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Negligent Maintenance of State Highway by DOT
The state has jurisdiction over highways within the state-aid system whether they are inside or outside municipalities and counties). The Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for the planning, design, improvement, management, control, construction, and maintenance of the state highway system. O.C.G.A. 32-2-2(a)(1). The DOT also has control of and is responsible for all construction, maintenance, and any other work on a state highway.
When the state highway is within the boundaries of a municipality the DOT is required to provide only substantial maintenance and operation which includes reconstruction and resurfacing and the reconstruction of bridges.
In order to show that the DOT was negligent in maintaining a roadway where an accident causing injuries occurred, a plaintiff must establish the DOT’s standards for inspecting and repairing the roadway and that the DOT deviated from these standards. A plaintiff who sues the DOT based on alleged professional negligence of the DOT’s agents or employees must produce expert testimony of the applicable standard of conduct and the deviation from that standard.