Georgia Bicycle Accident Caused by Road Hazards
Bicycling can be a joyous activity, but it comes with certain dangers. Cyclists must keep watch for motorists, other cyclists, and pedestrians. As if that wasn’t enough, poorly-maintained roads and sidewalks also cause serious accidents. In the event of a bicycle accident caused by road hazards in Georgia, injured cyclists can file a claim against the local municipality or the property owner.
Overcoming Sovereign Immunity in Georgia
An injured party generally files a claim against the party responsible for the injury. If a motor vehicle hit the cyclist, he would file a claim against the driver. But if a government entity is liable – such as if it failed to maintain the roadway or sidewalk – the rules are more complicated.
As a general principle, Georgia provides governments immunity from liability. However, there are exceptions to the government’s liability – and failure to maintain the roadways could be one of them. Examples of negligent maintenance could include any of the following:
- Leaving a pothole in the road that has been reported
- Failure to fix a large crack in the sidewalk
- Failure to remove a root that has broken through the concrete
- Failure to mark hazards
Work with attorney John Morrison to explore the government’s liability and to collect the evidence you need to prove fault. It starts with identifying the liable party and requires following certain rules to file a claim against the government entity.
Filing a Claim against the Government if Road Hazards Cause a Bike Accident
The county or local municipality may be responsible for road and sidewalk maintenance. Laws may be different in each city or town. For example, according to laws governing the city of Atlanta, property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks outside of their business. Speak with Georgia attorney John Morrison to ensure you are filing a claim against the correct party.
There are also special rules for filing a claim against government entities. If the county is liable, the injured cyclist must given notice of the claim within 12 months of the accident. If a municipality is liable, then the injured cyclist must give notice within six months of the accident. If you miss this window, you may be unable to bring your claim.
In order to be successful, claimants must establish:
- The hazard existed
- The government knew of the hazard (or should have known of it)
- The government did not correct the hazard in a timely manner
- The hazard caused the accident and the injured cyclist suffered damages
Contact a Georgia Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you suffered injuries due to hazardous roadway or sidewalk conditions while you were riding your bicycle, you may be able to file a claim against the party responsible for maintaining those areas. For legal assistance, contact attorney John Morrison today at 770-951-8900.