Some roadways in Wisconsin, damaged by severe winters, hot summers or heavy traffic, are in poor shape and riddled with cracks and potholes. If a defective road pavement can cause some damage to a passenger car - blowing out a tire, denting a wheel or wrecking shock absorbers - it can be deadly to the unsuspecting motorcyclist. Even the most cautious and alert rider may not be able to avoid a crash when the front wheel is trapped in a treacherous hole. We all know what crashing head-first on the roadway means for a motorcyclist, no matter how well he or she is protected.
What is a Wisconsin motorcyclist to do after a bike crash caused by a pothole?
Some serious motorcycle crashes in Wisconsin, caused neither by the rider nor by other motorists, are clearly the result of a highway defect: cracks, potholes or uneven pavement. The responsibility of the authorities in charge of the road section where the crash occurred, federal, state or county, becomes more evident if there is no warning sign pointing to the road defect and if the defect is of such nature that a crash is very likely.
A motorcyclist injured in a pothole crash may recover damages against the authorities in charge of the construction, maintenance and signalization of the roadway if he or she can prove that:
- 1. The roadway was defective and created an unreasonable risk of harm or injury;
- 2. The authorities were aware of the defect and did not signal, fix or fence the roadway section within a reasonable length of time;
- 3. The defective condition was the proximate cause of the victim's injuries.
The victim's case will be reinforced if other motorists have complained about the road's condition, or have suffered damages due to the same causes.
There is no legal requirement that roadways be in perfect condition, and not every minor defect will justify a claim against authorities. As each case must be judged on its own merits, your best bet is to consult with an experienced, focused and dedicated motorcycle accident law firm like Hupy & Abraham.
If you have been hurt in a Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois car, truck or motorcycle accident, contact Hupy & Abraham today at 800-800-5676 (toll-free) or 414-223-4800 (local) for a free evaluation of your case, or send us an e-mail with your questions. Hupy & Abraham has offices in Milwaukee, Madison, and Appleton in Wisconsin, and Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Quad Cities in Iowa, and Gurnee and Bloomington in Illinois.