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Woman Receives $80,000 Compensation After Stepping in a Pothole

Posted on in Personal Injury

Arlington Heights pothole injury lawyer

Now that the snow has melted and summer is in full bloom, potholes riddle the Illinois roadways. Whether you are driving down country roads or navigating Chicago’s narrow streets, it can be almost impossible to avoid hitting a pothole. This was also the case in Baltimore, MD. Mitchelle Conway filed a lawsuit in March 2018 after being severely injured on account of a deep divot in the street. She sustained multiple injuries, including a broken leg, after stepping into “an obscured pothole” along the side of the curb. Throughout the legal proceedings, the city admitted that they knew about the unfixed pothole but took no action to fix it. Google images of the pothole from 2009 helped secure her case against the city. In the end, Ms. Conway received $80,000 to compensate for her injuries.

How Are Potholes Formed?

While we would like to think that any city would take action to improve our roads to ensure driver and pedestrian safety, this was not the case for Ms. Conway and is often not the case in Illinois. Potholes are such a common occurrence, but many do not know how they are formed.

The reason these holes appear after the ice and snow melt is due to the changes in temperature that often occur during winter weather conditions. Potholes begin to form after snow or rain gets below the surface of the asphalt through the cracks that form in the road over time. This moisture eventually freezes as temperatures drop, usually at night.

The pressure from the ice causes the soil to expand, forcing the pavement upward. A gap is then created between the asphalt and the ground underneath as temperatures fall once again. The weight of the cars passing over the roads causes the pavement to crack and fall into the hole that has formed over time.

Potholes continue to grow as more and more cars drive over the cracked pavement, making them increasingly dangerous for drivers and pedestrians. For drivers, potholes can damage the suspension and shocks of their car. Hitting one of these craters can also cause a driver to lose control of his or her car, resulting in other drivers being injured in addition to the driver who hit the pothole. As the case in Maryland shows, pedestrians can also experience injuries because of potholes. Common injuries include broken limbs and traumatic brain injury from falling and hitting one's head, and in some cases, individuals are left with permanent disabilities.

Contact an Arlington Heights Personal Injury Attorney

Cases such as Mitchelle Conway's are fairly common, and they are often underreported. Many victims of pothole injuries do not realize that they may be able to receive compensation for their pain and suffering. At Newland & Newland LLP, we work hard to get you the compensation you deserve while protecting future victims by taking legal action where it is necessary. If you have been injured by damaged roads, contact our experienced Cook County personal injury lawyers at 847-797-8000 for a free consultation.

Sources:

https://baltimorefishbowl.com/stories/woman-to-receive-80000-settlement-from-city-after-falling-into-pothole-breaking-her-leg/

https://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,4616,7-151-9615_30883-28113--,00.html 

https://sableasphalt.com/what-causes-potholes/

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