Winning Damages for Two Wheeled Single Vehicle Incidents
A two wheeled single vehicle collision is a smash up involving a sole bicycle, motorcycle, Segway or dual wheeled vehicle. It remains different than a regular crash with an automobile because no other car makes contact with the rider or bike prior to the spill. In this piece, we will discuss the many ways people can get paid for a crash like this. Then we will talk about who is at fault and who to hire as a lawyer.
Recovery of Money in Two Wheeled Vehicle Mishaps
If you have been in a bicycle or motorcycle accident and there was not another vehicle involved, the chances are most attorneys won’t touch your case with a ten foot pole. However, there are a few lawyers in California, who may be interested, if they understand how to recover damages for two wheeled single vehicle collisions in California injury cases.
Single vehicle collisions can happen from:
- Grooved or gauged pavement.
- Deviations in the roadways, such as a shoulder, construction zone pavement that is temporary.
- Gravel that is kicked up or loose.
- An oil slick.
- A poorly designed roadway; or,
- Substantially changed conditions in a street to name just a few.
If for example, your bicycle or motorcycle runs over a pothole as you are traversing down the highway at even a low to moderate speed, you could very easily lose control. So you could be killed, or seriously injured.
Step 1 – Identify the Injury Causing Defect.
The first step is to identify the defect causing the injury in the roadway. Sometimes getting down to the bottom of this requires an expert, like a lawyer.
Safety Gear and Rules.
Next, obviously, if an injured victim was not wearing proper safety equipment, or abiding by the rules of the road, this presents a pure comparative negligence issue. Assuming you have identified the roadway defect, you may need to retain an expert witness to testify as to the conditions and who is liable.
This could include a biomechanist, and engineer and even a life care planner. Cases like this remain relatively expensive to litigate due to the costs of the experts.
You will need a client who can testify as to the speed wobbles, loss of traction and the mechanics of the accident in general. You will need to locate public records via public records requests. Also, you must conduct all pre-litigation discovery before you put defendants on notice.
So make sure and gather photos and witness statements. California Government Code Section 6250 explains how to do a public records request. You can use the Sunshine Act to order the SWITRS, and TASA reports from the CHP, and possibly do a FOIA request.
You have a plethora of potential defendants to sue. You could go after Cal Trans, or sue the city, State, or municipal agencies responsible for the defective roadways. Sometimes a general contractor.
- Determine who owned or controlled the injury causing roadway;
- Identify the actual defect itself;
- If more than one defect, isolate each one and see if it was all defects combined that caused the injury producing event;
- Isolate who is responsible for creating the event or combination of events;
- Make sure you have hired experts with knowledge of motorcycle and bicycle accidents in general.
Could my Roadway Defect Case Involve a Premises Liability Component?
Assuming it is a construction zone, maintenance issue, or obstruction like a barricade, and not a government entity, you could potentially sue the wrongdoer for premises liability under ordinary negligence principles.
When you sue a government entity, they will throw up a design immunity defense to get your Two wheeled single vehicle collisions involving motorcycles or bicycles thrown out of court.
The elements are:
- A causal relationship between the plan and the accident;
- Discretionary approval of the plan prior to construction; and,
- Substantial evidence supporting the reasonableness of the designed (Ca. Gov. Code Sec. 830.6 et seq.). But design immunity does not immune decisions that were not made. (See e.g., Cameron v. State of California (1972) 7 Cal. 3d 318, 326.).
This means the government entity must first establish that when the plan was approved, the specific injury-causing conditions were contemplated as part of the overall design. This brings us back to the combination of factors issue.
Defeating the Defenses.
If there was a combination of factors and one or most were not contemplated you can defeat the defense outright. Beyond that, the public entity must also be able to prove that there was an “actual informed exercise of discretion” (Levin v. State of California (1983) 146 Cal.App.3d 410, 418.).
These are just a few of the potential ways to defeat immunity. The bottom line is that you need to contact an experienced California attorney to learn more. Many of these events take place in the major cities like Los Angeles, California. This means you should speak to a lawyer, before taking steps to recover damages for two wheeled single vehicle collisions involving motorcycles or bicycles.
Design immunity can become extinguished if there was a “substantially changed condition” (Cornette v. Dept. of Transportation (2001) 26 Cal.4th 63.) If your attorney can produce this evidence, he can shift the burden to the public entity. Keep in mind you need to show the government defendant had actual or constructive notice of the changed condition before the injury.
Two-wheeled single vehicle collisions are tough to litigate. If you are not faint of heart and have a great bank-rolled attorney, you are in a better position. But you are still not out of the woods. You must document the serious injuries. And you must treat for those injuries with physical therapy. Only then do the benefits of suing outweigh the risks.
As you can see, the issues presented for clarification in these cases present a minefield of potential pitfalls to an untrained, or untested amateur. There are many nuances and details involved in determining causation (who caused what). Plus, there are strict guidelines when you want to sue the government.
Don’t Blow the Statute of Limitations.
You also have a shortened time statute t sue, or you could be barred from seeking recompense. This is no walk in the park. It is not like you were hit by another car in a case of clear liability. When you are seeking, we are the single vehicle accident attorneys who soar above the rest.
Experience, compassion, knowledge, skill and above all, loyalty. Our members of the bar are highly trained, first round picks. Ehline Law makes it happen. We have recovered millions for our past clients, and want to hit a home run for you as well. Call us for a free no obligation consultation now! 888-400-9721. Feel free to browse the site and review our client testimonials. NO RECOVERY NO FEE PROMISE.