Not all traffic collisions are caused by human error. Inclement weather, wildlife running across the highway, mechanical failures, poor road design, and potholes all contribute to crashes as well. Potholes are a growing concern as Canada’s roads continue to deteriorate; cities across the country are dealing with potholes in various ways, but most are not able to keep up with the problem, according to Canoe.com. Toronto reported filling close to a quarter of a million potholes a few years ago, and is still struggling with potholes throughout the city. Barrie is in a similar situation. If you were injured in a traffic collision that was caused by a pothole, crack, or otherwise crumbling road surface, you may be able to file a personal injury claim with the city of Barrie. To learn more about your options for compensation, contact Preszler Law Firm to speak with one of our experienced pothole lawyers.
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How Potholes Form
According to the Barrie local government, potholes form as follows:
- Water gets into the cracks of the pavement;
- As the water builds up, it softens the soil under the road;
- Water freezes overnight or in the winter, expanding the pavement upwards;
- The water melts and then eventually evaporates, leaving a hold underneath the road;
- The road is weakened by this cavity, which is essentially a miniature sinkhole. With time and enough cars and trucks passing over, the pavement collapses, leaving a hole; and
- The hole increases in width and depth as more traffic rolls over it.
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City of Barrie Pothole Repair Requirements
Not all potholes are addressed in Barrie. Only the largest are taken care of by the city, due to financial constraints. Barrie adheres to Ontario’s road regulations when it comes to fixing potholes of a certain size and depth. For Class 1 Highways (the largest roadways), the maximum size a pothole can reach before it must be repaired is 600 square centimeters and eight centimeters deep. For Class 2 Highways, the size is 800 square centimeters and eight centimeters deep. For all other classes of highways, the maximum size a pothole is allowed to reach is 1,000 square centimeters and eight centimeters deep before the city is obligated to make repairs.
Barrie also adheres to a timetable for pothole repair work. The time frame for fixing a pothole depends on how busy the road is on which the pothole is located. The time standard is four days for a busy road (Class 1 Highway) all the way up to 30 days for a less travelled Class 5 Highway. Potholes on non paved roads must also be repaired if they reach 1,500 square centimeters and eight centimeters deep, and potholes on shoulders must be filled if they reach 1,500 square centimeters and between eight and 12 centimeters deep, depending on the class of highway.
“Undersized” Potholes are Still a Threat to Road Users
With all of these regulations, does that mean that Barrie’s roads are safe when it comes to potholes? Of course not. Hundreds if not thousands of potholes are not addressed in time and are allowed to grow dangerous in size and depth. Thousands more may be within the city’s maximum size criteria, yet they still pose a threat to road users. A 550 square centimeter pothole with a depth of six centimeters can still cause a crash, particularly for vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists and bicyclists.
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Why Conventional Pothole Filling Is Failing in Canada
When a pothole eventually gets addressed by the city, it may pop up again in no time at all, spewing gravel all over the street and regaining its original depth in a matter of months. This happens because cities and provinces all over Canada use cheap, ineffective asphalt to do the job. Engine oil is used to create the asphalt that is used to fill potholes, and that engine oil is makes weak roads that are brittle and prone to quick wear and tear. According to Professor Hesp, chemical engineer at Queen’s University in Kingston, the paving and road construction industries prefers a mix of cheap engine oil, sand, and gravel because it allows them to come back early and often and there is a lot of money to be made in putting engine oil into asphalt cement.”
Determining the Cause of Your Crash
Whether you were on a bike, motorcycle, scooter, or driving in a car or truck, one of the most important aspects of a successful personal injury claim is providing clear evidence of fault. In the case of a pothole crash, fault must be assigned for the pothole or crumbling road surface, which is the duty of a city, province, or federal government to repair. Through police reports, accident reconstruction experts, eye witness statements, detailed inspection of your vehicle, and other methods, our lawyers will be able to show that a pothole caused your collision and refute the evidence put forward by any other party, such as an insurer of the at-fault municipality.
What Were Your Damages?
Pothole collisions can cause anywhere from a minor fender bender to a rollover crash involving multiple other vehicles. The value of your claim depends largely on the harms that were caused to you. The more serious your injuries, the more compensation you are owed. You can be compensated for the following:
- Past out of pocket medical expenses
- Future out of pocket medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Potential lost earning ability
- Cost of in home medical care, as well as house dusty expenses
A Barrie Pothole Lawyer with Preszler Law Firm Can Answer Your Questions Today
The local and provincial governments are responsible for fixing potholes and creating safe roads for all users. You should not have to drive an off-road vehicle to navigate city streets and local highways. If you were injured in a crash that was caused by a pothole or crumbling or damaged road surface, you will be required to give notice to the municipality or Crown. Look to the experienced Barrie pothole lawyers at Preszler Law Firm to help. Reach out today schedule a free consultation.