Many roads are falling into disrepair due to funding problems and a lack of priority placed on infrastructure. For example, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently gave Missouri a C-minus in infrastructure for the condition of its roads, bridges and dams. Nearly a third of the roads in Missouri are in mediocre condition, according to the ASCE. The situation is worse in Illinois, where 73 percent of roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
When a state’s roads are in bad shape, this can have very real consequences for motorists. Motorcycle riders may be in the greatest danger as a result of poor road conditions. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) points out, “road conditions that are minor annoyances to motorists can pose major hazards to motorcyclists.”
If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident and you believe a road defect was to blame, you may be able to take legal action. Cases based on road defects can be very complicated because government entities are usually responsible for maintenance, and the law limits when the government can be sued. An experienced St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer at The Cagle Law Firm can help.
Dangerous Roads Can Cause Motorcycle Accidents
NHTSA indicated that some of the road defects that present the greatest risk to motorcycle riders include:
- Uneven gravel roads.
- Seams in the pavement.
- Railroad crossings, especially if not clearly marked, and even if the crossings are no longer operational.
- Grooved pavement.
Other potential defects that could make a road unsafe for motorcycle riders include road signs that are hidden or unreadable, pavement that has worn away unevenly, a shoulder that has eroded and become a steep drop-off and debris that is left on the roadway.
Motorcyclists are especially susceptible to these and other dangerous road conditions because motorcycles have only two wheels and are less stable and more difficult to balance.
When the front tire of a motorcycle hits a pothole or when a motorcycle hits debris on the road, it is very possible that the driver of the bike will lose control, causing a serious crash. A change in the surface of the road could also result in a motorcyclist losing control and being thrown from the bike and injured or killed in the resulting crash.
Since motorcycles are also harder to see than passenger cars, a problem with road signs or traffic control signals could cause the driver of a passenger car to hit a motorcycle rider, as could issues with poorly designed roads that compromise visibility.
In these and other situations, defects or problems with road maintenance or design may be a direct cause of accidents that lead to injury. Whenever an accident occurs as a result of negligence or wrongdoing, the person or entity who failed to meet its obligations may be held liable for the consequences of the accident. This is no less true when the cause of the crash was a problem with the road and the responsible party is a government agency.
Taking Action When Road Defects Cause Motorcycle Accidents
Victims of motorcycle accidents caused by road defects may be able to sue the government agency that was responsible for the defect, but special rules called “sovereign immunity” impose additional requirements and limits on the right to make a motorcycle accident claim.
Despite the sovereign immunity rules that protect government employees and agents, you may still be able to hold government entities responsible provided that the proper legal steps are taken. A motorcycle accident lawyer at The Cagle Law Firm can help you determine if your claim meet the requirements so that your case can go forward.
If you or a loved one was hurt on a motorcycle because of a road defect, get the legal help you need. You shouldn’t bear the burden of a crash because the government didn’t do its job to make the roads safe. The St. Louis personal injury attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm are ready to fight to protect your rights and help you get the full compensation you deserve.
Contact The Cagle Law Firm online or call toll free at 1.800.685.3302, locally 314.276.1681 now for a free case evaluation.