Motorcycle Accidents Due to Road Hazards in California

Motorcycle Accidents Due to Road Hazards in California

AAA reports that road debris may contribute to as many as 25,000 car accidents in the United States each year. Many of the victims are motorcyclists. Riders face a variety of hazards, and when a car accident involves a motorcycle, the damage can be particularly severe. Our experienced San Bernardino motorcycle accident lawyers explain the various hazards you may encounter on the road and what to do if they cause an accident.

Common Road Hazards Faced by Motorcyclists in California

Road hazards that motorcyclists in California face include:

  • Debris falling from other vehicles
  • Construction cones and other construction equipment
  • Damaged fencing
  • Broken bridges
  • Missing signs, broken and scattered signage
  • Erosion, flooding
  • Rough pavement, potholes, sinkholes, slick surfaces
  • Trees, brush
  • Missing or damaged guardrails
  • Illegal dumping
  • Vehicle parts

Who may be responsible for road debris damage in California?

Parties who may be responsible for road debris damage in California include:

  • Government – For designing, building, and maintaining the road
  • Person, party, or trucking company – If debris falls from a vehicle because a load is not secure
  • Property owner – Responsible for fixtures or personal property by the side of the road
  • Construction or maintenance companies – Leaving materials on the road after work

Responsibility for road debris damage can be based on negligence – someone doesn’t need to have left the object there on purpose.

How To Report Hazardous Road Conditions in California

To report hazardous road conditions in California:

  • Call 1-800-TELL-CHIP – This is the non-emergency line for the California Highway Patrol.
  • Report Online – Caltrans Customer Service Request – Choose “Situation Type” and select “Litter – Trash and Debris.”
  • Call 911 – If a condition is emergency and life-threatening, call immediately.
  • Contact the local municipality.

Legal Responsibilities of Local Authorities and Road Maintenance

Did you know that the government may be legally liable for failing to maintain a safe road?

That’s right!

California Gov. Code § 835 says that a public entity is liable for injury caused by a dangerous condition on its property if:

  1. The dangerous condition existed at the time of the injury.
  2. The dangerous condition proximately caused the injury.
  3. It was reasonably foreseeable that the danger would cause the harm that occurred.
  4. Either the public entity acted negligently in creating the hazard or they had actual or constructive notice of the danger with sufficient time to act.

California Gov. Code § 830(a) says that for legal liability to apply, a danger must be substantial.

It may not be insignificant. It must be a risk that exists when the property is used in a reasonably foreseeable manner. The jury decides whether a condition is dangerous.

In Zamarripa v. City of Coachella, 193 Cal. Rptr. 358 (Cal. App. 1983), the city was negligent for a wall that obstructed the view in an intersection. A driver came to the intersection, saw no oncoming traffic, and proceeded. However, a motorcyclist was coming the other way, and two people were struck.

Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Road Hazards

  • If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by a road hazard, the hazard may be the basis for compensation.
  • A road hazard may be the sole cause of a collision, or it may be a contributing factor.
  • You must identify the danger and prove your case.
  • Multiple parties may be responsible for a road hazard, including a person or company who dropped debris on the road or a government entity for failing to remedy the hazard in a reasonable period.

A car accident lawyer from LA Century Law can represent you in your claim.

Steps To Take Immediately After a Road Hazard Accident

If you are involved in an accident involving a road hazard, move to a safe place, if possible. Go somewhere where you are not at risk of being struck by another vehicle. Call 911 if there is a possibility that anyone is hurt. Summon law enforcement. Follow instructions for first aid to anyone injured until someone with more advanced medical training can take over.

If you can, document the scene with photos. Obtain the driver’s information and take names and contact information for witnesses. If you’re the driver, be sure to provide the required information to others involved.

How To Document Road Hazards

If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident due to a road hazard, documenting the danger is especially important. Ways you may document a road hazard include:

  • Photos of the object, with your cell phone or another camera
  • Photos of your motorcycle to show damage and impact
  • Your testimony – write down everything you remember as soon as possible
  • Witness testimony
  • Information about any construction that was happening in the area at the time
  • Weather report to show conditions on the day and time of the crash
  • Public record if there were previous complaints about the condition
  • Accident reports if other accidents involved the dangerous condition
  • Road designs, public comment, debate about the road construction and operation
  • The object, if you can preserve it
  • Experts in accident reconstruction explain how the hazard caused the accident

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident Due to a Road Hazard? Contact a Lawyer

If you have been in a motorcycle accident involving a road hazard, LA Century Law can protect your rights. We fight for the rights of motorcyclists so they can get fair compensation when they have been hurt in a crash. Our team investigates, preserves evidence, and builds your case. We resolve cases through both settlements and trials.

We’ve recovered millions for our clients. You deserve the representation of a premier California motorcycle accident law firm. Contact us today for your consultation.

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