Do towns have to pay damages for am accident if road hazards caused an accident?

UPDATED: Apr 6, 2012

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Do towns have to pay damages for am accident if road hazards caused an accident?

I came around a blind corner on motorcycle. The town had been working in the road and left gravel on it; no signs or warnings. My bike slid out from under me.

Asked on April 6, 2012 under Accident Law, Vermont


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It would be worthwhile speaking with an attorney; you may have a  claim or cause of action. The town could be liable if 1) their negligence or carelessness caused the accident; and 2) the town either  had actual notice of the condition or problem, or reasonably and practically should have  known of it. Since the town's work crew presumably left the gravel behind without leaving warning signs, it may be that the crew (and therefore the town) both caused the condition and would be considered to have notice of it.

Suing a municapility can be tricky--not only must the town's knowledge of the condition be shown, but there is a shorter time line to bring the claim and certain procedural requirements to comply with. Therefore, you should speak with an attorney right away, if you would like to pursue a claim if possible, and not delay--delay could cost you an otherwise valid claim.

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 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.

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