The roads in Los Angeles are bad, and the sidewalks are even worse. According to an article in Los Angeles Magazine, the problem is not getting better anytime soon, either. Instead of investing the $4 billion – and many years – it would take to fix LA’s roadways, the city is busy paying out personal injury claims from drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike. In the 2016-17 fiscal year, Los Angeles paid $33 million in repair-related car accident settlements and more than $8 million to bicyclists injured or killed on ill-maintained city streets.
Even sidewalks are not immune to LA’s pothole problems. In 2017, the city paid $6 million to settle injury claims from sidewalk issues. While Los Angeles is an extremely car-centric city, and transportation analytics firm INRIX confirms the city has the worst traffic in the world, only the wealthier districts have acceptable roadways.
The Costs of Poorly Maintained Roadways
Meanwhile, about 25% of the city’s 28,000 miles of road are in poor condition. Drivers pay more than $900 per year for LA-specific wear and tear to their vehicles, and road hazards slow traffic, add to pollution and greenhouse gases, and cause accidents. Drivers and cyclists on the roadway sometimes have to drive erratically to avoid falling into a pothole or suffer accidents because the potholes are too deep to overcome.
Although many people take their accident-related expenses straight to City Hall, settlements from the city cannot undo broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and other losses. Still, the city is responsible for its own oversights – and the accidents its poorly maintained roads and sidewalks keep causing. Despite efforts from Former L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander to open “a can of whoop ass” on the city’s budget and finance deliberations, Los Angles allocated only $149.8 million for billions of dollars of outstanding road repairs. L.A.’s Bureau of Street Services is using the majority of this budget for maintenance efforts without improving the streets that need it most.
Continuous Claims and Negligence
As road crews frantically use “slurry” to create a temporary top layer and keep roads up to snuff, drivers and bicyclists continue to come forward with injuries. Pedestrians also continue to sue the city for unacceptable conditions on LA’s sidewalks.
Sadly, the city does not seem able to overcome bureaucracy and resolve these complaints any time soon. In the meantime, Los Angeles residents must keep driving, riding, and walking cautiously – and holding the city accountable for any accidents or injuries that arise.
Like all property owners, the city of Los Angeles is required to keep its property safe for the public. If the city knows about or should be aware of a defective sidewalk or roadway, they have a duty to repair it before anyone gets hurt. Otherwise, the municipal government could be found liable for negligence.
People take their accidents and injuries to City Hall because they fulfill the requirements for a negligence claim:
- The city owes them a duty of care
- The city has breached that duty by failing to repair hazards
- The driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist was injured
- The injuries are a result of the city’s breached duty
In order to file a negligence claim, you will need to recruit an experienced and results-driven attorney and go through the personal injury process. Our dedicated lawyers will protect your future by helping you recover damages for missed wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and all other expenses and emotional losses related to your accident.
If you’ve been harmed by LA’s deplorable road and sidewalk conditions, Frish Law Group, APLC is here to help. Our team of dedicated, experienced attorneys will provide a tailor-made strategy to help you get the results you need.
Call us at (818) 477-1905 or contact us online today – we are available 24/7 to take your call.