Dangerous roads - burden of proof

Posted: 15th June 2012

road worksWhen an accident occurs as a result of a road being in poor repair and thus dangerous, the courts need to consider the extent of the danger and whether it is due to a failure to maintain or repair the road.
If it is shown that it is, the question that must then be asked is whether the failure to maintain the road was reasonable or not. The ‘burden of proof’ in deciding this will lie with the authority responsible for the road, which must show that the actions it has taken are reasonable given all the circumstances.
When involved in a case of this type, it is essential to make sure that as much contemporaneous evidence as possible is gathered concerning the state of the road and its contribution to the accident, and also to understand and assess the adequacy of the procedures operated by the responsible authority in regard to the maintenance of the road.