Road Debris Can Cause Bicycle Accidents
Road debris can be the cause of accidents to both vehicles and cyclists. However, road debris poses a very dangerous threat for a cyclist. Often a motor vehicle can usually run over the road debris. Cyclists don’t always get that choice.
A bicyclist must quickly react when coming onto a branch or a piece of lumber. A tiny piece of glass or a piece of tire rubber can easily cause a bicycle accident. Darting out into the flow of traffic to avoid debris on the road is legal in most states, but it is not the safest thing to do. In 2012 40% of the fatal bicycle accidents were rear-end crashes. Many bicyclists are leery of being hit by a motor vehicle from behind. The only option the bicyclist may have is to run over the road debris. Flat tires and bent wheels or even a wreck with direct impact may pursue. Road debris tends to collect where motor vehicles do not drive such as the edges and shoulders of the roadway.
Bicyclists Could Be Seriously Injured
Roads that cyclists travel on should regularly be maintained by the county or city. Road debris and gravel does accumulate in the lanes where the bicycle goes. When the small bicycle wheels come in contact with the trash and debris it can and often does cause the bicyclist to lose balance and wreck. In bicycle-friendly areas, it is not uncommon for a bicycle to collide into another bicycle.
The injuries that are suffered in many bicycle accidents necessitate immediate medical attention. Bicyclist injuries can result in injuries to internal organs, broken bones, and severe injuries to the extremities that may lead to permanently diminished function or possible amputation. In pursuance of a bicycle accident claim, the injured could be eligible for compensation for the loss of the capacity to earn a living, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Rehabilitation costs could be extensive.
Establishing and confirming negligence is crucial to finding any financial restoration. Who is responsible for leaving the debris on the roads and highway? Any claim of negligence will depend on who exactly was negligent. If an injured cyclist is to win a claim after an injury involving debris causing a road hazard two elements must be proven.
- Someone violated a duty of care that is owed to the injured bicyclist
- The violated duty of care resulted in the injury to the bicyclist.
In a bicycle accident case involving road hazards in Covington, the negligent party could be a government agency.
Negligence From A Private Party
If a bicycle accident is caused by the negligence of a private party, such as cargo falling off a truck on the road, the facts must be investigated to conclude who is the responsible party. Tree limbs, construction materials, or any cargo falling on the road can cause a road hazard. The driver owes a duty to bicyclist to take precautions to keep the load secured.
Motor vehicle operators should understand how to secure a load of cargo and the road securement laws and the penalties for littering. Penalties are in place for failing to comply with regulations. Drivers should regularly inspect their loads and cargo to ensure that they are safe and secure. If the driver is transporting cargo for an employer, the employer’s liability is in question. If the driver of the vehicle or the employee is acting within the standard procedure of employment, the employer would then be liable. Employers will have higher insurance caps helping the bicyclists chance of recovery. The bicyclist must prove the negligent action was committed during the time of employment, rather than just a personal pursuit of the employee.
Know Your Rights
Understanding your rights and obligations as a bicyclist can bring clarity to your particular situation and accident. It always is in your best interest to consult an attorney who has experience in bicycle accidents caused by road debris. Road debris includes substances that are foreign to the typical roadway environment. No matter what the debris is, it is a road hazard and may cause an accident. Although it can be difficult to conclude who may be at fault, road debris accidents are not usually the fault of the bicyclist.
It is essential that you discuss the accident with an experienced accident attorney as soon as possible. It is imperative to interview any witnesses and get evidence so you can be compensated for your accident.