WHAT IF A MOTORIST GETS AN ACCIDENT ON A ROAD STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION E.G ENTEBBE EXPRESSWAY
There's a road called the Entebbe Expressway being constructed to connect Entebbe to Kampala. The road is still officially closed but many times, a number of motorists are using it.
When you travel around Kampala, you'll notice that there are a number of roads which are still being constructed and yet at the same time, you find people drive on these roads.
But what if there's an accident on such a road, who will be held responsible? We will use the example of two roads under construction to see who can be held liable. But before we do that, let's first understand what negligence means.
WHAT IS NEGLIGENCE:
In simple terms, Negligence happens when a person with a duty to do or take care of something fails to do so, and as a result, someone else suffers injury or death because of this failure.
For example, someone who is supposed to put a warning sign e.g Road under construction fails to do so, and as a result, a motorist gets an accident.
WHO IS HELD RESPONSIBLE:
The law says that if an accident is caused as a result of another person's negligence, then the negligent person will bear responsibility, including making financial payments to the victim, or even imprisonment.
TWO ROADS AS AN EXAMPLE:
1. ENTEBBE EXPRESS HIGHWAY:
This road is still under construction and officially closed to all motorists but due to be opened later on in the year. All along the road are signs warning motorists not to use the road but despite this, a number of motorists still use the road.
If there's an accident in this case, then it might not be possible to sue the construction company because under the law, it is assumed that you unlawfully used the road, and knew of the dangers before.
WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE PERMISSION:
During a road construction, there are some people who have legitimate permission to use the road e.g road construction people, construction service providers etc. If an accident happened to such people, and the accident was caused by the negligence of the construction company, then there's a chance that the Construction company could be be held liable.
WHAT ABOUT THOSE PAYING CONSTRUCTION PEOPLE TO ALLOW THEM USE THE ROAD:
It has been reported before that some motorists "bribe" their way by paying some construction officials to allow them access the road.
In such a case, if a motorist knows that the road is officially closed but goes ahead to make the "payment", then it might be difficult to get compensation in case of an accident.
2. KAMPALA NORTHERN BY- PASS:
This road is still under construction too, however, unlike the Entebbe Express highway, motorists are allowed to use it even when the construction is ongoing.
This means that in case a motorist gets an accident, and the accident is caused by negligence of the construction company e.g failure to put proper warning signs, unattended to construction equipment etc, then the constructor can be held liable.