Most people who only drive four-wheeled vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and SUVs, are not aware of the small but significant dangers that lurk on the roads and highways. However, motorcycle operators are all too familiar with many of these hazards. In some cases, danger spots are created by the actions or neglect of government entities responsible for the maintenance of transportation networks. Below are some of the more common hazards and what you should know about each. Also, if you are involved in a motorcycle crash that was precipitated by striking a road hazard, then you need to know what to do next.
Common types of road hazards that can affect motorcycles
Potholes - While potholes are usually nothing more than a nuisance to a four-wheeled vehicle, they can be deadly to motorcyclists. Striking a pothole can cause a rider to lose control and crash. Potholes are a common problem, but you should be aware whenever the likelihood of one appearing in your path increases. For example, look out for potholes following heavy rains and freezing temperatures and ice. In addition, expect potholes on busy roads that carry frequent truck traffic.
Debris - This category of hazards can include anything from roadkill to sand to auto parts left over after a collision. Objects, particularly those that are manmade in origin, can wrap around the wheel fork and spokes and cause an out-of-control crash. Always be watchful for debris on the road; in addition, be mindful of vehicles traveling ahead of you that may be vulnerable to losing some of their cargo.
Repairs - Sites where road repairs are conducted can prove to be dangerous for motorcyclists. Depending upon the type of repair, there may be grooves in the pavement, uneven lanes, deep drop-offs, and barriers, all of which may cause a loss of control or cause a motorcycle to leave the road surface altogether.
Permanent obstacles - Some roadway dangers may be permanent in nature due to oversight or to somebody not making a connection to the special hazards that motorcyclists face. Some of these long-term problems include drainage grates that can be slippery or contain openings that catch the wheels of motorcycles. Other such obstacles include railroad tracks, certain road markings, and certain signs.
What to do if you are in an accident caused by a road hazard
Should you find yourself involved in a motorcycle crash that is due to one of the above hazards or one that is not listed, then your first order of business is to file a claim against the responsible government entities. Governments at all levels use claims systems to handle cases where a private party believes government neglect or negligence is the source of their harm. Claim filing isn't difficult, but you do need to know a few essentials:
Time is of the essence - Do not delay filing a claim if you are hurt due to an accident that was caused by government failure to adequately protect motorcyclists. Some locales have a short time limit while others are more generous. Even if you don't have every fact clearly stated or there are still missing pieces in your situation, it is important to get a claim filed first.
File a claim with the correct agency - It can be hard to know who to submit a claim to following an accident, especially when there is a lack of information or difficulty in reaching customer service. That is why it is important to submit claims to each and every government body that may be responsible for your harm.
Expect claim rejection - In some areas, nearly every claim is rejected by the agency in charge of acceptance or review. Do not let this discourage you, as this means most agencies are willing to negotiate your claim. Be watchful and patient, and you will likely get the payout you have properly earned.
Talk to a law firm such as Scherline And Associates for help or more information.Share
6 September 2016
It can be hard to know what to do to protect yourself legally in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. You’re liable to be disoriented or in shock, you may be injured, and you’re surely worried about your passenger or the other driver. At least, that’s how I felt. The thing is, the things you say and do in the immediate aftermath of an accident may affect a legal case later. Depending on who’s at fault and what the laws are in your state, you may want to sue the other driver for damages, or you may find yourself being sued. My blog is designed to give you tips for a car accident lawsuit, no matter which side you find yourself on.