Liability Issues With Locating Utilities

Industrial & Manufacturing Blog

When you do any digging in your yard, you should call to have utility lines in your yard located. You might think that there are no utilities in your yard, but if you dig and hit a utility line, you could hurt yourself and/or be on the hook for the damages to the line. If you want to protect yourself, call to have utility lines located before you start digging. 

Dangers of Buried Utilities

The dangers of hitting a utility line depend on the type of line you hit:

1. If you hit a water line, you can cause extensive damage to your property. The water gushing out of the line can carry off topsoil and undermine sidewalks and driveway. It can also flood your house, or cause damage to a neighbor's property. 

2. If you hit an electrical line, the biggest risk is, of course, electrocution. 

3. If you hit a telephone, cable, or internet line, you will lose the signal for the line you hit. This means you may miss out on important calls or online transactions. 

4. If you hit a gas line, you can cause explosions in your yard and in other yards in the same area.

Cost Associated with Hitting Utility Lines

You might think that the only cost associated with hitting a utility line is the cost of replacement parts. The truth is that you have to pay for parts, processing fees, filing fees, office fees, labor, etc. It is not uncommon have a bill of several hundred or a thousand dollars to repair a utility line. You also have to pay for any damages done to your property, injuries you sustained or other people sustained as a result of your actions, as well as damages to other people's property. 

Benefits of Locating

When you call to have your utility lines located you get a few different benefits. For one, you should know exactly where lines are, so you can work around them and avoid damage. For another, if the locater does not locate the line properly, you are no longer liable for the damage done by hitting the line. To make sure you are not held liable in the case of an erroneous location, save documentation such as bills and notices given by the utility locating agency. 

It may seem like an extra hassle and delay to call to have someone come out to your property to search for utility lines, but you should not skip this step. Even if you have to pay a fee for the location services, the protection you gain is well worth the cost. A simple phone call can save you a lot of money. 


2 May 2016

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