Cyclists face particular risks while biking on roadways and sidewalks. One important risk factor involves dangerous bike path conditions. Bike paths obstructed by road hazards can cause serious injury. If this has happened to you, you are likely wondering who is liable for a road hazard bicycle accident? Our avid biker and San Diego bicycle accident attorney provides the answer to this question below.
What Are the Most Common Road Hazards Cyclists Face?
Roadway bicycles are lightweight and have thin tires, making them relatively unstable. This is especially the case when road hazards are present. The most common of these hazards include:
Potholes can appear after long-term wear on the road. This can cause the surface of the road to break, creating a crack or hole. Additionally, poorly executed or temporary fixes to cracks or holes can devolve into potholes. When a cyclist hits a pothole, he or she risks getting thrown from the bike.
Another common cause of a road hazard bicycle accident is debris. Sand, rocks and gravel can pile up at construction sites or in residential areas. This debris can cause a cyclist to skid and crash, leading to serious injury.
When the bars on a sewer grate run in the same direction of traffic, a bike’s tire can get suddenly wedged in between them.
Railway or Trolley Tracks
A similar problem arises when railway and trolley tracks run in the same direction of traffic. Further, when these tracks cross at a curve or angle, cyclists can get tripped up.
Who Is Liable for a Road Hazard Bicycle Accident?
The party responsible for a road hazard bicycle accident will depend on how the crash occurred. If a pothole is not addressed, or poorly fixed, the local government may be liable for any accidents it causes. This is especially true if the pothole caused previous accidents and the governing agency failed to address it or warn other bikers.
Similarly, the local government may be responsible for bike accidents caused by sewer grates and tracks. Bicyclists have a right to safe bike paths and if correcting these road hazards is relatively simple, the government may have a duty to fix them.
Likewise, debris can accumulate if street sweepers fail to consistently clear the roads. The agency which oversees street sweeping may be at fault for a bicycle accident caused by this debris. At the same time, residents and construction companies have a duty to clear sidewalks of debris. Failing to do so may render these entities responsible for a bike accident.
Discuss Your Legal Options With Our Trusted San Diego Bike Accident Lawyer
If you were seriously injured in a bike accident, you may want to pursue a personal injury case against the liable party. However, determining exactly who is liable for your damages may be difficult. To discuss your case and gain some insight into bike accident litigation, contact our San Diego bicycle accident attorney. You can schedule your free consultation at (858) 530-4800.