San Diego Bicycle Accident Attorney Discusses Road Hazards
This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
Posted in News & Articles | Posted by: George Heppner - San Diego Personal Injury Attorney
In this article, an experienced San Diego bicycle accident attorney examines the question of government liability when a bicyclist is injured due to a fall caused by the condition of the road.
Bicyclists often encounter hazards that have nothing to do with other drivers. The physical condition of the road may present a danger if it has been poorly maintained. By their very nature, bicycles are vulnerable to uneven road surfaces or other conditions that can throw the rider into oncoming traffic or result in a fall that can cause significant injury.
Types Of Road Hazards
The hazards most frequently encountered in most cities and towns are tracks laid for street cars or railroads, holes and sewer grates. Since the government is responsible for maintaining the infrastructure, which includes the road and highways, it is possible that they may be held responsible for accidents that occur due to failures of, or hazards present in, the road surfaces. Whether or not the local, county, or state government accepts any liability will have to do with whether or not the issue could have been prevented through repair or maintenance and what kind of issue it was.
Holes In The Road Surface
A road or highway can become marred with potholes due to traffic usage over long periods of time, or poorly executed repair work. In the former case, the deciding issue stems from how long the potholes have been in existence. If for only a short time, it would be unreasonable to expect instant action on the part of the public entity. If they are longstanding and have been reported, then the government agency could be considered negligent in not repairing them in a reasonably timely manner. In the latter case, the public agency that deals with road repairs may be liable if nothing was done to warn people away from the area. To do this, cones, signs, warnings that work is in progress, triangles or some other device should be put at the site to close it off. Absence of these devices could indicate negligence on the part of the appropriate agency.
Sewer Or Drainage Grates
Depending upon how the bars are oriented, the grates that cover sewer drains can create a dangerous situation. Bicycles tires are quite thin, and can drop between the bars of a sewer grate if they run in the direction in which the cyclist is travelling. This can be easily corrected with minimal expense at the government level, and if no action has been taken to remedy this situation, negligence can be indicated.
Streetcar, Trolley And Railroad Tracks
Rail lines embedded in the street can be a bicycle accident waiting to happen. If the rails run with the traffic, the tire can be caught and the bicycle destabilized. If they curve, the cyclist could fall or be propelled into oncoming traffic. A San Diego bicycle accident lawyer will tell you that there are two primary issues that can determine whether or not the appropriate agency is liable. These are the position of the rails relative to the flow of traffic and the actions the agency has taken to minimize or remove any possible danger.
San Diego Bicycle Accident Attorney
If a road hazard such as those mentioned above have caused you to be injured in a bicycle accident, contact your San Diego bicycle accident attorney George Charles Heppner. Call today at (619) 235-4300 for a free consultation.