Every year, thousands of motorcycle accidents in the State of Nevada cause serious injuries and take lives. While many of these accidents arise from human errors such as driver negligence, some stem from a motorcyclist’s environment instead. Surrounding road conditions can play an important role in the safety of a ride. Unfortunately, many roads in Nevada are unfit for motorcyclists. Poor road conditions, dangerous defects and lack of road maintenance often contribute to motorcycle accidents.
What Road Hazards Can Cause a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycles are smaller and more lightweight than typical passenger cars. As such, they are more vulnerable to accidents due to poor road conditions. A road defect that may not affect a motor vehicle driver could cause a catastrophic motorcycle collision. Motorcycles may be unable to safely go over even minor road defects. Motorcycles can also be more difficult to control and maneuver in bad weather, such as rain or fog. Many different types of road hazards can cause a motorcycle wreck in Nevada.
- Rough or bumpy roads
- Cracked roads or potholes
- Uneven road surfaces
- Soft shoulders
- Loose gravel or rubble
- Debris in the road
- Grass clippings
- Wet or oily pavement
- Snow or ice
- Missing guardrails or barriers
- Faded pavement markings
- Obstructed street signs
- Malfunctioning traffic lights
Common motorcycle accident injuries from road hazards include brain injuries, broken bones, road rash and back injuries. Some motorcycle accidents related to road conditions stem from acts of God such as storms or animals crossing. Many motorcycle crash causes in Nevada, however, are preventable. They may arise due to the negligence or carelessness of the party responsible for road maintenance. If so, the injured motorcyclist may have grounds for a claim against the at-fault party.
Who Is to Blame in a Crash Caused by a Road Hazard?
It is important to identify who or what caused a motorcycle accident so victims can recover compensation from the correct insurance company. Since Nevada is a fault state, the party financially responsible for the crash will be the same one that caused the accident. The question of liability can be more difficult to answer in crash cases involving poor road conditions rather than negligent drivers, however. In many cases, the liable party is the one responsible for road safety and maintenance.
If a motorcyclist crashes due to a defect on a public road, the responsible party could be the county or state in charge of the roadway. The party responsible for road maintenance has a duty to regularly inspect the road, repair any known defects and respond promptly to complaints. Any breach of this duty of care that causes a motorcycle accident could point to the government entity’s liability. On a privately owned roadway, the liable party might be the premises owner for negligent maintenance instead.
Is It Possible to File a Suit Against the Government?
The doctrine of sovereign immunity protects most government entities from liability during personal injury claims in the US. Like most states, however, Nevada has passed a law that grants exceptions in cases involving a government entity’s negligence. In general, if the government agency was negligent or reckless in causing the motorcycle crash, it will be liable for damages. These claims have specific rules, however, that often differ from those surrounding typical personal injury claims in Nevada. They may require assistance from a Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorney.
Proving Negligence in a Poor Road Condition Claim
It is not enough to determine who is responsible for roadway maintenance after a motorcycle accident from a dangerous condition or defect. The injured party must also prove the defendant was negligent in a way that caused the motorcycle accident. Proving negligence for poor road conditions means to establish that a reasonable and prudent party would have been able to repair the condition and prevent the accident. This may take photographs of the defect, copies of complaints from other drivers in the community, police reports of other accidents in the same location or testimony from experts. A personal injury lawyer in Nevada could help a victim prove negligence for a motorcycle crash related to a road condition.