Although many motorcycle accidents are caused by a negligent motorist, some are the result of a dangerous road hazard. Because motorcyclists lack many of the traditional protections of a passenger vehicle, they are especially susceptible to imperfections in the road or other vehicles swerving to avoid a road hazard.
If an accident was caused by a dangerous road hazard, it may be possible to seek compensation from business or city, county or state government that is responsible for maintaining the safety of the road. Similar to most personal injury claims, a claim for an accident caused by a road hazard will require the victim to prove that another party’s negligence caused the accident.
Dangerous Road Hazards
Motorcyclists must watch for common road dangers that could compromise their safety such as:
- Gravel on pavement
- Materials that have fallen from a truck
- Construction debris
- Fallen branches or other material
- Weather erosion
- Steep embankments
- Cracks in the road
- Missing or malfunctioning traffic signs and signals
Determining Who is Liable
Determining who is responsible for an accident caused by a hazardous road condition can be complicated, as every situation is different. It is advised that you contact an experienced lawyer for help determining if you have a case.
According to Florida statute 768.28, the state waives sovereign immunity in tort actions and can be held liable in a civil lawsuit for its role in causing the personal injury or death of an individual through the negligent or wrongful act or omission of an employee or subdivision.
City, county and state governments are responsible for planning, building and maintaining of roads. Under this rule, the entity responsible for the road where the accident occurred can be held liable if it can be proven that the entity knew about the hazard, or enough time passed that it should have known about the hazard, yet failed to correct it.
Additionally, a private business owner or landowner could be held responsible for a motorcycle accident that occurs on his or her property.
In many situations, private companies are hired to perform construction or maintenance on a road. If their negligence leads to construction tools or debris in the road, improperly marked construction zones, or improperly placed detour barrels, they could be held liable for any resulting damages.
Similarly, if cargo falls from a semi-truck and becomes road debris, it may be possible to hold the trucking company or cargo company liable for the accident if you are able to identify the truck that lost the cargo.
Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Gordon & Doner are well-versed in Florida law and will conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to determine if you have a case and who could be held liable for your injuries and damages.
If you or your loved one has suffered from injuries after a motorcycle accident, contact our firm for a complimentary case consultation.