Auto Accident Lawyers U.: Utility Poles

AUTO ACCIDENT LAWYERS CAN SUE UTILITIES FOR IMPROPER PLACEMENT OF UTILITY POLES.

Auto accident lawyers normally sue drivers that injure their clients. But sometimes there are other parties whose carelessness contributed to an accident. In such cases, auto accident lawyers will sue any and all responsible parties.

One entity that auto accident lawyers may target is a utility company. A utility company has the legal right to place utility poles close to roadways. But in some instances, where the utility chooses to put a utility pole may cause injury. If so, auto accident lawyers will likely sue that utility.

Let me give two examples. In the first, a utility company places a utility pole near a dangerous intersection. Over time, many accidents occur at the intersection. In fact, on several occasions, a car careens right into the pole, injuring the driver. The utility company is aware of all this. How? Well, for one thing, it has to repair or replace the pole each time a car hits it.

Now imagine a second intersection that has a utility pole planted on one corner. This intersection has no major history of accidents. However, on one occasion, a driver claims that she drove into the intersection because the utility pole blocked her vision. She couldn’t see that another car was about to enter into the intersection. As a result, a collision took place. Our driver was injured.

Will auto accident lawyers be able to successfully sue the utility companies in these cases?

The answer is, very likely yes in the first case. The reason being that the utility knew that there was a danger and kept putting the pole back on the same spot.

But the answer is not very likely in the second case. The utility was not on notice of the danger. (There may be an exception if it was obvious that the pole would obstruct the vision of a driver of an oncoming car, especially if the pole was placed in an unusual location, and could easily have been placed in a safer spot).

A recently issued appellate ruling on this issue is found on Google Scholar.

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