Chicago's Pothole Problem & Your Legal Options | Staver
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Chicago’s Pothole Problem & Your Legal Options

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

As any driver in Chicago can tell you, nothing is worse than being forced to drive over a large pothole. And you’ve likely seen them: according to ABC7, more than 17,000 potholes were reported in the city: pothole reports were up 59% at the beginning of 2023.

You may be forced to go through a pothole if traffic conditions prevent you from avoiding it. Your experience could vary. You could just feel an unpleasant bump, or you may find that your car has been seriously damaged.

Learn more about getting your car repaired and how a car accident lawyer may be your solution to getting compensation.

How Bad Are Potholes?

Potholes do more than just look ugly: they can cause traffic accidents or seriously hurt your car. A large pothole can cause damage like a 35-mph car accident.

Pothole accidents are unfortunately common in Chicago due to the high level of wear on our streets. While the Chicago Department of Transportation is required to take care of these hazards quickly, sometimes large potholes go unrepaired and uncovered for dangerously long periods.

Potholes are especially noticeable in spring, as the snow melts. All the freezing and thawing during the winter cracks the roads, and potholes form when the revealed cracks undergo pressure and further wear.

Potholes Can Damage Wheels and Tires

Chicago pothole accidents are serious. A particularly deep or wide pothole can trap one of the wheels inside. In these pothole accidents, the force is often like the impact of many front-end collisions at a moderate speed.

Not only can potholes damage a person’s vehicle, but they can also seriously injure anyone in the car. Potholes can even cause multi-car crashes. When a pothole causes a car to swing outside its lane of traffic, that car can crash into another vehicle. Accidents with pedestrians or cyclists are also possible. Car accidents caused by potholes can be just as damaging as crashes with other vehicles.

Who Is Liable for a Pothole Accident?

In most cases, liability is assigned to the driver who swerves or stops short because of a pothole. However, there are cases in which it can be proven that another vehicle was responsible for the accident.

If you hit a pothole and slam on your brakes, for example, the driver behind you may have had plenty of time to stop before rear-ending you. In this case, blame may be assigned to the driver who caused the rear-end accident.

In cases where only one vehicle was involved in an accident or in a situation where fault is unclear, it may be possible to pursue the company responsible for maintaining the road. A private road or parking lot may be maintained by a store or other organization, or a construction company may have created a huge pothole that resulted in injuries and financial loss.

The city is responsible for maintaining the public roads within Chicago, but sometimes the state of Illinois has the responsibility. In either case, the party responsible for the road is responsible for neglecting these serious problems if they knew (or should have reasonably known) that this problem existed.

Why You Should Call a Personal Injury Lawyer

While trying to avoid potholes is best, it isn’t always possible. You cannot simply swerve into another lane, especially if there is traffic. Determining who is at fault for a pothole accident and holding them responsible can be an uphill battle without the right skill set.

A Chicago accident attorney can help you get the justice you deserve. They can help you calculate the damages you can receive, find evidence to assign liability to those responsible, and help you file the proper paperwork to ensure a successful claim.

An attorney will be especially helpful if you need to file a personal injury claim against another driver, not just a claim with the city. The city can cover up to half of the damages caused by a pothole, but the city will not hold liability if your car was damaged by another vehicle. A Chicago lawyer will be able to explain the nuances and help you work on the case.

Call a Chicago Pothole Accident Lawyer Today

If you have been injured in any car accident, you may struggle to cope with your injuries. From pain and suffering to your recently acquired financial burden, filing a lawsuit to gain compensation may seem all but impossible. That is where the skilled lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. come in.

Our team has taken on high-profile groups, including construction companies and private organizations. We can seek justice for your injuries and help you obtain the funds you need to move forward with your life.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan.

Call (312) 236-2900 now to see how you can get your life back on track.

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