Who Is at Fault When Potholes Cause Motorcycle Accidents?

The weather is warming up, and you can’t wait to get back on the road. You’ve been cooped up in a car all winter, and the first sunny day on the bike was worth the wait—until you discover that the snow and ice has been even rougher on the roads than it has been on you. So what happens when the cracked pavement and gaping potholes on I-49 finally cause a motorcycle accident?

Road Hazards That Lead to Springtime Bike Accidents

There are many ways melting ice and snow can uncover—or even create—dangerous road hazards, including:

  • Potholes – It doesn’t take much for these craters in the asphalt to become dangerous. Water seeping into the cracks and freezing can widen potholes throughout the winter, finally exposing them when the spring comes. Even if you are able to regain control of your bike and do not strike any other objects, you may experience an injury from the impact with the pothole itself.
  • Puddles – Rain pools in potholes and makes them look like puddles, causing riders to pass over them rather than avoid them. Deeper cracks in the pavement can create ruts where front wheels become wedged, causing the bike to flip, while water collected in a shallow dip can cause hydroplaning.
  • Sand or gravel – Loose dirt and gravel particles can easily be blown onto the roadway, and don’t pose much threat in small drifts. However, a pile of gravel that accidentally fell off of a truck, or a mound of dirt that was left by a construction crew, can have much more impact on a biker traveling over 50 miles per hour.
  • Road debris – Fallen branches, road kill, blown tires—even a discarded fast food bag can be potentially lethal to a motorcycle rider.

Who Is Responsible for Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Poor Road Maintenance?

In most cases, state, city, and federal governments are responsible for maintaining and clearing the roadways on a regular basis. If you were injured because you became stuck in a pothole, you may have a claim against the municipal body in charge of that stretch of highway, especially if they were aware that the pothole existed and had not made any effort to fix in in a reasonable amount of time.

On the other hand, there may be a number of people at fault if you were injured by debris in the road. If you struck a wooden beam or other item that was partially left in the roadway, you may be able to seek compensation from the trucking company responsible for hauling it. If you skidded on a patch of sand in a construction area, you may be able to sue the construction company if there were no warning signs posted in the area, or if the pile had been allowed to pose a danger for several days.

The important thing to remember is that potholes are not just another risk of riding a bike—they are a preventable cause of motorcycle accidents. You can get compensation when they cause serious injuries.

Have You Been Injured In A Motorcycle Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

You can also order your FREE copy of our book, “KC Biker Bible.”