City’s Inaction May Be Responsible for Serious Accident — St. Louis Car Wreck Lawyer

By February 9, 2009Auto Accidents

The mother of a young man hurt in a single-vehicle accident wants to know what caused ice to appear in the road, MyFox St. Louis reported Jan. 12. A truck driven by Keyon Matthews, a 25-year-old father of three, slid on the road in North St. Louis and fishtailed before hitting a tree, according to his brother, who was following in another car. Neighbors said they reported a leak in a manhole cover, which froze into ice, Jan. 10, but the City of St. Louis Water Division told the television station that there was no record of the leak. Crews from the Water Division later confirmed the leak and took steps to repair it.
Ice in the road is nothing new here in Missouri — but drivers who don’t realize it’s there don’t know when they should be especially careful. If the allegations in this article are true, the city may have been negligent (a legal term for “extremely careless”) in its handling of the neighbors’ complaints. Like businesses and individuals, government agencies have a legal duty to remove hazards on their property as soon as they reasonably can, especially when the hazard may be hidden, like this one. However, the key there is “reasonable.” Is it reasonable to expect immediate action on a leak that creates a large patch of ice in the road?
Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules about what is considered reasonable. A jury or a judge might ultimately decide in any St. Louis car crash lawsuit the family might choose to file. City governments may be held legally responsible for their negligence, just like private citizens. However, thanks to a doctrine called sovereign immunity, city, state and even federal government agencies can set special rules about how they may be sued. These include special deadlines — some as short as 30 days — by which you must give them notice that you intend to sue. Missing those deadlines takes away your right to claim any relief at all, which is why it is so important to get help from an experienced Missouri personal injury attorney.
At Carey, Danis & Lowe, we have successfully represented many people who were seriously injured on the road by someone else’s carelessness. That includes the carelessness of other drivers and of manufacturers of defective tires, seatbelts and other auto parts, as well as bad decisions by government authorities. Our record of success includes multiple verdicts and settlements of more than $1 million in motor vehicle accidents, and multiple millions for victims of defective products. If you were hurt in a car wreck in Missouri or southern Illinois, and you believe it was caused by someone else’s careless or illegal behavior, Carey, Danis & Lowe can help. Contact us as soon as possible for a free evaluation of your case.