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Dangerous Road Conditions for Motorcyclists

For Texas motorcyclists, the road can be a very exciting place. However, potholes, loose gravel, and other dangerous road conditions can lead to serious motorcycle accidents and painful, sometimes life-threatening injuries. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident due to a road defect, you could file a claim against the government agency responsible for the dangerous condition.

Common Types of Road Hazards

Motorcyclists are more susceptible to dangerous road conditions than cars. Some of the most common road hazards for motorcycles include the following.

  • Loose gravel: Gravel is a difficult hazard for a motorcyclist to navigate, especially if it appears suddenly on winding roads or around corners. Loose gravel can cause a motorcyclist to lose control of his or her vehicle, leading to an accident.
  • Rough and bumpy roads: Uneven road surfaces can be very dangerous for motorcycles. Unfinished construction work, disrepair, and potholes can all contribute to serious accidents.
  • Slick surfaces: Ice, snow, rain, wet debris, and other dangerous conditions can lead to slick and slippery surfaces for motorcyclists. Motorcyclists are more likely to lose control of their vehicles on a slippery surface compared to motor vehicles.
  • Open bridge or expansion joints: Open bridge joints hold sections of a bridge together, while expansion joints connect two sections of a road or a road to a bridge. However, these joints can cause uneven surfaces, which can lead to an accident for motorcycles. 
  • Edge breaks: An edge break occurs when two lanes of traffic are different heights. Motor vehicles can pass over edge breaks without issue, but the uneven surface can be very dangerous for motorcycles.

Filing an Accident Claim Against a Government Agency

Local and municipal government agencies have a responsibility to ensure that the roads under their care are safe and free of hazards. If an agency learns of a hazard, it must respond and take care of it within a reasonable timeframe. If the agency fails to uphold this duty and neglects the roads, it could be liable for any accident that occurs due to the hazard.

If you encounter a dangerous road condition and suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to file a claim against the government agency responsible for maintaining it. Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, you can recover compensation up to the following amounts to pay for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other losses.

  • For claims against a local government, you can recover up to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident for bodily injury and up to $100,000 per accident for property damage.
  • For claims against a municipal government, you can recover up to $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $100,000 per accident for property damage.

Claims against a government agency are also subject to shorter deadlines than other types of motorcycle accident claims. You must file a notice of the claim within six months of the accident. However, certain state and local governments may have shorter deadlines. 

In these situations, it is important to speak to a lawyer to identify your appropriate filing deadline. An attorney can also represent you in your claim and help you recover the compensation you deserve. After seeking medical attention for your injuries, contact a Texas motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options and initiate your next steps.