Taxes are paid to ensure that the streets are safe and absent from dangerous conditions. In many cities, the streets and highways are littered with potholes. When these conditions aren’t fixed, they can cause significant injuries to people. Although many folks think they can’t file a claim for injuries sustained due to a dangerous pothole, there are circumstances when you can file a claim against the city. You just have to be sure to file the claim in a timely manner or you’ll lose the right to file a cause of action.
Liability for Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Potholes
Cities and states are liable if they fail to correct a known unsafe condition in a reasonable time period. At the same time, the municipality must have knowledge of the street condition and fail to act in a reasonable time to fix it in order to successfully file a claim. A motorcycle accident lawyer will do the investigation to see if the municipality had knowledge. Usually, the courts consider 6 to 8 weeks from having notice of the unsafe condition to fix it. But, if there have been prior accidents the time period may be less. The municipality is considered to be negligent if they do not fix it within the time period.
Public roads are the government’s responsibility. Which government agency is in charge of the public roads can be a factor that affects liability. For example, a state-level agency may be responsible. Things like fallen tree branches and black ice may be maintained by a lower municipality. In addition, the municipality may contract the repair of a pothole to a third-party. If the strip of road is under construction, the construction company is responsible for any pothole damage.
The Statute of Limitation for a Claim
You have only 6 months to file a claim against the municipality for damages, and this time period is enforced, even if you are incapacitated from your injuries. Once the claim is filed, you will still have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. A claim is not a lawsuit. It preserves your right to file a lawsuit. If the municipality denies the claim, you can then file a lawsuit.
Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries
Unfortunately, bikers are very prone to pothole accidents. It’s easy for the wheel to get trapped in a pothole. There are many reasons why a pothole can cause a motorcycle accident. The pothole may be filled with water and not visible. The pothole is deeper than it appears. The incline of the road makes it hard to see the pothole. Also, the pothole may not be able to be avoided if there are pedestrians or cars in close proximity.
And if you were traveling at a high speed, significant injuries can happen. The most common injuries include:
- Ocular injuries
- Fractured ribs
- Hand injuries
- Broken hip
- Broken collar bone
- Spine injury
- Neck injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Compression fracture
Suing the Government is Not Easy
Government agencies can be shielded from lawsuits. It’s this type of legal immunity that keeps the gears of justice turning slowly. In this case, it might be required that you first file an administrative claim against the responsible party. This is similar to arbitration in order to reach a settlement. With money on the line, it’s important that you use a local, experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. The attorney will be aware of the local laws and rules which will affect your claim.
The US PIRG Education Fund revealed that 66 percent of roadways are in average to poor shape. Unfortunately, new construction tends to get more money and resources than roads. For the most part, government agencies are responsible for clean-up, inspection and maintenance of roads. Proving that a government agency knew of a dangerous condition can be tricky. It may be that a city employee or a citizen reported a pothole.
While a pothole in the road may not do much damage to an SUV or car, the risk for a motorcyclist is much greater. It can cause one to get thrown off the bike and striking the ground with significant force. It’s not that uncommon for a motorcyclist to incur a brain injury due to hitting a pothole.
When you pursue a motorcycle pothole accident claim, you can expect vigorous opposition. If you hire an experienced motorcycle attorney, they will use adequate evidence to beat the defense. An experienced motorcycle attorney will provide diligent representation and see to it that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. It’s never wise to try to go it on your own when you’re up against the government.
If you’ve incurred damages on a motorcycle due to a pothole, call a motorcycle accident attorney today. Get a free consultation and discover what your rights are.