Under Pennsylvania law, Commonwealth agencies such as the Department of Transportation or local agencies like the City of Philadelphia may be sued for roadway defects which either cause or contribute to a car, truck, motorcycle or bus accident.
There are two laws which define such liability. In Pennsylvania the Sovereign Immunity Act details liability of Commonwealth agencies and the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act details liability of local agencies.
In general, lawsuits against goverment entities and agencies are not permitted under the law, absent a statutory exemption. Both of the Pennsylvania’s immunity acts include an exemption for highways or streets.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws: Defects in a State or Local Highway or Roadway
Many victims of car, truck or bus accidents do not realize that they may have valid claims against a government entity for a defect relating to a highway or road. The reality is that in most accident situations, people assume that the car accident was caused by another driver. However, in many cases, there may be an additional cause of the accident – the state or local government’s failure to adequately maintain highways or streets, which in turn contributed to the happening of an accident. Common examples of viable cases against government agencies involve:
- roadway slope/gradient issues,
- visibility issues, and
- failure to install traffic control devices.
In order to succeed in a case against a government entity, the injured party is first required to serve notice of the accident on the correct agency within 6 months of the date of the accident. This is a statutory notice requirement and is mandatory. Failure to file the appropriate notice may result in the case being dismissed.
It is crucial to have a potential case against a government agency evaluated immediately by a Pennsylvania car and truck accident lawyer.
More Pennsylvania Car, Truck & Motorcycle Accident Legal Articles:
- What to Expect in a Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
- Investigating Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Cases for Liability Beyond the Other Driver
- Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accident Laws – Negligence in a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Car, Truck & Motorcycle Accident Law Firm
Schwartz & Blackman handles car, truck, motorcycle accident 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.
Published: September 17, 2012