Road Hazards & Motorcycle Accidents in Georgia
Even the most careful motorcyclist is far more vulnerable to an accident and injury than the typical driver operating a passenger vehicle. Unforeseen hazards, including uneven pavement or poorly-maintained road surfaces, can lead to devastation in the blink of an eye – and many motorcycle accident victims are simply unsure where to turn in this scenario. Fortunately, Georgia accident attorney John Morrison can offer thorough counsel on these issues, including sound advice on how to properly pursue compensation following an accident caused by roadway debris or improper road maintenance.
In many cases, local municipalities are responsible for the upkeep and safety of roads and sidewalks – requiring the knowledge and experience of an attorney familiar with municipal law and liability. In other cases, a truck company may be liable if cargo from the truck spilled onto the roadway.
Establishing Government Liability for Roadway Hazards
If a pothole, poor roadway design, uneven pavement, under-regulated construction project, or a similar structural roadway issue caused your motorcycle accident, your claim will likely involve the government. However, unlike a private plaintiff, suing the government can be tricky – particularly in light of concepts like governmental immunity.
Fortunately, Georgia has implemented a limited-scope waiver of its sovereign immunity, which is found in Section 50-21-20, et seq. of the Georgia Code – known as the “Georgia Tort Claims Act.” Pursuant to this waiver, government agencies may face liability for the negligent acts or omissions of their employees while acting within the scope of employment. An individual plaintiff may recover up to $1 million for losses incurred as a result of such negligence.
When it comes to determining negligence by a government employee or entity, the analysis will involve a determination of whether the government employee or agency conducted itself reasonably under the circumstances at the time of the incident. In the context of roadway hazards, the inquiry will turn to whether the agency tasked with structural upkeep had implemented acceptable safety measures, including regular inspections and proper oversight.
By contrast, however, government agencies cannot face liability for any “act or omission by a State officer or employee exercising due care in the execution of a statute, regulation or rule” – regardless of whether the regulation itself is valid.
Private Liability for Roadway Debris That Caused a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists are also vulnerable to accidents occurring as a result of debris falling from trucks and transport vehicles. In this scenario, an injured victim may be entitled to compensation if the facts show unreasonable conduct by the driver or individual responsible for securing the items to the truck bed.
For example, a driver could face liability for improperly securing a mattress to the roof of a vehicle, resulting in injuries to others in the vicinity of the item when it unhinges from the rooftop. Similarly, drivers or their employers can face liability for injuries caused by unsecured debris (e.g., yard waste, wood), garbage, equipment, or any other items dropped from the vehicle.
Contact a reputable motorcycle accident attorney in Georgia today!
For help with your motorcycle accident claim, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of John Morrison, LLC today: 770-951-8900.