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What Are Potholes?
A pothole is a deep natural hole on the ground, which is formed by erosion of the rock. Potholes must be filled in to prevent people from falling into them or tripping over them.
Pothole injuries fall under the area of law called premises liability. Members of the public who walk or drive on public land are considered invitees. And as invitees, the premises owner owes them great duty of care to protect them from dangers
Generally, the government is the owner of public lands. Thus, the government will be liable for your injuries if you trip over a pothole.
Private Property Exception
But when the potholes are on private property, then the private property owner may be liable. Private property owners, such as those of parking lots, are liable for unreasonably large potholes that cause injury.
The government has "immunity" from certain lawsuits and is not liable for all pothole injuries. The government oversees a wide expanse of land area. If it were to be sued for every injury, it would quickly be crippled and cease to function smoothly.
The government is not responsible for any injury a member of the public may sustain while driving or walking into a pothole. However, there are two exceptions:
- When an average person would be lead to believe that the road had no potholes, such that the person was lead into a trap.
- The government had received prior complaints about the area, or it did not maintain streets as required by ordinance schedules.
For example, a person may be driving on a newly-paved road, when, all of a sudden, a huge hole 3 feet long and 4 feet deep presents itself in a trap-like way. A person may be walking on a smooth urban sidewalk, never expecting a big hole in the ground. In these cases, there was shoddy repair and a gross deviation from the standard of care.
Consulting an Attorney
If you are injured by a pothole, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you file the appropriate complaints. He can represent you in court and help you obtain money damages for your injuries and your pain and suffering.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 06-16-2014 10:50 AM PDT
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