Bicycle accidents are common—especially when road conditions are poor. Even a small area of an unkempt road may cause serious injuries. When such occurs, the government may be liable unless they are immune.
If you are injured due to a pothole, the government may be liable for your injuries in the following situations:
- If the pothole is caused by wear and tear, then the government will be liable if they were negligent. Negligent is measured from how much notice the government entity gets about the pothole, and whether they took action to repair it. Generally, it depends on how long the pothole has been present.
- If the pothole is caused by shoddy road maintenance, then the government entity is liable if they did not provide warning of the pothole. The government entity may escape liability if they put barriers around the pothole or warning signs.
If railroad tracks or trolley tracks are in use, then the government will not be liable for any injuries they cause to bicyclists. However, if the tracks are abandoned and simply exist as a hazardous condition, then you may be able to bring a legal case for your injuries. You will likely need to show that the condition is hazardous and that the government has done nothing to minimize or warn about the hazard.
Sewer grates on roads may cause tremendous injuries to bicyclists, especially if those bicyclists are children. Bicyclists may get stuck in the gates when their grate bars run parallel to the bicyclists’ tires. It has become common for government entity to get rid of grate bars, as it is their duty to make the road safe for bicyclists.
Should I Contact a Lawyer?
If you have been injured on your bicycle due to unsafe road conditions, you should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer can examine the facts of your case and determine if the government may be liable for your injuries.