Can You Sue For Bad Road Conditions?

Driving can be very dangerous in Washington for a variety of reasons. Even if you are a cautious driver, there is a chance that bad road conditions could contribute to a vehicle accident.

No matter what caused the accident, it can have severe repercussions if your vehicle is damaged or you are physically injured. If this is the case, you may want to seek compensation if you believe someone is at fault for the poor road conditions.

At NBF Accident Law, our Washington auto accident attorneys are dedicated to providing legal assistance to victims of car accidents. We have handled hundreds of auto accident cases across Washington and can help you file a successful claim.

Determining Negligence in Bad Road Condition Accidents

Washington is an at-fault state when it comes to auto accidents. Because of this, whoever is at fault in a car accident will be liable for compensating the victim so they can financially recover property damage or injuries.

Washington also has a pure comparative negligence rule, which allows more than one party to be at fault for the accident. Even if you are determined to be somewhat at fault, you could still pursue a claim as long as you are less responsible than the other party. For instance, you could still have a claim if you were 40% at fault for the accident, but the other party was 60% at fault.

When it comes to accidents from poor road conditions, you could potentially have a claim against the city, county, or state. This is dependent on whether or not the road conditions directly caused the accident and could have been prevented.

Something to keep in mind is that lawsuits for road conditions are significantly more complex than other types of car accident claims. This is because you will be filing a lawsuit against the city, state, or federal government, which requires more manpower. It is crucial that you hire an auto accident attorney who can represent your case and provide strong evidence.

Examples of Road Conditions Related Accidents

There are several situations where bad road conditions could cause you to have an accident that is not entirely your fault. Roads are held to a certain standard when it comes to keeping drivers safe and providing them with the right travel conditions. Here are some examples of where bad road conditions could cause an accident you could file a claim for:

  • Weak or eroding shoulder
  • Pavement drop-offs
  • Lack of lane markings
  • Lanes that are too narrow
  • Lack of curve or hazard signage
  • Overgrowth or obstructions to your view of the road

Sustaining damage to your vehicle even goes beyond getting into car accidents from road conditions. Poor road conditions can also cause more wear and tear on your car, resulting in higher auto expenses every year. For instance, a survey showed that the average annual cost to drivers in Washington in relation to poor road conditions was $659.

Things That Can Affect Your Claim

Before you decide to take on this challenging auto accident claim, you need to consider the things that could impact it. Like any kind of accident claim, there are certain factors that could hinder you from getting the compensation you want.


All Washington drivers have a certain duty of care, which means they are required to drive safely and responsibly no matter what the roadway or weather conditions are like. This includes driving safely during bad weather and following auto rules and roadway signs. If you decide to drive in bad weather, you are automatically acknowledging that this is a greater risk to your ability to drive safely.

An example where the weather could hinder your claim is if you were driving too quickly, which resulted in you not being able to stop at a red light due to wet roads. The evidence would show that you were not driving safely enough and that it was not the fault of that intersection, red light, or other types of signage.

You could still file a claim if the weather was terrible, but the road conditions must be the primary factor to blame for the accident for you to win your claim.

Road Conditions

Governmental entities are required to maintain roadway safety as this is something that all drivers pay for. This includes installing the proper signage, fixing major potholes and bumps, removing fallen trees, and fixing crumbling pavement.

For your claim to be successful, the roadway conditions have to be preventable and under the responsibility of the governmental entity. You will also need to find the right governmental entity to sue since there are different entities responsible for other roadway systems. An example of this is a roadway that runs through a city: the roadway is maintained by the state, but at the same time, the municipality is responsible for caring for the roadway as well.

Your claim will be closely examined to determine what percentage of fault you had in the accident. Even if certain conditions should have been taken care of, you still have a duty of care as someone who got behind the wheel.

An auto accident lawyer can help you find the correct governmental entity and provide proof that it was responsible for the accident. A lawyer will also ensure that your rights are upheld and you get a fair settlement amount to cover your damages.

Contact an Auto Accident Attorney at NBF Accident Law

If you have been in a car accident due to poor road conditions, you may not know what steps to take next to file a claim. Even if the accident was not caused by another driver, there is still a chance that liability could fall on the city, state, or government.

At NBF Accident Law, our Washington car accident attorneys will fight purposefully and passionately to help you get the compensation you deserve. We can help you file your claim, negotiate a settlement, and take your claim to court if necessary.

Contact us today at 206-923-8888 to schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer.