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I had a car accident due to flooding on the road because of construction (road did not drain). Is there legal recourse?

Savannah, GA |

Interstate Highway. Traveling at speed limit in left lane. State Trooper was witness. Police report states "due to construction, water was not draining from the left lane My vehicle was totalled. There were NO warning signs or markers of any sort.

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Hopefully you did what ALL drivers should do - carry full coverage with adquate limits. In that case the answer is very simple - you call your insurer.

    If you were hurt, see a lawyer. There are MANY barriers to recovery - soverign immunity of the state may come into play, and there is a defense that rain is an act of God, so a suit is a difficult thing, although you need to let a lawyer evaluate that.

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  2. Depending on other details and factors not presented in your post, you may have a hard chance of successfully suing for damages, particularly if you had a one-car accident (meaning you did not collide with another vehicle). Notwithstanding the "flooding" condition being caused by the construction work, every driver has a duty to (1) see what there was to be seen, and (2) drive at a speed that is reasonable under the circumstances and conditions presented - even if the posted limit is at a higher speed. A "flood", even in the dead of night, is arguably noticeable in some fashion, or so it can be argued, thus putting the focus on your actions as being the cause, or a contributing cause, of your acciddent. From the realistic point of view, if you are concerned about just a property damage claim, the deciding factor should be whether the value of the cost of repairs, or the market value of your car if it was totaled, worth the cost and expense of litigation - as your claim is a technical one that more than likely requres "expert" evidence as to the road conditions being the cause of your accident. However, if you were also injured, definitely seek out a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in your area. Good luck.


  3. I agree that a suit vs. the government would be tough. You may have recourse against the contractor, however, if the contractor, through negligence, left road conditions such that the road wasn't properly draining and if there were steps that contractor could have taken that would cause it to drain properly.
    If you start with contacting your insurer, they may or may not be interested in the issue of third-party liability. If you were injured, I can direct you to a number of personal injury attorneys. Good luck.


  4. You do have recourse. These single car accidents occur fairly often due to hazardous road conditions. The GDOT is required to check every mile of Georgia highway at least once per year for problems such as this, road grading, poor friction/grip, etc. They often miss sections, or have not gotten to them, which allows accidents like yours to occur. The second issue is the construction crew. Having researched these types of cases before, I have yet to find a contractor who followed all of the rules and regs that are required of them, and it is often something they did/did not do that causes issues like poor drainage. Between the contractor(s) and the state GDOT you would have some recourse.

    The bigger question is whether there were any injuries, or this is just a property damage claim. If this is only a claim for damage to your car, or you had very minor injuries, you can allow your insurance company to deal with those parties, and you should not be charged "at fault." If there were anything other than minor injuries however, you will want to consult with an experienced accident attorney who is familiar with road hazard/construction zone cases, how to access the relevant reports and studies, and how to ensure you are compensated fairly. Good luck

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  5. Be aware also that there could be a Statute of Limitations issue that you should be aware of. As the construction work was apparently being accomplished on an interstate highway, a claim may need to be filed in a very short amount of time against your states department of transportation. In California, that statute of limitations is only 6 months, so you should be getting a local Savannah attorney up to speed quickly in order for him/her to file the necessary paperwork in the event of a very short statute of limitations. Good luck.

    Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.