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Who is liable for road defects which cause a car accident in Pennsylvania?

Phil Blackman-Pennsylvania New Jersey Personal Injury LawyerPublished on behalf of Philip Blackman, an experienced personal injury lawyer who has devoted his entire career to helping individuals and families who have been injured due to medical malpractice, car accidents, fall accidents and more. FREE Consultations: 215.925.4451

In Pennsylvania, government entities which own or otherwise maintain a roadway can be held liable for a roadway defect which results in a car, truck or motorcycle accident. Common roadway issues which lead to car, truck and motorcycle accidents include:

  • gradient/slope issues,
  • traffic signal defects,
  • failure to install traffic control devices, and
  • visibility and sight distance issues.

Liability for these issues are specifically allowed by statute. The law is known as sovereign (or government) immunity, and in Pennsylvania, there are two separate laws which detail liability of government entities. The Pennsylvania Sovereign Immunity Act details liability of Commonwealth government entities in cases of highway defects and other defects such as potholes. This law applies to state entities such as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or SEPTA. In addition, the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act details liability of local government entities on the county and/or municipal level, such as townships, cities, county governments, etc.

Under both laws, liability for roadway defects is clearly established. However, it is important to note that there is a prerequisite to filing any roadway defect lawsuit against a government entity in Pennsylvania. The law requires that notice be served on the appropriate government entity within 6 months of the date of the accident. Someone who seeks to make any claim (i.e., car accident or motorcycle accident claim) against a government entity which is based on a roadway defect must serve the entity with written notice at least 180 days from the date of the accident. This notice requirement is mandatory and failure to comply may result in dismissal of the case. Read more about government liability for road defects in Pennsylvania car accident cases.


Pennsylvania Car-Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

The lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman represent those injured in car and motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you’d like a NO-COST review by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey car-motorcycle accident lawyers, call 215.925.4451. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.

The lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:

  • PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
  • NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities

*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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