According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in street collisions in 2018. While this number represents a 5 percent decline compared to 2017, the number of motorcycle fatalities is still proportionally higher than the number of automobile fatalities. Cyclists should always remember to ride safely — with a helmet, obeying the rules of the road, and stone-cold sober to avoid motorcycle accidents.
But they should also remember that they have the right to due compensation when another party is at fault for an accident in which they sustain serious, life-threatening injuries.
Potholes are commonly to blame when motorcycle accidents occur because riders simply do not notice they are there. When pothole-related motorcycle accidents occur, who is to blame? The simplest answer is: it depends. These accidents can often be the result of negligence on both the part of the rider and the authority responsible for maintaining the roads.
To mitigate the danger of potholes, riders should remember to never tailgate other vehicles. Maintain a safe distance while paying attention to the road directly ahead in order to locate and avoid potholes before they can cause a fatal accident. Be sure to slow the bike when navigating corners. Most importantly, avoid puddles — because they could be potholes in disguise. Obeying these rules is crucial to winning a lawsuit.
Were you in a motorcycle accident because of an unavoidable pothole? Municipal, state, or federal governments are responsible for maintaining the road on which you had your accident — which means you have every right to sue when a poorly maintained road left you with an injury, no matter how minor. Potholes are preventable. But the opposition’s defense will almost certainly argue that reckless riding was a major cause of the accident (even if you were riding safely).
This is why a strong legal defense is so important. Not only do you need to provide proof that the pothole was the cause of your accident, but you also need to provide proof that the legal authority responsible for filling that pothole knew that it existed but did nothing about it.
Your personal injury attorney will attempt to determine whether or not this was the case while also trying to locate other drivers or motorcyclists who may have been involved in accidents for the same reason. An attorney will also investigate whether or not the authority responsible for the roadway was conducting surveys to discover potential damage, which they are required to do on a regular basis. Failing to fix a pothole within a reasonable timeframe means your case is as good as won.
Ready to make a claim? Your lawyer will want as much information as possible, including location of the pothole, direction of travel, witness contact information, and relevant medical bills resulting from injuries sustained. Try to take down as much information as you can, and be sure to report the accident to the police.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to a pothole and suffered a severe injury, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation.