What to do if my son was driving his car in his mother’s apartment complex and struck a deep pothole on the main driveway of the complex puncturing 2 of his tires?

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What to do if my son was driving his car in his mother’s apartment complex and struck a deep pothole on the main driveway of the complex puncturing 2 of his tires?

My wife says that the pot holes have been bad and getting worse over the last couple weeks. The day after the damage, the complex was repairing the holes. Is the complex responsible for the cost of the new tires which were only a month old?

Asked on January 15, 2014 under Accident Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The complex *may* be liable: the issue is whether they actually had notice of the pothole (that is, someone reported it to them), or reasonably had to have had notice (for example, there are complex staff who regularly drive past/over that pothole and would reasaonbly had to have seen it); also whether they had such notice long enough ago that they reasonably would have been expected to have repaired it by the time your son's car was damaged. If the answer to both questions above is "yes," then they  may be liable.

Of course, if they refuse to pay, your son would have to sue them to recover the money; the only way that might be cost effective to do that would be for him (if he's at least 18) or his legal guardian (if he's a minor) to sue in small claims court without an attorney.


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