What Happens if a Road Hazard Causes My Motorcycle Accident?

16 April, 2024 | By Redemption Law
What Happens if a Road Hazard Causes My Motorcycle Accident?

Regardless of how carefully you ride your motorcycle and how many precautions you take, you can’t always prevent accidents. Collisions caused by road hazards are a perfect example of this.

You can be as vigilant and careful as possible, and an unavoidable road hazard can cause you to lose control and crash, leaving you with costly and life-altering injuries. What are your options when this happens?

After a motorcycle accident caused by a road hazard, you can hold the responsible party liable for your injuries and losses. A motorcycle accident attorney can handle your claim, so you do not have to worry about navigating the legal process.

All you have to do is focus on your medical treatment and seek a free case evaluation with a motorcycle accident lawyer near you as soon as possible.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today!

Why Road Hazard Accidents Are So Common for Motorcyclists

Motorcycles are difficult vehicles to ride, as they require plenty of skill and physical capacity. Successfully operating a motorcycle requires balancing perfectly while maneuvering on different kinds of roads. Therefore, motorcycle accidents are more likely to happen when road hazards are present.

Dangerous road conditions can easily throw a biker off balance, causing them to lose control of their bike.

Some hazardous road defects are not necessarily serious enough to affect regular car and truck drivers, as these vehicles are safer and more stable. But, due to the relative instability of motorcycles, many road hazards can have detrimental results for bikers.

Roads should safely accommodate all types of vehicles the law allows to use them. This means the city should maintain every street and highway in safe enough condition for motorcycles, not just for heavier cars and trucks.

Unfortunately, many cities and towns fail to abide by this standard for road maintenance, and motorcyclists suffer serious injuries.

Types of Road Hazards that Cause Motorcycle Collisions

Motorcyclists face significant danger from a large pothole formed by the freeze-thaw cycle of rain and cold weather.

Motorcycle riders can encounter various dangers on almost any road. However, when particularly hazardous road conditions are present, it can make operating the motorcycle much more difficult, increasing the likelihood of an accident and serious injury.


Many vehicles easily drive over potholes without damage or problems, but potholes can be particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. Potholes develop over time as road surfaces become worn and cracked.

Eventually, a large hole forms. Because motorcycle tires are smaller, they can get caught in large potholes, causing the rider to lose control and potentially crash.

Broken Pavement and Other Road Defects

As time goes on, the pavement begins to wear. To prevent serious road defects, streets require regular maintenance, and eventually, roads must be repaved entirely.

Cracked, broken, and uneven pavement can make motorcyclists unsafe. Severely damaged streets can cause riders to lose control of their bikes and sustain injuries.


Gravel can be an annoyance for many drivers, but for motorcyclists, gravel can be especially hazardous. When motorcyclists ride through unexpected gravel on a road, it can reduce traction, making it easier for the motorcycle to skid.

Gravel can be an issue on almost any road, but especially where there is construction.

Oils and Other Fluids

Vehicles can release fluids as they drive, including oil and coolant. This doesn’t normally affect four-wheeled vehicles much, but these fluids can make roads slippery, causing stability issues for motorcyclists.

Missing or Broken Street Signs and Lights

Street signs and lights are extremely important to all drivers, as they help regulate traffic and make streets a little safer. However, missing or defective street signs and traffic signals can cause havoc on the road, making it a more dangerous environment for motorcyclists.

Lack of Guardrails

Guardrails help protect drivers in specific areas, especially those with steep slopes, sharp turns and curves, and near bodies of water. Dangerous roads without guardrails can make motorcyclists run off the road and suffer substantial injuries or even death.

Road Debris

A landslide of rock and debris has blocked this national forest road, posing a hazard for drivers.

Debris can fall on roads, including tree limbs, leaves, and rocks, but proper road inspection and maintenance can help eliminate the problem. Road maintenance is especially necessary after significant weather events, as roads are commonly more dangerous and contain hazardous debris.

Faded Road Markings

Clear, visible road markings help drivers see the road and stay in their lanes. Road markings also indicate which lanes are turn lanes, where drivers can and can’t park, etc. Eventually, road markings fade. When they do, they require fresh paint to help keep order on the roads.

Standing Water

Some roads have low spots where water accumulates during moderate to heavy rains. It’s sometimes difficult to tell where there is a substantial puddle of water and how deep it actually is.

Large, unexpected puddles can be dangerous for motorcyclists to ride through. Roads should have adequate warnings if they are known for standing water risks.

Narrow Shoulders

Road shoulders are areas to the right of a roadway that allows space for vehicles to stop safely in an emergency. When shoulders are too narrow, drivers and motorcyclists don’t have enough room to stop and risk falling off the road.

Shoulder Drop-Offs

A shoulder drop-off is the high difference between the paved road and the unpaved shoulder. Drop-offs regularly result from the road's edges eroding, causing the height difference.

When a motorcyclist needs to stop on the road’s shoulder, the drop-off may be significant enough that the rider can’t maintain balance and falls off their bike. This is even more likely to happen when there is a lack of signage indicating a shoulder drop-off.

Who’s Liable for Road Hazards?

The motorcycle rests on the asphalt following a harrowing collision. The scene depicts a severe accident captured up close, revealing the damaged bike amidst the aftermath of the traffic collision.

Liability for a road hazard motorcycle accident depends on the cause of your collision and dictates the at-fault party that will be responsible for your resulting injuries and losses.

Some of the parties you might hold accountable for road hazards include, but are not limited to:

Proving fault involves showing the party’s negligence. To establish negligence, you must show the party owed you a duty of care, that they breached the duty of care owed to you, that their wrongdoings caused your motorcycle crash, and that you suffered injuries and damages as a result.

Proving liability is critical to recover compensation for your motorcycle accident case. Determining who is at fault for your collision can help get you one step closer to a fair case resolution.

Injuries Common in Motorcycle Crashes

Due to the fact motorcycles provide little to no protection for riders, motorcyclists are more susceptible to sustaining severe, life-altering injuries.

Some of the injuries motorcycle riders often suffer include:

Unfortunately, because of the serious nature of motorcycle accident injuries, motorcyclists often face lasting consequences, including permanent brain damage, paralysis, and nerve damage.

Motorcycle accident injuries regularly require long-term, involved treatment, and medical care is costly. Recovering compensation for your crash can help ensure you have the financial means to receive all of the medical treatment you need.

Taking Action After a Motorcycle Collision

The image showcases the concept of motorcycle, travel, and medical insurance. A motorcycle model is placed on a table alongside the word "insurance," with a blurred manager seen in the background handling documents.

After suffering injuries in a road-hazard motorcycle accident, you can often take action to pursue compensation. But how can you recover financially for a collision due to dangerous road conditions? It depends on your specific situation and who was to blame.

First and foremost, you must determine the cause of your accident. This can give some direction concerning your legal options. A motorcycle accident lawyer can determine the cause and who was to blame.

If the negligence of a governmental entity caused your accident, you can file a claim against them. Filing a claim against the government can be tricky, as it involves specific procedures and deadlines. Hire a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible so you never miss any deadlines.

If a private party caused your collision, like a construction company, you can file a claim with their insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit in court, depending on the situation.

Filing an insurance claim may be enough to recover financially for your injuries, but a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary if you cannot reach a favorable settlement agreement with an insurance company.

In some cases, it may be impossible to determine the cause of your accident, leaving you unsure about who’s responsible. For example, if road debris that falls off someone’s vehicle causes your accident, you may never track down the owner of that car or truck.

When this happens, you might file an insurance claim with your own insurer for compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses. You still want a motorcycle accident lawyer to handle a first-party claim with your provider.

Compensation Available for Motorcycle Crashes

Compensatory damages can help ease many of the financial burdens arising from motorcycle accidents. The damages you receive highly depend on the specifics of your collision, but compensation should cover both monetary and non-monetary losses.

Damages available for your case may include:

  • Past and future medical expenses, including ambulance transportation, hospital stays, surgeries, and medication
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Lost earnings
  • Diminished or lost earning potential
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability and impairment
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

It’s worth pursuing monetary recovery to help cover your accident-related expenses and losses. A motorcycle accident lawyer can calculate your damages to determine how much your case is worth.

Factors Impacting the Value of Your Motorcycle Collision Case

A female biker lies unconscious on the road, helmeted, with a broken leg. A perilous accident caused by inattention.

Understanding the value of your case requires looking into the details of your accident, including:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The total cost of your medical expenses
  • Whether you’ll require medical care in the future
  • How your accident and injuries have affected you mentally
  • Whether you’ve taken time off work, and if so, the total of your lost income
  • Whether can return to work in the same capacity as before
  • Any other monetary or non-monetary damages you sustained as a result of your collision

With these and other important factors, your motorcycle accident attorney can assign a dollar amount to your case. Knowing how much your case is worth can ensure you do not accept inadequate compensation for your accident.

What to Do After a Road Hazard Causes Your Motorcycle Accident

After sustaining injuries in a road hazard motorcycle accident, seek medical attention right away. Complete your treatment as your healthcare provider recommends.

Report your accident to your insurer. Even if you’re not at fault for a collision, your insurance company should know their insured motorcycle has been in a crash. 

Notifying your insurer also starts the claim process, and you should have your motorcycle accident lawyer handle this notification. It's wise to have your attorney handle all insurance communications, even with your own provider.

Collect as much evidence as possible. While you might be unable to gather evidence at the scene of your crash, you can start at any time. Maintain any records or documents you get concerning your crash, including medical bills.

Additionally, keep a journal detailing your crash and resulting injuries and losses, as this can help you remember important information.

Finally, schedule a consultation with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. A motorcycle accident lawyer can address your concerns, provide personalized guidance, and start working on your claim immediately.

Filing a Timely Claim for a Motorcycle Collision

The window of time to pursue compensation for a motorcycle accident is very small. Depending on your state’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases, you may only have one to six years to file your claim. Keep in mind, though, that filing claims against the government for your road hazard accident can mean much less time to do so.

Therefore, to ensure your claim gets filed timely, take your case to a motorcycle accident lawyer right away. The sooner you hire an attorney, the quicker they can begin working on your case.

Christopher D. Alas, Personal Injury Lawyer in Miami Lake
Christopher D. Alas, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle accident claims can be tough to navigate, especially when the cause of your collision involves dangerous road conditions. Having an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side can give you the greatest opportunity to reach a favorable case result and get the compensation you need and deserve.

When you put your collision claim in the hands of a seasoned attorney, you don’t have to worry about what comes next. A personal injury lawyer will pursue justice and compensation for your road-hazard motorcycle crash.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today!