Will I be liable if water running from my property leaks onto the road causing ice?

My local code says that I cannot discharge sump pump water into the sewer. I have it flowing out of my house via garden hose onto my land. Runoff is going about 30′ away and into the street. This time of year it can cause ice. Due to the size of my lot and having only 1 window in the basement, I can only run outside in this area. Am I liable if a car gets into an accident from this ice? Will my insurer cover me?

Asked on December 16, 2010 under Accident Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) You would be liable if you cause an ice condition in this way that causes an accident. This would be, depending on the state of knowledge that could be imputed or proven to/for you, be either an intentional bad act, a reckless one, or at least a negligent (careless one)--any of which would suffice to establish liability. (Given that you know it can cause ice, it's probably intentional or reckless.)

2) Your insurer would probably not cover you, if they felt (and felt they could establish) that what you were doing was reckless or intentional--i.e. that you either knew it would cause ice or recklessly and cavelierly disregared a substantial risk.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.