A viewer says he hit a telephone pole after hitting a pothole. The utility company now sent a bill. What is his legal responsibility? Fellerman & Ciarimboli car accident lawyers Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli explain his legal options. If this sounds like familiar.
Dave Kuharchik: Part of pothole season, and that’s going to be the topic for tonight for “The Law & You.” They dodged a lot to get in here tonight, attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli.
Ed Ciarimboli: There are some roads that look like the surface of the moon out there right now.
Dave: Well, you’re driving down, in some cases a main road, and it feels like you hit a crater.
Dave: Alright, so here’s our question tonight. We have a picture along with it. Question first, Paul in Pringle says, “I hit this pothole and drove off the road and hit a telephone pole. The utility company just sent me the bill for the poll. Is there anything I can do?” We’ll take a look now at the pothole. That thing, obviously it’s a close up shot, but that’s still a huge pothole. Where does responsibility lie here?
Ed: Can you go back to the photo for one second.
Dave: Sure, we’ll put that back.
Ed: You could swim in that.
Ed: I mean, that is a huge pothole.
Dave: You could set up a beach chair up alongside it.
Ed: No question about it. Paul, the question is “What could you do?” Right now, the utility company is alleging you were negligent in the operation of your motor vehicle. What you’re going to need to do is push back against them. You need to turn this into your automobile insurance company immediately because they’re going to assign you a lawyer. That lawyer then should join as a co-defendant in the case. They should join whatever city, burrow, municipality that you were in. That is ultimately who is going to bear the responsibility for the defective roadway, not you hitting the pothole and losing control.
Greg: I think people have to be, from my perspective, they have to be paying attention to these. I drive around looking, hoping I don’t hit a pothole, but sometimes you just can’t get around them. Spring’s coming, we know the crew’s get out and are very diligent. Some people could argue that there’s comparative fault that you’re not paying attention. All of these things are essential when you’re putting these cases together. Your insurance company should help you with that. Be patient, spring is coming so we’ll see a lot more black topping going on.
Ed:We hope so!
Dave: If you need legal direction, you know the guys to help. You could call them or check them out online. Results matter with attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli. Good night guys.
Ed: Thanks Dave.
Dave: pahomepage.com and “The Law & You” hotline are there for you.
The Law & You is a nightly feature on channels WBRE-TV 28 and WYOU-TV 22 where the attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli answer legal questions. If you have a question that you want answered by the Law & You attorneys, please submit the form on this page or call the hotline at 1-888-570-HURT.