Manhole Covers: Foe or Friend?

Manholes aren’t something we think a lot about while we’re driving. They’re a small and seemingly insignificant part of our roads. But manholes that are unsecured can impart devastating damages — ones able to trigger injuries or even death.

CBS revealed how thousands of manholes around the Greater Chicago Area (McHenry County, Boone County, etc.) have unsteady, out-of-place, or absent covers. The publication also underscored several incidents that occurred because of these unsecured manholes. In one case, a teacher, aged 35, was killed after one of these hulking manhole covers smashed through her windshield and struck her.

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Such tragedy’s like this that arise cause unexpected suffering for the victims and their families and in the end, the deserved compensation may never truly be requited. The question is, where can they claim their compensation, and how?

Who Is Liable In A Manhole Accident?

According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, they reportedly send an examiner for all complaints. They usually see that the manholes are the responsibility of utility companies, who they alert when it comes time to conduct repairs.

This indicates another potentially liable party with manhole cases — owner of the property. In most cases, utility firms like cable and phone companies own the manholes. There aren’t any laws that set in stone regarding private-property manhole inspections standards. It’s up to the organization as to how and how to incorporate them. Even so, such property owners are still liable for the overall safety of the individuals that come into contact with their manholes.

Manhole Accident Compensation Claims

The suing of a municipality is a tall hurdle in and of itself. Public institutions like the City of Chicago have a unique immunity offering protection from particular types of culpability. You could possibly be able to report a wrongful death lawsuit or a personal injury lawsuit, with a few limitations such as:

  • You have just a single year from the time of injury to open a case.
  • You are required to file your claim in a particular court — the Court of Claims.
  • There is a certain limit on these injury cases. You can just gain a maximum of $100,000 no matter how much your entire losses are.

The special difficulties in a manhole accident claim prove how vital a reliable lawyer is on the side of the victims and their families. Suing the government can be challenging, but it is not unimaginable to succeed. As proven in Chicago with the case in 2007 of a bicyclist who came out on top with $1.9 million versus the City following a road construction incident. Similarly, with a reliable lawyer, it’s feasible to be compensated for the fairest amount from such influential private organizations.

If you’ve been injured from an accident and you have reason to believe that poor road conditions were the offender, talk with us at FGPG Law. We will thoroughly survey your case to help you figure out your chances of getting fairly compensated.

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