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Who Pays When Poor Road Conditions Cause Motorcycle Crashes?

Road conditions are not always perfect. The design of the road, the condition of the road, or the weather, can make conditions difficult and could cause a serious motorcycle accident.

Motorcycles are more susceptible to poor road design and bad maintenance than most other vehicles; yet most roads are not designed with motorcyclists in mind. As a two-wheeled vehicle, a motorcycle is more dependent than other vehicles on a solid, high-friction road surface to maintain control. The critical surface area where the tire meets the roadway is smaller on a motorcycle than on any other highway vehicle, and those points of contact are essential for the bike’s stability, maneuvering, and braking.

In addition to maintaining safe roads, state and local governments are supposed to keep motorists aware of any dangerous roads by posting appropriate signs. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen on a timely manner.

This leaves riders vulnerable and could lead to catastrophic crashes. Thus, it is important for motorcyclists and their loved ones to know what bad road conditions are and who may be legally responsible if a crash occurs.

Examples of Poor Road Design and Road Maintenance

There are many different ways that road design, road maintenance, or road conditions can cause accidents. These include:

  • Poorly lit roads and intersections.
  • Poorly marked curves and poorly designed intersections.
  • Road and pavement defects. This includes uneven pavement, grooved pavement, resurfaced pavement, and potholes.
  • Unmarked lane shifts and turn lanes.
  • Insufficient shoulders.
  • A lack of dividers, medians, or guardrails.
  • Low-hanging branches or vegetation obstruction.
  • Dangerous bridge joints.
  • Loose gravel or sand on pavement.
  • Debris in the road.
  • Poor drainage. Standing water can hide other defects in the road.

It is important to keep any pictures that you have from the accident scene that could help establish would road conditions were like at the time of your crash.

Who’s at Fault If a Motorcycle Crash Occurs?

It is always our first instinct to blame another driver for an accident. In one-vehicle accidents, we often assume that the driver or rider is at fault. However, the entity charged with designing, building, and maintaining the roadway could have played a critical role in your motorcycle crash. Thus, if your bike crash was caused by poor road design it is important to consider whether:

  • Another driver caused the crash by failing to drive safely given the road conditions.
  • The state or local government caused the crash because of negligent road design or the failure to warn you of potential hazards.

You may be owed compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and repairs to your bike and gear. Please contact us today via this website to learn more about your rights and your potential recovery.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham