Believe it or not, the snow is gradually melting in our region. It is a telltale sign of spring, which means that Punxsatawney Phil actually knew something that we didn’t know. So with the longer days and warmer weather, our roads should be in better shape, right? After all, we have dedicated quite a few of our posts to avoiding black ice.
But one of the downfalls of black ice (even in spring) is that it is likely to lead to potholes. For the uninitiated, they are formed when snow and ice melt and seep into cracks in the road. When the weather drops below freezing again, the moisture re-freezes and expands. When it warms up, the ice melts and the space taken by the ice contracts, and a crater essentially forms. Hence, the pothole.
The deeper the pothole, the more likely it will lead to an accident. Potholes can lead to heavy, unexpected jolts to a driver (and passengers). It is not uncommon for people to be hurt. When this occurs, an injured person can seek compensation for their injuries from the entity responsible for maintaining the road in the same fashion that damages could be sought from a driver who caused an accident.
To do so, an injured party must show that the entity was negligent in maintaining the road. Basically, that it was legally responsible for performing repairs in a reasonable manner, that it failed to make such repairs and that the party was injured as a result of the faulty road.