Whether installed overhead, underground, or a combination of both, electric utility distribution systems all work as a part of a massive infrastructure transporting energy from power generators to end users. Due to their prevalence and potential for danger, these structures could cause legal disputes as much as they provide energy.
Other common utilities, such as cable and phone lines, are just as pervasive in our infrastructure and are also often implicated in property damage and injury claims.
Claims involving utilities are complicated by unique standards of care, issues of liability, and unique statutory and regulatory frameworks. Rathbone Group (RG)’s understanding of these claims at the federal, state and local levels throughout the country increase the chances of recovery.
Underground Utility Damage Claims
Rathbone Group’s property department maintains a thorough knowledge of utility laws and regulations, including utility location laws in all 50 states. If you or your insured have been damaged by digging, boring, excavation or other activity of a negligent third party, Rathbone Group is available to pursue all potential tort claims.
Overhead Utility Damage Claims
In certain cases, overhead utility lines are downed by vehicles or heavy equipment, causing damage to property and even personal injuries. In these circumstances, fault can be difficult to determine and may ultimately depend on whether the utility’s line was the correct height, whether the utility had notice of a problem in the line, or even the negligence of the driver or equipment operator. Rathbone Group is adept in investigating and pursuing a recovery in cases involving overhead utility lines.
Fire Damage Claims Against Utilities
Rathbone Group is also experienced in handling claims in which property has been damaged by smoke or fire emanating from an electrical utility pole, line, or transformer. While electrical utility companies are not expected to maintain constant surveillance over each pole and line, they still must exercise reasonable care and maintenance over their facilities in order to avoid causing damage.