Recovering Compensation for Your Injuries in California
According to statistics, approximately three of every four motorcycle accidents involves a collision with another vehicle. Single vehicle crashes result from a variety of causes, including biker carelessness, excessive speed, substance abuse, and road hazards.
A study commissioned by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found that about 75% of motorcycle accidents caused by roadway hazards can be prevented. Though many road hazards can cause or contribute to wrecks, the most common adverse roadway conditions tied to motorcycle crashes are the following:
- Uneven road surfaces or potholes, often in construction areas;
- Roadway debris, such as sand, gravel, rebar, cones, signs, or other materials;
- Oil or water on the roads; and
- Poor or limited traffic visibility from side roads due to trees, bushes, vegetation, or other obstructions.
Determining Who’s Responsible for Your Injuries
The first step in pursuing compensation for injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident is determining who caused the crash. If one of the at-fault parties is a private individual, you’ll likely pursue damages by filing a personal injury claim based on a theory of negligence. You’ll need to show that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care, thereby causing the accident that led to your losses. But what if the accident was caused, in whole or in part, by the failure of a governmental body to maintain the roadway?
As a general rule, government entities (including the state of California) are immune from liability for personal injury claims unless explicitly authorized by statute. Under the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA), the state of California can be sued when someone suffers injury in a motorcycle accident as the result of the government’s failure to properly design or maintain a public roadway. Before an injured person can file a lawsuit, though, CTCA requires that the claim first be filed against the public entity within six months of the accident. The public entity then has 45 days to either accept or reject the claim before a lawsuit can be filed.
Contact Our Offices
At Weber & Nierenberg, we have provided comprehensive legal counsel to injured people throughout California for more than 30 years, including victims of motorcycle accidents. Send us an e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010 to schedule a free initial consultation.