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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Driveway Water Damage Due to Road Re-Grading

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Georgia

    My wife and I bought a house in 2009. It was inspected and had no structural defects.

    Our gravel roads are privately owned, and privately maintained, via county funds.
    (Original owners kept ownership of the roads, and sold the lots, and charge the county to maintain them).

    We have a double wide concrete slab driveway, with drainage pipe under front, 6 foot high railroad tie retaining wall on one side, and carport shed across it.
    The road slopes down a hill, leveling out as it reaches our driveway.

    Up until this year, the road was humped in the middle.
    This meant it got diagonal ruts near the top of the hill when it rained.
    The water then ran down a a ditch, and under our driveway, or off the other side of the road into a creek.

    This spring (2012) they re-graded the road down the hill flat (with no center hump), and in the process filled in our ditch.
    Just as the road reaches our driveway it is sloped towards our driveway.
    Now the water is running down the center of the road, into our driveway, and over/along the railroad ties.

    5 months after the grading, our railroad tie wall is leaning out 4 inches, and the right hand driveway concrete slabs are tilting and sinking.

    I expect that by the end of the year the retaining wall is going to collapse, and the driveway will slide/tilt to the point it will be unsafe and condemened.

    I feel that this was caused by improper grading of the road by the private owner's company.

    Should I contact my home owners insurance, or the road maintainer, or the county... or keep mum until i get a lawyer?

    Is the road maintainer liable for all of the damages, my legal fees, and/or hardship compensation?

    I intend to photo document the road errosion and damages, and talk to my neighbors about testifying the grading has changed the water run-off.
    One of my neighbors has lived here for 10+ years, so he could testify there has never been a vertical water flow down our street until this year.

    This is scaring the heck out of me, because I estimate about 20 to 30 thousand to repair the damage, and prevent it from ultimately damaging the house foundation.
    Plus the damage will continue until the road is re-graded properly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Driveway Water Damage Due to Road Re-Grading

    Should I contact my home owners insurance, or the road maintainer, or the county... or keep mum until i get a lawyer?
    I wouldn't expect the insurance to be the best place to go. They might be of assistance but homeowners insurance is notorious for rate increases and cancellations for some of the pickiest reasons. If you can find a remedy outside of your insurance, I would think that would be the best direction.

    You have a very odd situation with the county paying the owners to maintain the roads. I can't say I have ever heard of such a situation before. I believe that is going to lead to a problem trying to figure out who is liable here.

    To start with, I believe you need to determine if there are any requirements in law or contract as to how the roads are to be maintained and the engineering specs of the road. If the entity actually doing the maintenance is complying with requirements imposed by the government agency involved, it would fall onto the government as they are who is directing the work to be performed in the manner as it is. If there are no directives that must be followed, then I would see the entity actually maintaining the road as having liability here as it was they that altered the roadway which caused the issue at hand.

    It is unlikely any legal fees you incur would be recoverable. Such costs are generally not available but for situations that are either controlled by contract and allow for such or the other party's actions are so egregious as to see them as intentional or malicious.

    You also need to act now. In law, an injured party has a duty, or obligation to mitigate, or limit their damages. That means you must act when you realize there is a problem to prevent further damage. Failure to act can result in the additional damages being seen as your fault and as such, the original party causing injury is not liable.

    hardship compensation? Not sure what you are referring to. I do not see what sort of hardship this might be causing you.

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