Why are motorcycle and vehicle claims treated so differently? Although on the surface, or at least form the consumer side, […]
After a motorcycle crash, it's reasonable to look for the responsible party. In many cases, it's possible that the city is responsible. If a city has not maintained its streets or kept them safe for motorcyclists, they may be responsible.
If someone put in a claim, or if the repair was done negligently, then it's likely that you may have a case. Plenty of single-vehicle motorcycle accidents happen because of poor road conditions. Unexpected ledges, unmarked trenches, severe dips without signs, and even potholes are worthy of a municipality case.
Why are potholes such a big deal? When you’re driving in a vehicle, they're disruptive but hardly an issue. However, for someone riding a bike, that sharp tug of falling into a pothole is enough to twist their front and back tire, often in opposite directions. The effect is the rider being sent from the bike, and usually the bike not making it through the crash.
When riders are thrown from their bikes, they're not just traveling at the speed of their bike. Depending on the way the bike "threw" them, it's possible that they picked up velocity. Then when they meet the ground, they're often in for a massive impact, road rash, and probably broken body parts. Punctured lungs, broken joints, broken bones, and internal damage are all common medical issues from single-vehicle motorcycle crashes. The issue in many of these is that the driver is also on the road where other vehicles are traveling, which puts them at risk for being hit by a vehicle after that accident.
Why don't ruts and potholes bother drivers? When a vehicle that large is traveling at high speed, it has the ability to move the energy from the change in ground texture. Essentially, cars are built to distribute changes in force; that's why they can make a substantial impact, and most of the passengers are alright.
Road conditions, unless extreme, generally don’t bother standard vehicle drivers. This issue is one of the contributing factors to people blaming motorcyclists for taking risks on the road. But that's not the point; the point is that cities have a responsibility to make the roads safe for everyone, not just standard vehicle drivers.
Before you do anything else, get off the street. There is not a more dangerous place than for a motorcyclist to be on the street while vehicles are still operating. Then, immediately call for medical attention. Even if you can get up and walk, you don't know the extent of any internal damage. Don't risk moving around too much after you make it off the street. Wait for an ambulance and police officer to arrive.
Then, when you are able to contact an attorney and request that they start collecting evidence at once. Many motorcyclists are in no condition to get around and gather evidence after a crash. They may be in the hospital recovering for days or even weeks. During their recovery time, the city could go out and fill in the pothole while you have no picture evidence that it was there.
The police report should no doubt cite the pothole as the cause of the wreck, but it will be a long battle for you. First, the city will try to argue that there wasn't sufficient time to repair the pothole or that the last repair was too near the date, and it would not be addressed for some time. It’s vital that you have images of the street’s condition before the city has a chance to fix it. It is also useful if they can capture the skid marks from your bike or any signs of the wreckage. The police will likely that images of the crash scene as part of their report as well.
When working with an attorney, you shouldn't have very much to do at all. Contact Young, Reverman, and Mazzei, where they help riders identify the actual issue behind their crash. All too often, motorcycle riders get the short end of the stick.
But when you’re fighting through your recovery, you can't have it weighing on your mind. Stop worrying about not getting the compensation that you need. Reach out to our law offices to connect with a Cincinnati personal injury attorney that understands your position in the crash and the contributing elements as well, schedule a consultation now.