Uneven Or Cracked Roads
Whether you were involved in a single-vehicle collision or a multiple-car-pileup, and you believe that the road surface was the cause of the crash, you have the ability to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. This is typically a local municipality or province government. We can not only help you file a claim against the party responsible for paving and maintaining the roadway that caused your crash, but our lawyers will be with you every step of the way. We will help with gathering medical information, negotiating with the other party’s insurance carrier, and potentially taking the lawsuit to court if you are not satisfied with any settlement offers. Here at Preszler Injury Lawyers, we assist clients who have suffered injuries of all types, and have experience settling lawsuits filed against governmental agencies and private contractors alike. If you were injured in a car wreck that was caused by an uneven or cracked road, you may deserve compensation for your damages and our personal injury lawyers can help get it for you.
How to File a Claim
Municipalities are generally responsible for fixing potholes, re-paving roads, and ensuring that initial road conditions are safe for drivers. Provincial highways are the responsibility of provinces to maintain, while federal highways like the Trans-Canada-Highway are constructed and maintained by the federal government. The road you were on during the crash will determine with which governmental agency you file your claim. In some cases, the road construction company itself may be sued if the collision was caused by ongoing maintenance work. For instance, a construction crew in Winnipeg (although outside of Ontario) was responsible for causing the flat tires of 16 vehicles, some with as many as three flat tires each, when the construction company failed to fill in large concrete gaps in the road, as reported by CBC News. Warning signs were not posted far out enough on the road to warn drivers to slow down in time.
The State of Barrie and Ontario Roads
Barrie surface streets, highways, and residential roads face the perfect combination of harsh weather and, in some places, high traffic that wreaks havoc on the tarmac. All throughout Ontario, road infrastructure is crumbling as the price of materials has steadily increased, asphalt mixes are being mixed with cheap fillers like engine oil, people are driving more, more products are shipped with heavy semi tractor-trailers, and taxes fail to keep up with the costs of the necessary repairs. According to Asphalt Magazine, there are seven different types of road cracking that occur on our roadways, outlined below, that can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
- Fatigue Cracking—These interconnected cracks are caused by load-bearing deterioration. They form when the base of the road is weakened, the pavement is too thin, or a combination of the two.
- Block Cracking— Block cracking involves large rectangular cracks of 100 centimeters or more, caused by the shrinking of the asphalt due to contrasting temperatures. Block cracking occurs in areas with little traffic.
- Edge Cracking—Characterised by longitudinal cracks which grow to 100-200 centimeters at the outer edge of a pavement, edge cracking occurs when there is not enough support at the edge of the road, and therefore the road simply crumbles away as these cracks increase in thickness and depth.
- Longitudinal Cracking—Longitudinal cracks form parallel to the centerline, and are caused by one or more of the following elements: poor joint construction, asphalt layer shrinkage, “reflection” cracks that have already formed under the top layer of pavement, and longitudinal segregation caused by faulty operation of the paver. Unlike many other types of cracks, longitudinal cracking is not due to wear and tear, but poor construction.
- Transverse Cracking—Transverse cracks form perpendicular to the centerline, and are caused by asphalt layer shrinkage or a “reflection” of an existing crack. Transverse cracks also are not load-caused cracks.
- Reflection Cracks—When asphalt is laid over an existing road surface, the underlying cracks can cause new cracks to form on the surface of the newly laid pavement. These original hidden cracks in the original road are called reflection cracks, and they cause surface cracks above due to the slight movement of the pre-existing pavement.
- Slippage Cracking—These crescent-shaped cracks form when low-strength asphalt is used or a poor bond is used between pavement layers. Due to the material defect, the turning or braking motions of vehicles puts too much pressure on the road for it to handle, resulting in slippage cracking.
Uneven Roads Can Be as Dangerous as Cracked Roads
Poor road construction, heavy use, and harsh winters do not just cause cracks, they also cause uneven road surfaces in the form of the following distortion, distress, and deterioration defects:
- Wheel Rutting—Surface depression carved out in the wheel path of the road.
- Shoving— Ripples or washboarding of the road;
- Depressions—Low areas in the pavement caused by settlement and other poor construction work;
- Upheaval—The pavement is pushed upwards by the terrain below, often by frost;
- Patch Failures—A failed patch or repair job, resulting in a pothole or crumbling edge;
- Raveling—Aggregate particles wear away from the asphalt due to heavy use or poor asphalt mix;
- Potholes—Holes caused by temperature change leading to a void under the pavement and then a weakened road surface;
- Polished Aggregate—The pavement becomes too smooth, losing grip and causing traffic to slide out in rain, snow, or ice;
- Bleeding—The road has too much asphalt and not enough skid-resistance due to a poor mix of asphalt in the pavement mix or a poor bond or coat.
- Streaking—Uneven spreading of asphalt causing alternate strips of aggregate and asphalt.
Contact a Barrie Traffic Collision Lawyer Today
In the aftermath of a traffic collision, investigators gather evidence and witness testimony to determine the cause of the crash. As an injured victim, it may be up to you and your lawyer to give notice to the municipality or Crown in writing. We can help do much of this work when law but there are strict timelines that must be followed. Our uneven and cracked road lawyers can help you prove that the road conditions were the cause of your crash through the use of expert witnesses and traffic crash reconstruction experts. Let us help you receive the financial compensation you need to get back on your feet. Call Preszler Injury Lawyers today at 1-800-JUSTICE to schedule a free consultation.