Liability for damage to highways, bridges, etc.
Any person operating any vehicle or moving any object or conveyance upon any public highway in this state or upon any bridge or elevated structure that is a part of any such public highway is liable for all damages that the public highway, bridge, elevated structure, or other state property may sustain as a result of any illegal operation of the vehicle or the moving of any such object or conveyance or as a result of the operation or moving of any vehicle, object, or conveyance weighing in excess of the legal weight limits allowed by law. This section applies to any person operating any vehicle or moving any object or contrivance in any illegal or negligent manner or without a special permit as provided by law for vehicles, objects, or contrivances that are overweight, overwidth, overheight, or overlength. Any person operating any vehicle is liable for any damage to any public highway, bridge, elevated structure, or other state property sustained as the result of any negligent operation thereof. When the operator is not the owner of the vehicle, object, or contrivance but is operating or moving it with the express or implied permission of the owner, the owner and the operator are jointly and severally liable for any such damage. Such damage to any state highway, structure, or other state property may be recovered in a civil action instituted in the name of the state of Washington by the department of transportation or other affected state agency. Any measure of damage determined by the department of transportation to its highway, bridge, elevated structure, or other property under this section is prima facie the amount of damage caused thereby and is presumed to be the amount recoverable in any civil action therefor. The damages available under this section include the incident response costs, including traffic control, incurred by the department of transportation.
[2009 c 393 § 1; 1984 c 7 § 59; 1961 c 12 § 46.44.110. Prior: 1937 c 189 § 57; RRS 6360-57.]
| Severability -- 1984 c 7: See note following RCW 47.01.141.|