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Unadopted road

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  • Unadopted road

    I am buying a house in an unadopted road. Its too small a road to have a Residents Association and therefore, for Public Liability Insurance to be in place on the road, I would have to take it out on behalf of the road and hope for "fair shares" towards it from the other houses. I don't anticipate getting "fair share" payments from the others and, even if I did, my share of the bill would be too high for me to pay. End result = that insurance wont be taken out.

    The road "should" only get very limited usage, because its so small and its a cul-de-sac. Its currently in good condition.

    I am partially liable for upkeep of road surface, but (fortunately) don't own any of the road.

    Can I assume that I have worked out the liability position correctly as follows:

    - Any claimant would need to sue the owner of the road (whether they could or couldn't find out who that owner is)

    - I should be safe from being sued by virtue of the fact that I am not owner of the road and don't have any "frontage" on that road.

    - It would be a bit difficult for someone to sue for damages if they were in the road without good reason (ie to see one of us) - with it being a cul-de-sac.

    - Any potential claimant would need a witness with them anyway to witness the injury to themselves (or car) at the time and have the ability to prove they really were with claimant at that time (otherwise the injury could have happened anywhere and they just chose to claim it was in our road).

    - If someone was concerned about the state of our road, then they would need to go to the local Highway Authority and tell them so. This would then have to be followed by the local H.A. officially telling us residents to repair the road and giving us a reasonable timespan to do it. No such official notification happening = no cause for concern (as "How were we reasonably supposed to realise that there might be an accident - when we weren't officially warned the state of road looked bad enough it might cause one?")

    In the main I would say I am protected by the fact that, in the unlikely event of there being a potential claim, it would probably prove impossible for the would-be claimant to prove that the accident really DID happen in our road AND they really hadn't done any "contributory negligence" towards it (eg they absolutely had to drive, rather than walk, up our road and it really had been totally impossible to avoid any pothole by driving round or driving so carefully over it that damage to car couldn't have happened) AND they had notified the Highway Authority AND the HA had notified us.

    Guess this all makes me virtually cast-iron safe against any litigious person who happens in our road doesn't it (even if they have a legitimate reason for being there, such as visiting one of us)? There would appear to be so many barriers to any potential claimant going for us that it looks as if we are safe from claims.

  • #2
    Re: Unadopted road

    Anyone with any thoughts on this please?

    Have I done everything necessary in thinking up "defences" to any claims that might ever get launched against those of us in this road - or is there anything further I could/should be doing?

    Has anyone any info. (either way) on whether this series of "obstacles" to bringing a claim has been sufficient to deter anyone from trying to do so?

    I'd appreciate reassurance that I've done enough to protect myself. Failing that...if theres any gap in "defences" what it is and any suggestions as to how to protect myself please.

    (For info - the question arises because I am perfectly aware of my own responsibilities in this respect but there is a free-riding house in the road concerned. The free-rider house has had it written down legally that they aren't responsible for paying for their share of road surface maintenance - and this is where I think a possible problem might arise. That is, I and others had paid "our share" of road surface maintenance and the next time a bill arose it would be the free-riders turn to pay out and they refused to do so because of this legal "get out clause" they have. At that point....I can foresee that "their" bit of road maintenance wouldn't get done at all.....).
    Last edited by ElizaB; 17-08-2013, 03:07 PM.

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