Imagine taking a road trip into a sparsely populated area in the country. Suppose that your vehicle were to hit a pothole, and the resulting movement had jarred one of the occupants, causing that same occupant to get injured. Who could the injured party sue, in order to seek compensation?
That injured party would need to file a claim with whatever governmental body had been in charge of maintenance issues along the stretch of road where the accident had taken place. Only after filing such a claim could the same party consider filing a lawsuit.
If the injured party could not determine which governmental body had been made responsible for maintenance on the one stretch of roadway, then he or she would need to file a claim with each of those bodies that might have such a responsibility. The responses from those claims should reveal which body was truly in charge of that particular road’s maintenance.
What would have to be shown in any lawsuit?
The plaintiff would have to show that the defendant had been negligent and was at-fault. In order to produce that proof, the plaintiff would need to offer evidence that the defendant had either known about the pothole, and had failed to have it fixed, or had allowed the introduction of that defect during the road’s construction.
Proof of either action would qualify as evidence of neglect on the part of the governmental body that was supposed to maintain that one stretch of road. Any evidence that someone else had become injured, upon driving over the same pothole would serve as further proof of neglect on the part of that particular governmental body.
That is why any governmental body would become concerned, if the public had learned about a second accident at the same spot along a given roadway, one that was supposed to be maintained by that same specific body of government authorities. Each member of that body would realize that it could become the target of a lawsuit.
How could a common citizen get help with filing a claim and a possible lawsuit?
A personal injury lawyer in Ottawa that specialized in roadway accidents could help. He or she would have learned about all the different ways that neglect on the part of a governmental agency might cause a road to become dangerous.
In addition to potholes, it might have a missing guardrail, or a patch where erosion had actually altered the nature of the roadside. It is possible that poor engineering might have made a curve especially dangerous. A personal injury lawyer could point out the degree of neglect that had allowed the development of such an unwanted and dangerous feature.