Damage due to county road in disrepair

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-03-10, 08:32 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 19,509
Damage due to county road in disrepair

This one's got me a little hot under the collar.

I'm minding my own business driving down a dirt road in a rural area of Nebraska. The roads are pretty soft this time of year, it's been dry and some farmers are still getting corn out, which means heavy equipment on country roads is making them even softer. That I know, and I was being cautious as I drove. So the road seemed fine for a while.

Well I'm going about 45 mph over the crest of a hill (speed limit is 50) when I can suddenly see on the other side of the hill in the road ahead of me, there is a giant DIP in the road that was unavoidable, running from one side of the road to the other... a DEEP one! I can't avoid it without going into the ditch and I *slam* on the brakes, but don't quite have time to stop before I get there. The car slams into the dip, and the dirt goes flying.

About 3 miles later I get to town and stop on some pavement to examine the damage. Antifreeze is streaming from the bottom of the radiator. The lower portion of the front bumper is broken, part of the lower grille is missing. I don't know if it's called a cowl or what, but the plastic part that protects the bottom of the radiator has been broken, parts of the electric fan are broken, and the small radiator that hangs in front is bent back into the bigger radiator behind. Now I'm stuck in this little podunk town that's 45 miles away from home! And have to have the car loaded on a flatbed to get it back!

What I'd like to know is can I file some sort of claim against the county for not having such a hazard marked in any way??? Or should I turn this into my insurance agent and let them go after the county? I certainly don't want my insurance to go up as a result of this! Or have them say I was driving too fast for road conditions! What to do.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 04-04-10, 03:49 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,004
I doubt the county could be held liable but it might take an attorney to say for sure [even then it might be up to the court]

Many insurance companies forgive the 1st accident.... or that's what they say
 
  #3  
Old 04-04-10, 03:56 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Yeah, I'd let the insurance company go after subrogation on this one. The county may, in fact, admit the problem and reimburse them. Here in Georgia, if you hit a deer and damage your car, get a state patrol report, turn it all into the insurance company, they go after the DNR for the damages. The deer belongs to the DNR, and they don't up your rates for it. Good luck with it.
 
  #4  
Old 04-04-10, 04:27 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,004
My grandson doesn't like deer [but he loves venison ] His mother hit a deer with him in the car. The damage was extensive but it was repairable. A year or so later [same car] she hit another deer and totaled out the car [landed upside down in a creek] Fortunately she wasn't hurt and our grandson wasn't with her.

They claimed neither accident raised their insurance - maybe it's the same here.
 
  #5  
Old 04-04-10, 06:07 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 19,509
Well the deer issue is another one. I hit one with my truck back in December. ($2300 in damage). Insurance paid for that, except for the deductible, of course. But I'm worried about another claim just 4 months later.

And I have another one I didn't even call about. Last week I was driving down a country road w/ my work truck- it was kind of dusty from the car that was about 1/4 mile in front of me. I still don't know what i hit, but the front right tire hit a piece of metal (muffler or tailpipe maybe??) and it flipped up and hit the underside of the passenger door and then dented and scratched the passenger door about 20" up, and there's a 10" dent and scratch on the backseat door. Probably another $2000 in damage. But I also didn't want to turn that claim in for fear they'd say it's my own fault for not seeing the metal in the road, or for driving too fast or something.

I've just had a string of bad luck lately.
 
  #6  
Old 04-09-10, 01:37 PM
SeattlePioneer's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 5,503
Interesting question. I'm no attorney, but I'll express an opinion ---you get what you pay for.


As I understand it, you generally have to be negligent in some way before being liable for damages. Had complaints been filed with the county about this hazard? If so, when and did they inspect and evaluate the hazard?

Did YOU report this to the county, and if so did they inspect the hazard? Did they repair it, and if so when?

I think it's possible to argue you were negligent by traveling too fast for the conditions, too.


No harm in filing a claim. You never know, they might pay off. You'd be getting at least one more or less expert answer to your question by doing that anyway.
 
  #7  
Old 04-09-10, 07:07 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,629
Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
Or have them say I was driving too fast for road conditions! What to do.
What were the conditions? An obviously junky road the entire way? Or - out of the blue, there is this unmarked sink hole? If the latter, you may have a claim. If the former - probably not. I'm not a lawyer either. But it seems logical.

Years ago, I learned where I lived that the county could NOT simply get out of road/bridge repair by their (not long-lived sign)sign saying "Travel at yout own risk!". They had to fix it - and did.
 
  #8  
Old 04-11-10, 08:16 AM
SeattlePioneer's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 5,503
Yes, they probably have to fix it, mark it or otherwise deal with it in a reasonable way. But not until they are aware of it or are notified of the hazard, or identify the hazard during a routine inspection.

That's my understanding, anyway.

And was the driver traveling too fast for conditions? Possibly, even though he was traveling less than the speed limit.

Generally speaking, one car accidents suggest negligence by the driver.
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:15 AM.