Can a municipality be negligent for repeat car accidents at a Pittsburgh traffic light?

Pennsylvania – October 4, 2022

Pittsburgh municipalities have a duty to maintain roadways in a safe condition for all drivers. Additionally, it has a legal obligation to remove or remedy hazards and known dangerous roadway conditions. A municipality may be found negligent in claims or legal action for a car accident if there was:

  • Design defects in the road
  • Failure to properly maintain the road
  • Defective design of roadway
  • Delay to repair potholes
  • Inadequate or missing signage
  • Construction debris
  • Unclear lane lines
  • Missing guardrails
  • Poorly designed intersections

When city vehicles are involved in a motor vehicle accident a municipality can also be held responsible for damages. When a road defect is the base of a case, a municipality must have been previously notified in writing of the hazardous condition.  Accident victims should seek consultation with an experienced Pittsburgh accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident causes property damage, bodily injury, or fatal injury.

Insurance laws.

The State of Pennsylvania uses both a “no-fault” system and a 3rd party liability system. Under Pennsylvania’s no-fault system, after a car accident, a driver may turn to his or her own insurance company for compensation for injuries up to the personal injury protection, or “PIP”  limit regardless of fault. Drivers also have the right to circumvent Pennsylvania’s no-fault law and proceed directly against the at-fault driver under certain circumstances that result in significant injury. A lawyer specializing in accident claims can be of assistance.

 Responsible parties.

When accidents occur with frequency due to dangerous roadways, or busy intersections, a driver may not be the only responsible party, shared responsibility may fall onto a city, or county roadway system, especially if accidents have been reported multiple times without correction.  Speak to an experienced accident attorney about concerns relative to an area with frequent motor vehicle accidents.

Recoverable damages.

Compensation for any loss sustained because of a car accident, due to partial, or full negligence of another party, is in a victim’s reach to assist in the payment of any significant medical expenses, loss of wages, funeral expenses, and wrongful death claims caused by car accidents. Damage settlements stemming from car accidents are usually paid out by insurance companies who gave liability coverage to the entity, or person who was negligent and can include medical bills, property replacement, loss of wage compensation, pain, and suffering, and in catastrophic cases, wrongful death actions.

Seek legal counsel.

If you have suffered property damage, or injury because of a car crash near Pittsburgh, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Scanlon & Wojton for assistance.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Second Floor
Pittsburgh, Pa 15219

Phone:  (412) 918-1241

Fax: (412) 235-7275


  1. https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/42/
  2. Rules and Regulations | pittsburghpa.gov