Dangerous Flash Flooding on Highway
The other day someone called saying “My wife was seriously injured when she lost control of her vehicle after it hydroplaned on a state highway during a heavy downpour. I’ve since learned that the state has received numerous complaints about this portion of the highway having issues with flash flooding during heavy rainstorms, but never did anything about it. Can we sue the state?”
Generally, the government can be held liable for damages caused by dangerous defects and/or conditions on public roadways. Importantly, there are strict rules about suing the government, including very limited time frames for bringing actions against the government, but for purposes of this caller’s question, let’s assume the deadline by which to file a claim against the government has not expired.
The state has a duty to ensure that it’s public state roads are safe. There are many ways a state can breach its duty to provide safe roads to the public, including, but not limited to failing to use reasonable care in designing or constructing roads, and failing to properly maintain roads.
In this caller’s example, the state was aware of the flash flooding problem on this particular stretch of highway, yet apparently did nothing to fix the problem. Perhaps the state Failed to clear out storm drains and catch basins in the area, thereby giving rise to the flash flood problem. Alternatively, perhaps the state failed to close the portion of dangerous highway despite being aware of the flooding problem and the impending severe storm event. There are a variety of possible reasons a state could fail in its duty to provide the public with safe roads and highways. Each situation is unique and it’s important to seek a good lawyer to advise you of the strength of your potential claims against a state.
The Law Offices of David W. Holub is a personal injury law firm located in Merrillville, Indiana. The firm concentrates in personal injury cases of all types, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation. Our team considers it a high honor to be called upon to serve our clients whom we often come to regard as our friends. Call our number (219)736-9700 for assistance today.
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