What are my rights if they are replacing the roads in my area and have been leaving them torn up and in bad condition so when I went over them the underside of my car was torn up and all of my air bags inflated?

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What are my rights if they are replacing the roads in my area and have been leaving them torn up and in bad condition so when I went over them the underside of my car was torn up and all of my air bags inflated?

On Sunday morning I ran over a raised manhole cover..it sat up several inches. However, it was difficult to see and was not marked. There were parked cars on both sides of the street. The police office said the road was in bad shape and witnesses in the neighborhood saw what happened and told me that they have been complaint about the road condition for weeks I have pictures and witnesses. The accident caused just under$10,000 of damage to my car and it will take several weeks to repair. Am I justified in asking for reimbursement of the rental car?

Asked on October 1, 2015 under Accident Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, the city had notice of the poor road conditions the police, who are city employees, were aware the neighbors said there had been complaints made for weeks. If the city was aware of the problem, they could be liable--lack of city notice or awareness is the main issue often making it impossible to recover for auto damage from municipalities, but that does not appear to be an issue there. 
If the city is liable, they could be liable for all of your out-of-pocket not paid by insurance costs arising reasonably foreseeably from the accident, including rental costs, towing costs, and any part of repairs not covered by insurance e.g. your deductible.


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