Bicyclists may face several different kinds of hazards. Some drivers may fail to see them or might not respect their right to the road, for example. But one oft-overlooked hazard is the condition of the roadways. When a cyclist loses control of his/her bike because of a road hazard, the consequences can be costly and dire.
Serious injury can occur when the cyclist hits the pavement, or a passing vehicle could even strike during or immediately after the crash. In these cases, bicyclists often wonder who is to blame for the accident, and thus who is responsible for damages they incur as a result.
Who is responsible for a crash caused by an unsafe roadway?
When a bicyclist is injured in an accident caused by a road hazard, there may be a question of who may be responsible for damages. Suing the government for a dangerous road may be possible. This could be a state, city, county or other local entity that is charged with keeping roadways safe.
In order for a claim against the responsible government agency to be successful, the claimant must prove that that agency failed to act responsibly in the upkeep of the road. The cyclist must be able to link his/her injuries and accident to a scenario where the agency could and should have improved the roadway to a safer level and neglected to do so.
Because this process is not always simple or clear-cut, it is wise to seek legal help for a claim against the government. A personal injury lawyer will be able to provide guidance and expertise throughout your case.
Common Types of Unsafe Roadway Accidents: Potholes
Potholes are typically the result of long-term wear and tear on the roadway or cracking or sinking that occurs after poor quality road repairs. There are some guidelines that will come into play if your accident occurred because of a pothole.
First, if the pothole is a result of poor workmanship on the roadway, the party who ordered and/or performed the work could be liable. If the pothole was not properly marked off as a hazard on the street, this will strengthen the case of the injured cyclist. If the pothole is an issue of wear and tear, it will need to be determined how long the pothole was there and whether there was adequate time for the agency to find it and fix it.
Common Types of Unsafe Roadway Accidents: Sewer Grates
These hazards are a necessity in many areas. However, grates that run in the same direction as traffic pose a known hazard to cyclists, who can get their tires wedged between the grates.
Many cities have turned the grates against traffic to avoid this problem, or at least covered the grates to alleviate the risk. A claimant may argue that the government agency responsible for road safety neglected to make minor and inexpensive changes to allow for safe travel for bicyclists.
These are just a couple of hazards that might cause a wreck. There are many others as well, so if you were injured in a bike accident caused by roadway hazards, seek legal counsel with a lawyer.
Call Max Meyers for Help with Your Kirkland Bicycle Accident Case
If injured in a bicycle accident because of unsafe roadways, get help bringing your claim against the appropriate government agency. Max Meyers specializes in bicycle accident cases. Call us today at 425-399-7000 to set up a consultation. You could also set up your consultation by filling out our online contact form.