Everything is bigger in Texas, and that’s certainly the case with the Katy Freeway. It’s the part of Interstate 10 that starts downtown. This section of the I-10 is now known as the widest stretch of freeway in the world with a total of 26 lanes. With that many lanes, vehicles and drivers, it is not surprise there are accidents including a pothole causing your accident! Safely maintaining this stretch of highway is a challenge for Houston and Texas.
The Katy Freeway has more than 219,000 drivers on it every day. The increase in the freeway’s size has led to an increase in traffic, led by the increase in population in the last decade. T
What else does that increased traffic create on the Katy Freeway, or anywhere else in Houston? Potholes.
Potholes are Houston’s Road Plague
In April, a man named Ed Pettit shared a picture of himself standing in a three-foot-deep pothole on Tuam Street in the Third Ward caused by a contractor. In addition to getting attention from Houston Public Works, it also went viral and was eventually repaired.
It’s no secret that the 16,000 miles of Houston’s streets and roadways have more than its fair share of cracked roads and potholes. Potholes develop when the street pavement cracks and breaks because the underlying road base has been compromised. What causes this? Water, and lots of it, plus the clay underneath. Between the yearly rainfall and the number of leaking and broken water mains around Houston, potholes should surprise no one who lives here.
The pothole problem—and the complaints–have become so bad that Mayor Turner’s office set up a website: HoustonPotholes.Org. On this website, Houstonians can see the location of potholes and which ones are repaired. You can report a pothole here in addition to calling the city at 311, or by downloading the 311 smartphone app. There’s even a page for frequently asked questions.
Many people ride over potholes without any problems. But even a small one can cause eventual damage, usually knocking a vehicle out of alignment. Larger potholes can be dangerous and cause expensive property damage.
Whose Pothole Is it?
That’s an interesting question. It’s not just the City of Houston that’s responsible for potholes or other road damage that causes an accident. Much will depend on where the pothole is and who owns the land it sits on. In the case of Katy, the area is spread out across Harris, Waller, and Fort Bend Counties.
In addition to Houston Public Works, responsibility could lie with:
- Harris County Toll Road Authority
- Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)
- Other cities in the Houston area, such as Bellaire, Pasadena, or Kingwood
- The individual county where the road sits
- A contractor doing work in the area
- Private utility companies
- A private property owner, such as a store, mall, restaurant, etc.
But Texas state law does not allow for claims such as these to be paid with state funds for damage from road conditions. You can file a claim with Houston’s Legal Department, but your claim will likely be denied. If you decide to file, you’ll have just 90 days to file your claim.
Potholes on private property may fall under premises liability laws, and you may be able to submit a claim for damages as you would for any other private property accident.
If you’re not sure who to call about a pothole-related incident, speak with a Houston car accident attorney to learn more about what to do next.
Pothole Damage? Contact A Houston Auto Accident Attorney Today
Contact Paxton Law Firm today at 281-978-2244, and we’ll review your case and advise you of your possible compensation claim. The Paxton Law Firm and attorneys Richard Paxton and Michael Mendoza believe in taking on your legal battles and turning a negative situation into your best possible outcome. We offer free consultations, and you do not pay our fees until we recover for you. For Espanol INICIO and CONTÁCTENOS EN