Avoiding Legal Trouble

Determining Liability In A Single Bike Accident

A single bike accident – which is a motorcycle accident that involves no other cars, motorcycles, or pedestrians directly – may at first appear to be the motorcycle rider's fault. The fact is, there are other factors that can lead to the accident, and some of them could leave someone besides you responsible. The following information can help you determine the cause so you can determine where liability may lie.

Was there construction in the area?

Uneven pavement and loose gravel often accompany construction sites. Even if the road work isn't occurring directly in the lane you were in, construction on the shoulder or on a road that merges into the road where you were at could bring dangerous debris. There is supposed to be signage warning motorcyclists to use caution when gravel and pavement issues are present. If there wasn't, you may be able to hold the construction company liable. It's best to get photographic evidence as soon as possible, along with witnesses if you can, since signage may be placed after the accident. This can make it difficult to prove that the signs weren't there previously.

Did you hit a pothole or road damage?

Potholes, sudden washboarding, and cracks in the road surface can also be a cause of a single bike accident. If you suspect that this is the case, get photographic evidence of the road damage as soon as possible. This will have to be taken up with the municipality or government department that is responsible for that particular road. Generally, you will have to show that the municipality should have been reasonably aware that there was a safety issue. For example, a pothole that has been present for weeks means the municipality may be liable, while one that likely opened that day due to a heavy rain storm may simply be deemed an accident.

Could someone else have added to your damages?

This most often comes into play with additional obstructions. For example, if you lose control of your bike and crash into an illegally parked car, then the owner of the car could be at least partially responsible for your injuries. Another example is if another driver fails to signal, so you lay down the bike and get major road burn while avoiding a collision. Although only your bike is involved in the accident, someone else was the cause or added to the severity of your injuries or damages.

Contact a motorcycle accident attorney in your area to learn more about what recourse you may have following your accident.