My Legal Aspirations

For as long as I can remember, the legal field has always fascinated me. While my friends watched sitcoms and cartoons, I chose to watch courtroom dramas and real life trials unfold. There was never really any question as to what I wanted to be when I got older. The only profession for me was that of a trial lawyer. Unfortunately, a serious car accident several years ago changed all that. Now, my injuries prevent me from leaving my home most days. However, my love for the law has never went away. While I may not be able to realize my dreams of becoming a trail lawyer, I still wish to help people with their legal problems. That is why I decided to start this blog. It is my hope that the information contained in these pages will help other accident victims like me when filing their personal injury claims.

Did You Wreck Your Motorcycle On A Pothole Or Gravel? This Is What You Should Know


Motorcyclists have to contend with significantly more hazards on the roads than autos, simply because the bike is smaller and more easily damaged than the average auto and riders are more exposed than drivers who are sitting behind windshields and airbags. That's why small potholes and ordinary gravel (which aren't of much concern to the average driver) can present a serious danger to the motorcyclist. If a small pothole or a loose bit of gravel causes your bike to spin out of control, this is what you should know.

Who is liable for the hazard?

There's no simple answer in a case where the accident is caused by a pothole or gravel because each situation is unique. In order to determine if you have a case, your attorney will have to find out how the pothole or gravel came to be where it was and who has the responsibility for maintaining the safety of the road. There are several issues that can come into play:

  1. How long has the pothole or gravel been there? The party responsible for maintaining the road has to have had some chance to find out about the hazard and fix it in order to be liable. On the other hand, if there have been complaints about the condition of the road before, there's a stronger chance that you can hold its caretaker responsible.
  2. How did the pothole or gravel get there? The owner of the road may not be the only party liable for the problem. For example, if the gravel spilled from the bed of an uncovered construction truck that was hauling it, you might be able to hold the construction company liable. Similarly, if the pothole formed because of an improper patch job on the asphalt, the asphalt repair company may bear some liability.
  3. How much are you at fault for the accident? Most states use some form of a comparative negligence rule, which looks at the amount of liability each side has for the accident when deciding whether or not to compensate someone for an accident. Other states use a contributory negligence rule that could bar you from recovering for your injuries altogether (if the court decides that you're partially at fault). For example, the court may decide that it was your own bad judgment if you started down a poorly kept gravel road on a motorcycle in bad weather or at dusk. 

Will you be suing a private party or the government?

It's generally a little more difficult to sue a city or state than it is to sue a private party (though not impossible, by any means). At the very least, it can affect the time limits that you have on deciding to take action. Many jurisdictions require you to first file a notice of your claim against the government before you can take action to sue–and you may only have 30 days following the accident in which to do so. If you delay, you can be barred from pursuing your case.

If the road is owned by a private party or a private company was responsible for creating the hazardous condition that caused your wreck, the time limits are somewhat longer. You'll have at least a year to file your lawsuit, and quite possibly much longer, depending on your state.

For more information on what to do if you've been in a motorcycle accident due to a pothole or loose gravel, talk to an attorney in your area.


23 February 2016