Property owners may be liable for bicycle accidents caused by potholes.

When Potholes Cause Bicycle Accidents

When a driver runs over a pothole, it’s usually just a nuisance. They might get shaken around a bit or maybe spill their coffee, but unless the pothole is especially deep and/or the car is traveling especially fast, there isn’t likely to be any lasting damage.

When a bicyclist runs over a pothole, it’s a different story. A small road defect that a car would pass over easily can cause a bicyclist to lose control of their bike and fall. Serious injuries including head injuries, back injuries, broken bones, lacerations, and soft tissue injuries may result from such a bicycle accident.

Now you may wonder…

…Can I get compensation for a bicycle accident caused by a pothole?

California law does provide a means for injured bicyclists to secure compensation from negligent property owners who allow dangerous conditions—including potholes—to persist in areas where they pose a danger to cyclists.

The first question to consider is where the pothole was located.

Injuries related to potholes located on private property (owned by an individual or a business) can be compensated via a premises accident claim. In order to win your case, you will need to establish that:

  • The pothole was big enough to be considered a hazard
  • The property owner knew about the pothole (or should have known about it had they been inspecting their property on a reasonable basis)
  • The property owner knew or should have known that bicyclists were likely to enter their property and encounter the pothole
  • The property owner had sufficient control over the area where the pothole was to have fixed it
  • The pothole caused your bicycle accident

If the pothole was located on government property such as a public street, you will need to file a claim based on a dangerous condition of public property. This is a very different process from a premises accident claim. You will have just 6 months in which to file a tort claim with the government of the city or municipality where the accident took place. In premises accident cases, you have 2 years to file.

In most cases, the initial tort claim will be denied and you will then have to file a lawsuit against the government. In order to win your case, you will need to show that:

  • The government entity you are suing owned the property
  • The government knew about or should have known about the pothole
  • The pothole created a reasonably foreseeable risk of a bicycle accident
  • The government had enough time to fix the pothole but did not
  • Your bicycle accident was caused by the pothole

Need Help with Your Bicycle Accident Case?

Whether you are pursuing a case against a government entity or a private individual or company, you can expect to encounter serious resistance to your claim. In order to fight back and make sure you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve for your injuries and suffering, it is imperative to hire a skilled and experienced bicycle accident lawyer. The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker is here to help, starting with a free consultation. Call us at 800-333-0000 now.

📞 Call 800-333-0000 Today!