Who is responsibile and how to go about getting damages caused by road construction?

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Who is responsibile and how to go about getting damages caused by road construction?

I was stopped at a stop light with 2 cars in front of me. There was uneven pavement right at the light but the “Stop here on red” sign if much further back. By the time I got to the construction I was traveling 7-10mph. I drive a Mustang, which is low to the ground and when I went over the uneven pavement and then went up on the corner of the sewer cover(one on each side of the car) my airbags deployed. I contacted the police and they told me to call the city contractor and my insurance company. What do I do now and who should I expect to pay for damage or will my car just be totaled?

Asked on August 5, 2010 under Accident Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) The municipality (or county or state government--i.e. whomever has jurisdiction over this  road) is probably not responsible. Responsibility in auto accidents generally comes from acting negligently, or carelessly. If they were doing road construction, they were actually performing maintenance--i.e. not simply ignoring an issue and being careless. If the construction was fairly visible, it's hard to see how they were doinig anything wrong.

2) If you have collision, it will pay for your damage, less any deductible.

3) Note that by contacting your insurer, you've done the right thing--follow up with them, to see what they say.

4) It's rather unlikely your car will be totalled--that happens when it's unecnomically to fix a car. Airbabs deploying should not cause anything like that amount of damage. Probably you need to have the airbags replaced and checked out; any damage they did in deploying (e.g. was a window cracked?) fixed, and the general alignment checked and correct if approrpriate.


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