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Houston Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Auto Accidents > Potholes and Car Accidents

Potholes and Car Accidents


Cars can be easy to drive when the roads are smooth and free of defects. When there are potholes, though, driving can be much more difficult. Potholes are a huge annoyance that causes billions of dollars in vehicle damages. A pothole can cause hundreds and even thousands of dollars in damage to a single vehicle and unfortunately, 63% of Americans do not have the money to pay for those repairs. Because of this, they may be looking elsewhere to fund their vehicle repairs.

Many vehicle owners use their insurance companies to get reimbursement. Others look to sue the government or other entity that may be liable. Read on to learn more about potholes and liability concerns.

Causes of Potholes 

How do potholes form on the road? Here are some common causes:

  • Water is one of the primary causes of potholes. When water seeps into cracks in the road surface, it can freeze during cold weather, expand, and cause the pavement to crack. As vehicles drive over these weakened areas, pieces of the pavement can break away, creating potholes.
  • Heavy rainfall. Along the same line, water is an issue in terms of intense rainfall. This can wash away road surfaces and erode the underlying layers of soil. This erosion weakens the pavement structure and increases the likelihood of potholes.
  • Freeze-thaw cycles. In regions with fluctuating temperatures, freeze-thaw cycles can exacerbate pavement deterioration. When water seeps into cracks and then freezes, it expands, which weakens the pavement. When the ice melts, the pavement is left with larger cracks and potholes.
  • Wear and tear. Heavy traffic can put significant stress on road surfaces over time. The constant weight and pressure can weaken the pavement, leading to cracks and eventually potholes.
  • Poor construction or maintenance. Roads that are poorly constructed or maintained are more likely to develop potholes. Substandard materials, improper compaction during construction, or inadequate maintenance practices can all contribute to the degradation of the road surface.
  • As roads age, they naturally deteriorate due to ongoing exposure to the elements and traffic. Over time, the asphalt or concrete can break down, leading to the formation of potholes.

Liability in a Pothole Accident 

Liability for a pothole accident can be difficult to determine. This question can be difficult to answer, as it depends on a number of factors. City and municipalities are generally required by law to fix and maintain proper roads and highways. These roads should be free of defects or damages. Liability will come into play when the city, municipality, or other entity had knowledge of the defect but failed to remedy the situation. “Knowledge of the defect” can be the most challenging part to prove.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer 

Potholes are major annoyances that can affect your vehicle in many ways. You could get into a crash or sustain serious damage.

City and municipalities are supposed to keep roads free of defects. When they ruin your vehicle, a Houston car accident attorney from The West Law Office, PLLC can determine liability. To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online form or call 281-347-3247.



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