Bikes are a great way to get fresh air and exercise; unfortunately due to their small size they are susceptible to road hazards and accidents. For the bicyclist, road hazards, construction, potholes, and changes in the road surface can be treacherous, even for the most experienced of riders.
When a bicyclists gets their wheel trapped in a sewer grate, railroad or trolley track, or rides into a pothole, they can lose control of their bike and veer into the path of approaching vehicles, sometimes with deadly consequences.
If you're in a bicycle accident that was caused by a road hazard, who's responsible? Are you at fault? Is the driver who hit you at fault? What if you were thrown from your bike and another vehicle wasn't involved, do you have legal recourse?
Accidents Caused by Hazardous Road Conditions
If your accident can be traced back to a road hazard, such as a pothole or an obscure, no-longer-used railroad track, the responsible party is likely the city, county, state, or another public agency that is responsible for maintaining the roadway.
Potholes, rail and trolley tracks, sewer grates and poorly maintained roads all pose hazards to cyclists. If you were injured because of a dangerous road condition, we're going to want to know what the public entity did to reduce the hazard. If the hazard was old public rails, why weren't they removed or covered?
Was the culprit a sewer grate? Direction-of-travel sewer grates are particularly dangerous because bike tires easily get stuck in them. Thanks to many outspoken riders, many counties have improved their sewer grates to protect cyclists, but dangerous ones still exist today.
In South Carolina, bicyclists have a right to a safe roadway that is free from dangerous road hazards. If you sustained injuries because of a road hazard, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the liable party.
To learn more about who is responsible in bicycle accidents caused by road hazards, contact a Columbia personal injury attorney from Masella Law Firm, P.A.