Can I file a motorcycle crash lawsuit if I was hit by road debris?

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broken tree limb in the road creating hazard for motorcycle riderBiking the open road is an exciting and freeing experience, but riding a motorcycle comes with an increased risk of accidents. Determining liability after a crash can be a complex process—especially if the accident was caused by road debris. Our motorcycle accident lawyers explain the various factors that come into play when determining liability in a road debris motorcycle crash and what injured motorcyclists should know about their legal rights and options.

Road Debris Can Seriously Injure Kentucky Motorcyclists

Road debris, such as fallen tree branches, rocks, auto parts, and cargo that has fallen from vehicles, are unfortunately common hazards. While larger vehicles may be able to avoid these obstacles or strike them with minimal damage, motorcyclists are severely injured as their bikes spin out of control, flip over, or skid on their sides.

As a motorcyclist, you already know that your chosen mode of transportation leaves you more vulnerable than other road users. The inability to recover after a skid or a collision with more significant obstacles, such as stalled vehicles or construction materials, can cause severe and sometimes fatal injuries to motorcycle riders.

Who Could Be Held Liable for a Road Debris Bike Crash?

To establish liability in a motorcycle accident, you must determine whose negligence directly led to the crash. Negligence occurs when someone breaches a duty of care, resulting in injury to another person. To win your case, you must show that the responsible party had a duty to maintain safe road conditions, that they breached this duty by creating or failing to address road debris, and that this breach caused your accident and resulting injuries.

Potential persons or entities that could be responsible for creating road hazards include:

  • Another driver. In Kentucky, the insurance company of the person liable for your injuries should pay to repair your motorcycle and heal your wounds. If a driver’s negligence led to falling debris (a mirror fell off and hit you while riding or something fell off the roof of the vehicle in front of you), you could file a claim with the driver’s insurer.
  • Trucking companies. Trucking carriers must exercise reasonable care and caution toward other road users. If a truck tire blew or falling cargo landed in your path, you could file a lawsuit against the commercial carrier for failing to maintain its vehicles or secure its cargo correctly.
  • Municipalities. Cities and counties can be liable if they fail to address known road hazards before riders and drivers suffer injuries. State and local governments may bear responsibility if they have not adequately maintained roadways or you could not avoid an object due to poor road design.
  • Construction companies. A construction company that failed to clear debris from a work zone or left work vehicles parked too close to the roadway can be liable for negligence.
  • Parts manufacturers. If you were on a group ride and struck a fallen biker, or a defective part on your bike caused you to lose control, you may be able to file a claim against the maker of the bike or a parts manufacturer to get compensation for your losses. 
  • You. No matter who is liable for the incident, insurers will almost always try to pin some of the blame on the motorcyclist. If you were partially at fault for the accident—for example, by traveling too fast, not wearing appropriate safety gear, or not taking evasive action when encountering debris—you could still recover damages from other responsible parties. However, under Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence system, your damages may be reduced if you are apportioned some of the fault for the crash.

Speak to an Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible to Learn Your Rights After a Motorcycle Crash

Given the complexity of road debris motorcycle accident cases, having a knowledgeable attorney on your side is essential. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to assess your case, identify potentially liable parties, and advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process. Our attorneys also help gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and pursue the maximum compensation available for yocffdur suffering.

Let the legal team at Gray and White handle your car accident claim while you focus on healing from your injuries. We take injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you owe us nothing until we win your case. Contact us today or call 1-888-450-4456 to tell us more in your free case consultation.