There are more than 6 million motorcycles registered in the United States and when you include potential passengers, it hard to ascertain the exact amount of riders traveling in our midst everyday. More motorcycle riders, however, equals more motorcycle accidents and 80% of those crashes injure or kill the rider.
Some common contributor factors to motorcycle accidents have nothing to do with the driver, but instead involve roadway defects. In Louisiana, the Department of Public Safety has been found at-fault or partially at-fault countless times
In Naylor v. Louisiana Dept. of Pub. Highways, 423 So. 2d 674 (La. App. 1. Cir. 1982) the Department of Public Safety was liable because it did not provide an advanced warning to a motorcyclist of an upcoming road hazard. Had the warning been made, the motorist could have slowed his motorcycle before reaching the sand and oil in the road and the risk encountered would have been minimized. Because the motorcyclist suffered sever brain damage from the accident he was awarded $2,357,967.22.
In Foggan v. Louisiana Dept. of Transp. & Dev., 402 So. 2d 154, 155 (La. App. 1 Cir. 1981), a motorcyclist testified that, he rounded a curve, spotted an approaching car, and immediately was confronted with a large hole in the road. He was unable to avoid hitting the hole as it was centered in the middle of his lane. The hole was described as being some ten to eleven inches deep by some three feet by three feet in perimeter. He was thrown from his motorcycle.
Although the Department of Transportation asserted that it was the driver’s owner negligence that cause the accident, the trial court found in favor of the driver. The Court found he could not have avoided the hole and the road which caused his injury was within defendant’s care and custody; the road had a vice or defect, which occasioned an unreasonable risk of injury; and subsequently cause the injury.
Accordingly, if you are driving a motorcycle and injured in an accident that involves a road-way defect or lack of warning of upcoming construction, contact an attorney. You may be entitled to damages.