When most people think of motorcycle accidents, they think of motorcycles colliding with other vehicles or fixed objects around the roadway. However, sometimes, hazards for motorcyclists come directly from the roadway itself. Potholes present incredible risks for motorcyclists, much more so than for other drivers on the roadway. Here, we want to discuss the dangers that potholes present to motorcyclists, common injuries that occur as a result of these accidents, and whether or not motorcyclists can recover compensation in these situations.
Every motorist has to contend with potholes. In most situations, a vehicle driver will consider a pothole a minor annoyance. However, serious potholes can cause significant damage and even injuries to drivers and passengers inside of traditional motor vehicles.
However, potholes are even more dangerous for motorcyclists. Motorcycles weigh much less than cars do, and they only have two wheels. Motorcyclists lack the safety of an enclosed vehicle, including metal frames, airbags, and seatbelts. Without these safety features, and with the higher likelihood that a motorcyclist will crash because of a pothole, these incidents can become deadly.
The severity of potholes can vary. Some potholes are relatively shallow, but some are deep and go to the ground layer below the pavement. In some cases, potholes are smaller and do not take up much of the roadway, but some potholes are simply unavoidable.
Determining responsibility for a pothole accident can be challenging. In general, we will find that state or municipal governments are responsible for maintaining the roadways around Colorado. This means that if a roadway defect causes an accident, it may be possible to hold a government entity responsible for the incident. However, holding these government entities responsible is incredibly difficult.
First, it has to be shown that the agency responsible for roadway maintenance knew about the roadway defect (the pothole) and subsequently failed to take steps to warn other drivers about the default or promptly repair the pothole. Proving that a government entity knew about a pothole will be tough, though this could be done by gathering all records of complaints made to a particular department. If it can be shown that the government entity responsible for the maintenance knew about a particular pothole and failed to take steps to remedy the issue promptly, it may be possible to file a personal lawsuit.
There are also times when construction companies are responsible for roadway maintenance, particularly when there is ongoing construction and they have to re-route the roadway to accommodate their needs. If it can be shown that a construction company was in charge of roadway maintenance at the time a pothole accident occurred, it may be necessary to explore a personal injury lawsuit against the construction company directly.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured or sustained property damage as a result of a motorcycle accident involving a pothole, you need to speak to a Denver motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. It is important to fully investigate who was in charge of the roadway at the time the incident occurred. An attorney will conduct a complete investigation into the incident, work to determine liability, and handle all negotiations to recover fair compensation.