of possible rough road conditions, and take the appropriate precautions to attempt to avoid a serious car accident.

Some tips for avoiding pothole accidents include:

  • Maintain proper tire pressure. An under or over-inflated tire is more susceptible to damage when coming into contact with a sudden bump or pit in the road.
  • Reduce speed on poorly kept roads.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you. When cars are swerving around a patch on the street, it is a likely indicator of an imminent problem.
  • Beware of puddles that may be masking deep potholes under a layer of water or snow.
  • Do not suddenly slam the brakes when approaching a pothole since it might actually amplify the level of impact. Instead, gently slow down to ease your vehicle over the area.
  • Do not veer into another lane, crosswalk, or guardrail in an attempt to avoid the pothole. You can risk the safety of other drivers and pedestrians around you, and potentially hit the pothole on an oblique angle, resulting in extra damage. Stay in your own lane or merge ahead of time to prevent unnecessary accidents.

You can also notify local and state road authorities of a pothole issue in your neighborhood by reporting it here.

Liability for Pothole Accidents

Determining and proving liability in pothole accidents can be complicated. A victim must not only prove that unsafe road conditions caused his injuries, but also that the government agency or contractor responsible for road maintenance was negligent and failed to address a known issue or warn drivers of the potential hazard. Further, it can be challenging to sue a government agency because they often have immunity from lawsuits.

The party responsible for road repairs varies in different states and counties. For example, Cook County has five district offices overlooking the preservation of its highways, and there are complex rules for bringing claims against government-regulated offices.

Additionally, in some cases, another reckless driver might falsely blame your accident on a pothole disturbance.

How a Lawyer Can Help

When you’ve been injured in an auto crash, an experienced lawyer can help you understand and establish liability in your case. The skilled injury lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. will be able to evaluate your prospective suit, gather evidence, assess relevant damages, and prepare a legal claim against the appropriate party.

We have helped other car accident victims obtain compensation for damages such as medical expenses, car repairs, lost wages, diminished future earning potential, and pain and suffering.

Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. does not charge for its legal services unless you receive compensation. Contact our office today at (312) 236-2900 to find out more or to schedule a free assessment to review your case.

Don’t miss this article: Top 25 Causes of Car Accidents and What You Can Do To Prevent Them. For this month of October, the Illinois attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. will be developing a blog series breaking down these leading causes of car crashes.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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