Road Debris Can Cause Serious Atlanta Motorcycle Accidents


July 02, 2014

Motorcyclists are uniquely vulnerable to road hazards that might not be noticeable to drivers in a car, pickup, or SUV. Because motorcycles are less stable and have narrower tires that provide less traction, remnants of broken pavement from a road construction project or spilled gravel from a tractor-trailer can pose potentially deadly obstacles. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that road debris causes 25,000 accidents annually in North America for all motorists. However, the lack of safety protections on a bike lead to many more severe injuries when bikers crash.

When a motorcycle accident is caused by a road hazard, an injured riders should seek immediate legal advice because these types of legal claims can pose special challenges. The process of identifying potential defendants and establishing a sufficient basis for imposing liability can be challenging.

Challenges in Proving Liability in Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Road Debris

The process of proving liability for injuries or a fatality caused by road debris is complicated by a couple of factors. In many cases, the vehicle that is the source of debris can be virtually impossible to locate. If you do not actually see a couch tumble from the bed of a pickup or gravel fly out of the back of a tractor-trailer, you may have little hope of tracking down the vehicle that dropped cargo onto the road. If you are able to observe the vehicle that dropped cargo into the roadway, the driver of the vehicle transporting the material might be liable for negligently loading or securing the cargo.

If the vehicle that spilled debris cannot be located, a public entity might be liable if the entity was negligent in maintaining the roadway by failing to clear the hazards. However, dangerous roadway cases can be challenging, and in some situations a government entity may have immunity from a claim. The public entity must know or have reason to know that the hazard was present to be potentially liable for motorcycle crash injuries caused by road debris. An experienced Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney might be able to conduct an investigation to locate witnesses, review traffic camera footage, and/or establish that similar debris is common along a certain stretch of roadway. 

How Does Spilled Cargo on the Interstate Cause Motorcycle Accidents?

Because there are many types of road debris, these obstructions can cause motorcycle accidents in a number of ways. If a piece of tire tread, muffler, or bedroom dresser falls into the roadway, bikers might be forced to execute sudden lane changes. If there is no time to plan for this maneuver, the sudden evasive action can cause a rider to execute an unsafe lane change. Objects like these in the road also may compel a motorcyclist to stop suddenly, which can result in the rider losing control or laying the bike down. Finally, substances like spilled oil or sand in the roadway can cause a motorcycle's relatively narrow tires to lose contact with the roadway. This loss of traction also can cause the rider to lose control of the motorcycle.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case

If you or your loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash, our Atlanta motorcycle accident attorneys can evaluate your legal claim and advise you of your options.  Montlick & Associates's attorneys have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years, including, but not limited to, Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins, and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You also can visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat to submit information about you and your case.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.