If I was run off the road by a drunk friver and my car was damaged due to the narrow width of the road, can I sue the subdivision for not maintaining the road adequately?

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If I was run off the road by a drunk friver and my car was damaged due to the narrow width of the road, can I sue the subdivision for not maintaining the road adequately?

This occurred in a private subdivision where the roads are all maintained by the subdivision (not county or state roads). My vehicle sustained substantial damage due to having to drive into a ditch in order to avoid the oncoming driver. The particular road this accident occurred on is unusually narrow and I suspect it has not been maintained to proper standards. If the road had been “normal” width, it’s conceivable I would not have had to drive off the road.

Asked on June 10, 2013 under Accident Law, Hawaii

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is highly unlikely you could successfully sue the subdivision: you would have to show that it was unreasonably narrow--i.e. narrower than is safe. Given that there are still "one lane" bridges and other crossings out there which are considered safe--i.e. stretches of road where you can only have traffic in one direction and cars must alternate--it is highly unlikely that a somewhat-narrower-than normal two lane road would be considered unreasonably unsafe. You should be suing the drunk driver for your loss--he or she would seem to be clearly at fault if driving drunk.


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