Saturday, November 26

How to claim if I have a mishap with a bollard


Bollards / FAQ

The responsibility of the administration is estimated when the damages suffered in a vehicle, for example, are caused by the detachment of a granite ball placed as a bollard on the sidewalk, which rolls down and hits the vehicle.

Bollards are increasingly present on the streets of the main cities with the fundamental objective of limiting access or the passage of vehicles to prohibited areas. As an urban element, its characteristics are regulated, so if it does not comply with the regulations, and therefore
damage is caused to our vehiclethere is always the possibility of claiming the administration responsible for its installation, as explained to ABC from
Pyramid Consulting.

Its regulation is found in Royal Decree 505/2007, of April 20, which develops the technical document of basic conditions of accessibility and non-discrimination for access and use of urbanized public spaces and in Order VIV /561/2010, of February 1. This is detailed from the legal department of the consultant.

Likewise, they also indicate that their characteristics are included in article 29 of the aforementioned Order, which establishes that “the height of those that are in areas for pedestrian use will be between 0.75 and 0.90m, the minimum width and diameter it will be 10 cm and a rounded design without edges, the color must contrast with the pavement throughout the piece or at least in its upper section, ensuring its visibility at night; and, in terms of their location, they will be located in an aligned manner, and in no case may they invade the accessible pedestrian itinerary or reduce their width at crossroads or other points along the route.

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Once we know all its characteristics, numerous questions arise in this regard, can the administration be responsible in the event of damage to vehicles or people? Are the consequences the same regardless of the purpose of the bollard?

The experts consulted assure that, when assessing the possible responsibility of the administrations, “it must be taken into account that a set of requirements must be met that the doctrine has been establishing for the origin of the patrimonial responsibility of the Public Administration: Reality of a harmful result; the unlawfulness of the damage or injury, given the qualification of this concept both because the author’s conduct is contrary to law, and, mainly, because the person who suffers it does not have the legal duty to bear it, an issue that needs to be specified in each case concrete. Also the imputability of the harmful activity to the Administration thanks to the integration of the agent within the framework of the administrative organization to which he belongs. Or the direct and exclusive causal link between the administrative activity and the harmful result. The damage must be the exclusive consequence of the normal or abnormal operation of a public service or administrative activity; and absence of force majeure.

Therefore, “it is necessary that the aforementioned requirements are met in order to demand this responsibility from the Administration”.

In the case of bollards, in the first place, as stated in Opinion No. 41/12 of the Permanent Commission of the Consultative Council of the Community of Madrid, issued unanimously, in its session on January 25 2012, it must be taken into account when determining the possible responsibility of the administration, if the purpose of the bollards is to prevent the invasion of cars from pedestrian areas or if they were simply intended to decorate or differentiate areas of the road. In the event that the purpose is solely ornamental, the cause would be justified by what, if they did not add negligence or acts attributable to the administration, in principle, its responsibility would be hardly justifiable.

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Another example in which the responsibility will always be of the driver or hardly attributable to the administration, will be when the damage occurs when the driver does not respect the indications of the traffic signs and has accessed the road incorrectly.

In cases of damage to vehicles, the responsibility of the administration is estimated when the damage suffered in a vehicle, for example, is caused by the detachment of a granite ball placed as a bollard on the sidewalk, which rolls down and hits the vehicle. .

The responsibility is produced by the mechanism of “la culpa in vigilando” of the City Council by omitting the proper inspection of the public highway, being responsible for all the elements that are in the municipal spaces are in the proper conditions. This criterion has been established, among others, in the Judgment of the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid, Contentious-Administrative Chamber, Section 2, Judgment of 01.23.2007.

Another case in which the responsibility of the administration was estimated was the impact of a vehicle against a bollard placed by the City Council on the road. They also cite another example in which a driver’s vehicle was damaged due to the impact of a retractable bollard on the underside of it, and the administration’s responsibility was estimated.


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