Lack of road maintenance...

by Patricia
(Colorado Springs, CO)

A group of residents that live or drive our road have repeatedly discussed the condition of our county-maintained road with the appropriate parties. The county has placed a "counter" on our road and more than once we have met the number to repave our road. There have been accidents on the road due to these conditions and damage to vehicles.

Our attempts are futile. The main response from the county is to threaten more police on the road to "catch speeders". Our vehicle alone has had to have 3 front end major repairs in 4 years, totaling around $2000, and it is a Lincoln SUV. My sister has also had numerous repairs and there are many others.

Due to the high volume of traffic and lack of repairs, washboards are constantly on the road. These are bad enough to pull a vehicle off the road (which has happened many times). The residents are fed up with it. With the high volume of traffic on the road and it not being paved, we also deal with a tremendous amount of dust.

The condition our road is left in is a health hazard and a safety concern. We have numerous contacts back and forth with the County and even provide photo documentation regularly. We have requested inspections. These inspections are typically done a few days after the road is maintained, and the report will say that the road was inspected and in good condition.

Is there a way to make the county pay for our damage to the vehicles, since they refuse to pave the road? Is there anything else we can do? Thank you for your time and assistance.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Lack of road maintenance...":

Patricia (Colorado Springs, CO):

The State of Colorado, like all other states, operates under the legal doctrine of Sovereign Immunity. This means the State of Colorado, and any of its subdivisions, including the County of El Paso, can not be sued unless they agree to be sued, or if their immunity is waived by statute.

Let's take a look at the controlling Colorado statute:
Colorado Revised Statutes Section 24-10-106(1) and 24-10-106(d)(1)

The statute reads in part:

"(1) A public entity (County of El Paso) shall be immune from liability in all claims for INJURY which lie in tort or could lie in tort regardless of whether that may be the type of action or the form of relief chosen by the claimant except as provided otherwise in this section. Sovereign immunity is WAIVED by a public entity (El Paso County) in an action for INJURIES injuries resulting from:

(d)(I) A dangerous condition of a public highway, road, or street which physically interferes with the movement of traffic on the paved portion, if paved, or on the portion customarily used for travel by motor vehicles, if unpaved, of any public highway, road, street, or sidewalk within the corporate limits of any municipality,..."


In your case, this means until a person is injured as a result of the poor road conditions, you may have to continue to wait for the county to effect repairs. Let's hope that doesn't occur.

However, if someone is injured as a result of the poor road conditions, the county officials will not be able to say they were unaware of the poor road conditions, and as a result didn't have time to repair them.

Consider reducing to writing your serious concerns about the continuing degradation of the road. Also make clear you believe it will only be a matter of time before someone is severely injured.

Send duplicate original certified letters to all five County Commissioners at:

County Commissioners
Centennial Hall
200 South Cascade Avenue, Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80903-2208

Send another duplicate original certified letter to the County Attorney's Office at:

105 E. Vermijo, Ste 415
Colorado Springs, CO 80903-2208

Hopefully, taking this action will result in the county officials realizing it is better to repair the road before someone becomes injured and the county faces substantial liability.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

P.S. Please help us out by sharing this site...

Click here to post comments

Return to Road Quality Questions.

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney...

How Much Are Your
Injuries Worth?

Find out with a
free attorney review:

TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION