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Municipality Road Safety: How Often Must Roads Be Updated For Safety Purposes?


The frequency with which roads must be updated by a municipality to address road safety concerns is a common one. A city’s obligation to maintain a roadway in a reasonably safe condition does not include a duty to update every road and roadway structure to modern standards. Where a plaintiff does not claim that the city has violated its own road standards or a statutory requirement, the finding of negligence depends upon whether the roadway is inherently dangerous or deceptive.

Municipality Road Safety and Liability

Municipalities are generally held to the same negligence standards as private parties. A municipality owes a duty to all travelers, whether they are themselves negligent or fault-free, to maintain its roadways in a condition that is reasonably safe for ordinary travel. This duty includes the duty to eliminate any inherently dangerous or misleading conditions.

Winning A Case Against A Municipality Due To Road Safety Issues

These above-stated authoritative legal standards were recently stated by the Court of Appeals of the State of Washington, Division III, on January 13, 2021 in a case where Washington Law Center represents a seriously-injured minor who was an innocent passenger in a motor vehicle driven by a criminally-negligent driver. Read our recent Court of Appeals decision here.

If you’ve been seriously injured in an MVA, it is critical to your ability to recover financially that you sue the responsible municipality for the negligent design or maintenance of the roadway on which you were injured. You may even sue for the inherently dangerous conditions adjacent to the roadway if any of those contributed to the severity of your injury and the municipality had either actual or constructive notice of those conditions. 

How Washington Law Center Can Help You

At Washington Law Center, we are experts in the laws and court rulings pertaining to motor vehicle accidents. Washington Law Center’s injury attorneys stand ready to fight for you in court if the financially-responsible municipality attempts to disclaim its liability for your serious personal injury. No matter which municipality you need to sue in our state, big or small, Washington Law Center is here for you.


Spencer Parr

Labor & Industries / Personal Injury Attorney

Spencer Parr is a litigation and trial attorney at Washington Law Center focused primarily in the areas of Labor & Industries claims and injury pension benefits. Before co-founding Washington Law Center, Spencer served in the U.S. Army. He has litigated major issues in the law, represented clients from coast to coast, and dedicated his professional life to assisting the injured and disabled. Click here to learn more about Spencer. View More Labor & Industries and Work Injury Resources.


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