One of the hazards of riding a bicycle are road hazards. Because bicycles have relatively thin tiers, changes in road surfaces, debris in the road, sewer grates, railroad tracks and potholes can all cause a bicycle accident and result in serious injury.
When a bicycle accident is caused by a known road hazard, the governmental entity responsible for that road may be liable for injuries suffered by the accident victim.
In Oakland, California, the City Council has agreed to pay a $3.25 million bicycle accident settlement to a bicyclist, Dulcey Bower, who suffered “severe injuries to her face, head, jaw, teeth” when her bicycle hit a pothole. The city council agreed to the settlement after evidence was provided that the city had received prior complaints about the potholes and ruts on the street and had failed to fix thm
In 2010 inWashington State, the Department of Transportation awarded Mickey Gendler, an $8 million settlement after a bicycle crash on the Montlake Bridge caused a Gendler to suffer a spinal cord injury which left him as a quadriplegic. In this case, the Gendler claimed that the DOT was because of a inch-wide gap in section of metal grating on the bridge that had caused a previous accident.
In the case of a pothole accident, the governmental entity may be liable for a bicycle accident caused by the hazard if the entity was aware of the problem and the pothole was caused by shoddy road fixes or long-term wear and tear. If the pothole was only present for a short duration, the public entity may not be liable.
Sewer Grate Accidents
Sewer grates can pose a serious danger to bicyclists. If the sewer grates were installed in the same direction as traffic, bicycle tires can get stuck between the grates. Most governmental entities install sewer grates in the other direction, cover them with crosshatches or change their shapes so that bicycle tires do not become ensnared. I grates were improperly installed, there may be a case for negligence.
Railroad Track Accidents
Bicycle wheels can bet caught in the space between railroad tracks and the roadway if they cross the road at an angle or curve. In cases where railroad tracks are not in use, the public entity should remove or cover the tracks. If they remain present, bicyclist should be warned with a sign and a bicycle bath could be built.
In determining negligence for a bicycle accident caused by a road hazard, the plaintiff need provide documentation that the governmental entity responsible for a particular section of road was aware of the danger and employed measures to eliminate the danger. In cases against governmental agencies, it is advised that a knowledgeable personal injury law firm be engaged.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in bicycle accidents. With more than 40 years as a trial lawyer, Herbert Farber, founder of The Farber Law Group, will work hard to obtain the compensation you deserves.
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