Shoulder Drop-Off

Many roads provide drivers with a relatively safe area to pull over and leave the traffic lane, known as a shoulder. Shoulders provide a valuable service, in no small part due to the unpredictability of vehicle defects and malfunctions. However, shoulders are typically constructed of looser material than that of the road itself and are prone to eroding or otherwise dispersing, creating a hazardous situation referred to as should drop-off. When the shoulder is at a significantly lower elevation than the actual road, any driver attempting to use the shoulder is put at risk of losing control of their vehicle and suffering a dangerous accident. Local municipalities are responsible for providing adequate maintenance to all of their roads, and may have some liability in the event that such a road hazard caused an accident and subsequent injuries.

Common Causes of Shoulder Drop-Off

Road shoulders are typically constructed of an aggregate material, such as gravel, that will dissipate over time. While most shoulders will develop shoulder drop-off at some point, routine maintenance can prevent that road hazard from developing. When a municipal government fails to maintain its roads, some of the following effects may cause shoulder drop-off to occur:

  • Erosion by wind, water, and ice
  • Fine particle removal by truck drafts
  • Constant wear from traffic

Proving the cause of an accident can be difficult, but according to the website of the Law Offices of Abel Law Firm, accidents that are caused by shoulder drop-offs are entirely preventable and could cause an innocent driver to suffer significant injuries, property damage, and other losses. Fortunately, there are legal options available to victims of shoulder drop-off accidents that may enable them to pursue financial compensation from the negligent municipality. These options are there to help victims recover from their injuries more capably.

Legal Options

If you were injured in a car accident caused by shoulder drop-off, you should consider holding the associated municipal government liable for your medical bills and other losses. If you are considering taking legal action, it may be in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney who can advise you on your legal options for pursuing the compensation that you may deserve.

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