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Dangerous Road Conditions

Mistakes in road conditions can lead to serious injuries for cyclists. These cases can take many forms. Street defects and other dangerous roadway conditions for cyclists include:  

  • Pot Holes
  • Construction Plates
  • Manholes
  • Grating
  • Trenches
  • Dips in the road
  • Construction Debris
  • Equipped left behind
  • Tree limbs or storm debris
  • Unmarked holes cut by construction workers

Cyclists should be provided warning of road construction. State and federal regulations govern the types of signs that should be provided. If a construction company or municipality fails to use the proper warning signs, cyclists can be injured. For example, cyclists have been seriously injured when companies leave large holes in the street and fail to provide adequate signage warning of such dangers. Peter Grenier successfully handled such a case. The Vancouver Sun wrote an article on March 30, 2015, about a cyclist who was critically injured when she hit a construction hole.

In Queens, New York in 2015, a cyclist impaled his neck on a wrought iron fence after hitting a pot hole. The man hit the pot hole and stumbled dazed down the street, when he fell and skewered his neck on a fence.

As the above examples demonstrate, bad road conditions are often more dangerous for cyclists. While cars can run over most road debris and potholes without incident, cyclists can be very seriously injured because of the lack of protection surrounding them.

Bike accidents caused by road debris can happen a number of ways. There can be gravel or asphalt that has not been cleared. There can be fallen tree limbs or other debris that has been blown into the road.

In bicycle accident cases involving dangerous roads, the defendant could be a government entity (e.g. municipal or state construction crew), or a private company, such as a trucking or maintenance contractor.

In cases against state, local or federal, governments, special rules may apply. For example, sovereign immunity can limit a government’s liability, or even bar the suit completely, depending on the jurisdiction. Lawsuits against the government may also be subject to statutory notice requirements or special statutes of limitation. In some jurisdictions, if a notice of claim is not filed with the government within a set period of time, the cyclist may be barred from filing suit.

If you were riding a bicycle and were injured as a result of poor road conditions or insufficient signage, contact Peter T. Anderson of the Grenier Law Group at 202-768-9600 (main), 202-768-9609 (direct) or panderson@grenierlawgroup.com.

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