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Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst

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Standing With You

Experienced motorcycle riders are aware of their vulnerability and accustomed to taking necessary precautions, especially at night and in bad weather. However, they cannot always prepare for the unexpected, such as a dangerous spot on the road. What happens if a motorcycle rider crashes because a city street has been poorly maintained?

 

A patch of bad road

Let us say that on a particular day, the workload is heavy and you are late leaving the office. It is dark as you begin your ride home, rain is beginning to fall and visibility is limited. You hit a pothole near a construction site and crash into a telephone pole. Who is responsible for the injuries that send you to the hospital?

An incident on Staten Island, NY, in late 2016 shows that multiple entities can be found negligent in a motorcycle accident. A 56-year-old man was riding his Harley when his front tire got caught in a groove in the roadway. He was thrown from the motorcycle, seriously injured and eventually died a few weeks later while still confined to intensive care.

Suing for wrongful death

Multiple entities were named in the wrongful death lawsuit: the city and two utility companies. The road had been opened so that underground utility work could be done. The civil complaint alleged that the road was negligently repaired afterward, leaving a “deep groove” in which the motorcycle wheel was caught. The road had been left in poor condition for some time, and no warning had been posted to alert drivers.

Taking on negligent parties

When an accident involving poor road conditions occurs, a thorough investigation of the circumstances will commence, and the negligent parties, which may including the city, the utility companies, the construction company and others, will be held accountable.