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Personal Injury Liability: Bicyclist Lawyers

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Is the Governments Liable for Bicyclists Injuries Due to Defective Roads?

Yes, local governments can be liable for injuries to bicyclists to due poorly maintained or defective public roadways. Local governments are generally obligated to keep roads free of dangerous defects/obstructions, and can be held liable for any injuries that result to bicyclists. 

What Exceptions Exist That Can Preclude Liability?

In most cases, local governments cannot be held liable for defects which are too unreasonable to anticipate, or that cannot be prevented even with precautionary measures. Some areas even allow laws that preclude government liability for injuries occurring in public recreational areas. In other words, a bicyclist who injures themselves on a defective bike trail may possibly be barred from suing his or her municipality. 

What Factors Determine Whether the Government Is Held Liable?

Although specific factors can vary from state to state, most courts examine the following general set of guidelines when determining liability:

  • The actual condition and nature of defect on the roadway
  • Prior complaints or pleas to government officials regarding the defective roadway
  • Possibility of injury had roadway not been defective
  • Cost of repairing defect
  • Comparative negligence of injured bicyclist

How Can a Lawyer Help Me?

If you are a bicyclist who has been injured while using a public roadway, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to learn about any possible legal options. A lawyer can inform you on local laws regarding bike lanes and trails, as well as the possible success of your individual case.

Photo of page author Peter Clarke

, LegalMatch Content Manager

Last Modified: 11-23-2015 09:58 AM PST

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