Two Ways The City May Also Be Responsible For An Auto/Pedestrian Accident

Many times when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the person driving the car or truck will be held liable for the accident. However, the driver may not be the only person who can be held responsible for the incident. Sometimes, negligence on the city's part may also have contributed. Here are two ways the city may be on the hook for damages or injuries you suffered and how to go about suing.

Malfunctioning Technology

You can sue the city for damages if the technology used to manage vehicle and foot traffic fails and contributes to a pedestrian/vehicle collision. For instance, the traffic light turns green and the pedestrian sign indicates the person can cross the street at the same time. If the pedestrian doesn't notice the oncoming traffic, he or she can hold the city responsible for the malfunction that lead to the individual being injured. In this case, the city could be sued for negligence since they are responsible for keeping traffic signals in good working order.

Poorly Designed or Maintained Roadways

Another area where the city may be responsible for damages is if the area where the accident took place was poorly maintained. For example, a car gets caught in a large pothole and suffers damages that cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk. Since maintaining the road in good condition is the responsibility of the city, you could hold the local government equally responsible for the accident.

The city could also be put on the hook if the area where the accident occurred is badly designed. Trees blocking the view of the street, streets curving at odd angles, and even the lack of crosswalks or traffic signals at busy intersections may be enough to establish the city's failure to adhere to its duty to keep pedestrians safe.

Suing the Local Government

Unfortunately, suing the government isn't always as easy as simply filing a civil lawsuit with the local court. In many municipalities, you'll have to file a claim with the local government within 30 to 120 days, and then wait up to 120 days for a response from the city before you can file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit against the government may also be shorter than the normal time allowed for citizens to sue each other. In California, you only have six months after receiving a denial letter from the government agency to sue in court for damages, for example.

Sometimes, the city will have immunity from liability for certain types of situations. For instance, in Pennsylvania, the government is immune from lawsuits seeking damages that result from dangerous conditions caused by trees, street lighting, and traffic controls.

It's important to work with a personal injury attorney when filing suit against a government agency. The attorney can help you build a viable case that may result in you getting the outcome you want. Contact a law office like Seiler & Parker PC for more information.