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If An Accident Occurs Due To Absent Or Faulty Road Signage, Who Is To Blame



Thousands of people are injured every year in automobile accidents. Most of those accidents are preventable, especially those caused by missing or incorrect road signs. Municipalities, namely local, state and federal authorities, are responsible for making sure that road signs are properly placed. When they are not properly placed and accidents occur, especially those resulting in injuries, the responsible municipality must be held responsible.

Who Maintains the Roads?

Municipalities usually maintain roadways through their respective Departments of Transportation, but they can also hire private companies to maintain their roads and bridges. Either way, maintenance and upkeep are generally paid for by residents' tax dollars. When accidents happen because of missing or improper signage, the drivers involved in the accident must find out who is responsible for preserving roadways in order to seek appropriate compensation.

Who is Responsible?

Finding out who is responsible for road maintenance is fairly simple; visit the website of the state or county where the accident occurred. Obtaining compensation may prove to be difficult. For instance, stealing road signs is a serious crime, but still, many people do it every year. When a road sign is stolen and an accident occurs before the Department of Transportation or the responsible company can get out and repair or replace it, the person that stole or damaged the sign could be held responsible for the accident if caught.

Was Missing or Improper Signage the Cause?

In a situation where an accident occurred because of missing or improper signage, the Department of Transportation must prove that there was proper signage present at the time of the accident; traffic cameras and accident reconstruction can help establish this information. If it can be proven that proper signage existed, then seeking compensation from the government will be much more difficult.

If it can be proven that proper signage was not present, then the reason for the missing signage will be investigated. Such an investigation can take a great amount of time and money but is vital to ascertaining who is ultimately responsible for the error. During this investigation, it will be established whether there was theft of the sign or damage to it so as to rule out third party involvement. An auto accident lawyer can help a victim with this long and complicated process.

From this point, the investigation typically continues on to establish the responsibility of the neglectful party and to claim compensation when appropriate.

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