Vehicular accidents occur due different factors: “act of God”; and act of negligence. An “act of God,” also called natural disaster or act of nature, refers to any naturally-occurring catastrophe, such as an earthquake, an erupting volcano, a tornado, hail, lightning, hurricane, windstorm; it can also refer to an unexpected medical condition, like an unexpected heart attack or a syncopal episode, which is a condition wherein a person experiences a sudden drop in blood pressure, causing him/her to pass out. Because a natural disaster or a sudden-medical-emergency cannot be foreseen or prevented, courts usually do not hold a driver liable and so dismiss civil lawsuits that would allow injured victims to claim compensatory damages either from the at-fault driver or the at-fault driver's insurance provider (this is the case, at least, in tort states or states that recognize the negligence-based system). In the 12 no-fault states, however, drivers, especially those injured, can recover damages from their respective insurance provider, regardless of who is at-fault in an accident.
An act of negligence, on the other hand, can result to driver error (or driver-controlled factors) or errors beyond the control of a driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), driver-controlled factors include drunk-driving, speeding, distracted driving, and reckless driving, among others. Factors that are beyond the control of a driver, meanwhile, include a defective car, a defective car part, which can be blamed on vehicle manufacturers, and poorly constructed or poorly maintained roads. While drivers and manufacturers can easily be held accountable for accidents resulting from their negligence, holding a government agency, which is in charge of road construction and maintenance, liable can be next to impossible due to the so-called “government immunity” or “sovereign immunity,” which renders states, municipalities and cities immune from any form of liability, despite injuries during an accident.
Poorly constructed or poorly maintained roads, are characterized by missing or poorly constructed guardrails, poorly lighted streets, traffic signs blocked by trees or other fixtures, wrong or missing road signs, lack of railroad crossing lights, roadway debris, uneven pavement, water pooling on roads, potholes, and so forth. Drivers, who fail to notice potholes or other road hazards and end up driving over these, can easily lose control of their vehicle and suffer an accident.
According to a Georgetown car accident attorney, even safe drivers can be vulnerable to accidents due to factors that are beyond their control, such as highway defects that can endanger the safety of all motorists.
Immunity of government agencies from lawsuits is not absolute. If it can be proven that there is gross negligence in maintaining a roadway and representation from an experienced personal injury lawyer for arguments that are logical and strong, then holding a government agency liable and claiming compensation from it are not impossible.