Motorcycle Crashes on Poorly Maintained Roads: Can the Government Be Held Liable for Damages?

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Poorly Maintained Roads

Motorcycle accidents happen. Sadly, injuries sustained in this type of accident tend to be severe, and victims may wish to seek compensation from the responsible party. What happens when the accident is a result of poorly maintained roads? Can the government be sued when this is the case? Victims need to know the answers to these questions before determining if a lawsuit should be filed.

Road Maintenance:

First and foremost, it must be determined who is responsible for maintaining the road on which the accident took place. This may fall under the jurisdiction of a city, a county, a state, or the federal government. To determine who to sue for the motorcycle crash that resulted from poorly maintained roads, a rider must have this information. He or she might find more than one party is responsible for this task. Furthermore, he or she must learn whether sovereign immunity is a factor in the case.

Proving Negligence:

Once it has been decided who should be sued, the focus will turn to prove negligence on this entity’s part. This may be difficult to accomplish. For example, if a rider crashes when it is icy outside, attorneys look to see how long road conditions have been deteriorating. If the ice built up in the hour before the accident, this is very different from ice that remained on the road for a 24 hour period. When a pothole has been present for weeks, however, and the government has done nothing about it, the rider likely has a stronger case. Plenty of time was available for the problem to be resolved in the second situation and the road should have been repaired in a reasonable time frame.

Comparative Negligence:

Government entities try to turn the blame back on the rider as opposed to paying on a claim. Lawyers working on the government’s behalf look for any action on the part of the rider that contributed to the accident. For this reason, riders need to ensure they have all the information available relating to the case. A good example of this is documentation that shows road conditions have been bad for a period of time and drivers made previous reports detailing the problem. An attorney can be of great help in obtaining this information if the rider finds it difficult to do so for any reason.

Suing the Government:

Certain conditions typically need to be met before a government agency can be sued. The rider needs to know what these conditions are, and they vary by state. For this reason, legal representation may be needed to ensure the rider has a solid case and is not wasting his or her time and money attempting to sue an agency that cannot be held accountable for the accident. This is confusing to many people, which is why an attorney will probably need to be consulted before any action is taken.

Riders should feel safe when they go out on the road. Although the actions of other drivers cannot be predicted, road conditions are easier to control. When an agency fails to follow through on maintaining roads, it needs to be held accountable. Fortunately, numerous riders have sued one of these agencies successfully. Consider bringing a suit against the responsible parties if you are injured as a result of poor road conditions. You deserve compensation at this time and a successful suit will help to ensure you get it.

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