When driving on public roads, there is a reasonable expectation of safety for those behind the wheel. While there is always a level of risk involved when getting behind the wheel of the car, this usually stems from other motorists.
In the state of West Virginia, large potholes wreak havoc on cars. Hitting a pothole the wrong way could damage to a vehicle or cause a tire blowout, potentially injuring the driver and passengers if a crash ensues.
The Claims Commission
The state provides vehicle owners a way to seek reimbursement for vehicle damage from a pothole through the claims commission. There are very specific details to include in a claim, including the time, date and location. The report must also detail the make and model of the car and the resulting damage. A representative from the claims commission then investigates the situation to determine the possibility of reimbursement.
Dangerous Road Conditions
The state bears responsibility for safe roadways, and this includes preventing dangerous road conditions. Inadequate warning of hazards or dangerous conditions, failed maintenance and poor road design can lead to an accident, and potholes fall into the category of failed maintenance. The state government, especially the West Virginia Division of Highways, bears some responsibility for these conditions and any resulting injuries or accidents. The key to legal action rests with proving negligence.
Vehicular accidents are a leading cause of personal injury claims across the state. Although there are challenges with proving negligence for injuries sustained when hitting a pothole, West Virginia does provide resources for fixing any vehicular damages from the event.