Who is liable for the road ditch right of way?

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Who is liable for the road ditch right of way?

Our township trenched them and they are now very steep without a guard rail. Can the landowner be held liable for an accident if someone is injured by driving into it?

Asked on August 1, 2012 under Accident Law, South Dakota

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the township trenched a right of way and this is an easement, then the liability may be shared but it would be up to the landowner to show it did not get involved in the negligence or it tried to mitigate the damages. Put the township on notice and immediately indicate it must place blocking barrels or something until the guardrail is installed. Place everthing in writing; call and continue to write and call until something is done.


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