As a motorcycle rider, you are always looking for road hazards that could cause you to have an accident. Failing to recognize one before you hit it can result in you being thrown from your bike, sustaining severe injuries, and needing the services of a motorcycle accident lawyer. But what happens when the hazard you hit is a pothole or another road maintenance issue? Who is responsible for your injuries or fixing your bike? Here is some information to help answer your question.
Who Is Responsible For The Road?
There is not always a single answer to the question of who is responsible for road maintenance. There are numerous variables involved. One of these includes the type of road you are traveling on. Is it a city street, a country road, a highway, or an interstate?
For example, most cities and counties have their own public works departments responsible for maintaining and repairing the streets within their jurisdiction. You can tell these in North Carolina and some other states as they are marked with an SR number on the Department of Transportation map.
If you are on a highway or interstate, although the federal government funds them, they may be maintained by that state's Division of Highways' Maintenance and Operations Section. This designation is because the various states own and operate the roads within their state.
If you are on a country road outside city limits, the maintenance often falls to local governments. Homeowner Associations may even be responsible for private roads.
Who Do You File Against?
All of the above have in common that, except for private property, governmental agencies maintain the roads. This designation means you must file against one or more government agencies to pay your claim for your motorcycle accident.
Filing a claim against the government is more challenging than filing against a person. Look for a motorcycle accident attorney who has experience in this area. To submit your suit, you must be able to show several things. These things include the following:
- The agency failed to maintain the road
- The agency knew the hazard existed
- The agency did not repair the road within a reasonable amount of time
In other words, you must show that the government agency was negligent. To prepare your claim, your motorcycle accident lawyer will need some information. This information includes:
- The road and direction you were riding
- The exact location of the pothole or road hazard
- Witness contact information
- Description of the pothole or road hazard
You may want to take pictures of the hazard and any surrounding landmarks at the time of the accident. Agencies can repair roads quickly, and your evidence can disappear.