Motorcycle accidents often occur as a result of poorly designed, controlled, or maintained construction zones. They may also occur due to defects in roadways that are unrelated to road construction. These accidents may result in the liability of individuals and entities responsible for these dangerous conditions, though, in some cases, governmental entities may be granted protection from liability by state statutes.

Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Unsafe Road Conditions

roadway defectsMotorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to accidents and injuries caused by unsafe conditions on highways and other roads. Potholes that are left unrepaired and that may not be seen by motorcyclists until it is too late to avoid them are especially dangerous. If a cyclist rides into a pothole, the rider may be thrown from his or her bike onto the pavement or into other traffic. The bike may also be forced off course, resulting in a collision between the bike and another vehicle, a guardrail, a tree, or other stationary object. Even road deterioration that has not progressed to the level of a pothole may cause such accidents when motorcyclists encounter it and are unable to avoid it. When a cyclist does see a pothole or other road damage in time to veer away from it, the cyclist’s protective maneuver may still result in a collision if the cyclist swerves away from the road condition and into another vehicle or object. Sudden swerves can also result in riders being thrown from their bikes.

Overgrown and inadequately trimmed trees on the peripheries of roadways may also cause motorcycle accidents. Dead limbs or branches that have been allowed to fall onto roadways and have not been cleared away may cause cyclists to swerve to avoid them or to be injured when avoidance of the debris is impossible. Debris left on roads and highways from previous accidents can have similar consequences.

Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Negligently Designed, Operated, or Maintained Road Construction or Repair

Roadway defects and unsafe road conditions that pose serious dangers to motorcyclists may also occur when construction zones are poorly designed, negligently operated, or carelessly maintained. Construction zones with inadequate lighting, for example, can lead to motorcyclists’ serious injury or death when riders collide with unseen construction equipment or debris or enter unmarked and/or unlighted excavations. Accidents can also occur when equipment, debris, excavations, or other unsafe road conditions are visible but when adequate warnings of their presence have not been provided. The failure to alert riders of upcoming uneven pavement, for example, can cause cyclists to be thrown from their bikes upon encountering a change in pavement level or to be forced off course into other traffic.

Poorly marked and/or warned-against lane shifts may also lead to motorcycle accidents. If a lane shift occurs without warning, other vehicles may end up occupying a lane already occupied by a cyclist, forcing the cyclist into traffic, against a construction barrier, or into an alteration in pavement level. A cyclist’s sudden and forceful braking to avoid collision with another vehicle or object in such circumstances may also result in injury or death if the cyclist is hurled over the front of the bike.

Construction zones may also be rendered unsafe when poorly designed temporary on-ramps afford drivers limited visibility. A badly designed on-ramp may make merging with moving traffic unsafe for a cyclist who may not be able to adequately see traffic with which the cyclist must merge or to sufficiently judge other vehicles’ speeds. A cyclist who is already on a road onto which other vehicles are merging is also in danger of collision with a merging vehicle whose driver could not see the rider’s motorcycle from a poorly designed on-ramp in time to avoid it.

Motorcycle construction-zone accidents may also be caused by traffic that is suddenly halted without warning or without sufficient slowing before traffic is fully stopped. Inadequate or unmarked speed-limit reductions in construction zones may cause collisions between cycles and other vehicles due to sudden braking or to lane shifts that cannot be navigated at drivers’ and motorcyclists’ current speeds.

Motorcycle accidents caused by unsafe road conditions and negligently designed, maintained, and operated construction zones can cause serious injury and death to motorcyclists. Governmental entities, including municipalities, counties, states, and departments of transportation may be subject to liability for such accidents. The liability of these entities and of their employees in a particular case may depend on the state law applicable to that case. Some states’ laws grant these entities partial or complete immunity from liability for negligently caused injuries and deaths. In states in which only partial immunity applies, a cap or limit on the amount of damages obtainable may have been instituted in exchange for the relinquishment of total immunity.

Our national motorcycle-injury lawyers have extensive experience with motorcycle-accident cases caused by unsafe road conditions or construction zones and are well-acquainted with governmental-immunity laws and the defenses frequently raised by governmental entities. If you have been injured or one of your family members has died in a motorcycle accident due to negligent road maintenance or a negligently designed, operated, and/or maintained construction zone, our nationally respected team of motorcycle-accident attorneys and paralegals can help you fight for the compensation you deserve from the parties responsible for your injuries or loved one’s death.