Michigan, with its stunning highways and scenic byways, is a haven for motorcycle enthusiasts. However, the beauty of the ride often comes with unforeseen challenges, one of them being road debris.
In this blog post, we’ll look at the legal recourse for motorcycle accidents caused by road debris – the types of road debris that can cause motorcyclists harm, who can be held liable for such accidents, and how to prove fault in these cases. Additionally, we explore the critical question of whether insurance covers accidents caused by road debris.
Road Debris Can Seriously Injure Michigan Motorcyclists
Motorcyclists are undoubtedly more vulnerable on the road compared to drivers of enclosed passenger vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 4 times more likely to be injured and 24 times more likely to be killed in an accident.
As such, when a motorcyclist encounters road debris, the consequences can be severe if they are unable to navigate the hazard safely. Here are some types of road debris that can pose significant dangers to motorcyclists:
- Sharp Objects like Nails and Screws: These seemingly insignificant items can cause considerable damage to a motorcycle’s tires, often resulting in sudden and hazardous loss of control and motorcycle accidents.
- Construction Materials: When lumber or construction materials fall from trucks or construction zones, they become treacherous obstacles for motorcyclists.
- Garbage: Debris such as discarded bags, trash, or other waste materials can pose a serious threat when encountered at high speeds.
- Trees or Branches: Fallen trees and branches create obstacles for motorcyclists, forcing them to take evasive actions that may result in accidents.
- Small Rocks Left Over from Road Construction: Loose rocks can be difficult to spot and navigate around, particularly when they suddenly appear in your path.
- Pieces of Blown-Out Tires: Shards of blown-out tires from other vehicles can be sharp and cause tire punctures or loss of control.
- Goods Fallen from Trucks: Cargo that falls from trucks poses a significant hazard to motorcyclists sharing the road with commercial vehicles.
Many of these types of road debris can be easily navigated by drivers of cars and trucks. However, for motorcyclists, these obstacles become particularly dangerous.
Who Can Be Held Liable for an Accident Caused by Road Debris?
Determining liability for an accident caused by road debris can be complicated, as it often involves identifying multiple liable parties. Here are the potential parties who could be held liable for these accidents:
- Trucking Companies: If the debris fell from a commercial vehicle, the trucking company may be liable for failing to properly secure their cargo.
- Municipalities: Local governments are responsible for maintaining safe road conditions. Failure to do so can make them liable for accidents caused by road hazards.
- Other Drivers: In cases where the debris was dislodged from another vehicle and caused the accident, the driver of the vehicle responsible may be held liable.
Proving Fault for an Accident Caused by Road Debris
Proving fault for an accident caused by road debris can be challenging, but it is possible. By working with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer, motorcyclists can establish fault and build a compelling case for compensation. To do so, you and your lawyer will need to do the following:
- Gather Evidence: Collect as much evidence as possible from the accident scene, including photographs, eyewitness statements, and police reports. Collecting samples of the debris that caused the accident can also be extremely beneficial.
- Identify the Source: Determining where the road debris originated can help pinpoint liability. This might involve identifying the responsible trucking company or the negligent driver.
- Establish Negligence: To hold someone accountable, you must establish negligence. This involves showing that the responsible party breached their duty of care, directly causing the accident.
- Consult with Expert Witnesses: Expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists or engineers, may be needed to provide professional opinions on liability.
Does Insurance Cover Accidents Caused by Road Debris?
Whether insurance covers accidents caused by road debris largely depends on your insurance coverage and the circumstances of the accident. Here are some types of insurance that may come into play:
- Collision Insurance Coverage: This type of insurance typically covers damages to your motorcycle caused by collisions with objects or other vehicles, including road debris. However, your policy’s specifics may vary.
- Liability Insurance: If another driver’s negligence leads to debris-related accidents, their liability insurance should cover your damages.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: In cases where the responsible party is uninsured or underinsured, your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can help cover your losses.
Speak to Fieger Law as Soon as Possible!
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by road debris in Michigan, it is crucial to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Michigan as soon as possible.
At Fieger Law, we have a team of dedicated Michigan personal injury lawyers with a deep understanding of motorcycle accidents caused by various circumstances, including road debris. We can help you navigate the complexities of determining liability, gathering crucial evidence, and fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Contact Fieger Law today at 1-800-A-Winner for a free consultation with an experienced accident lawyer. We can advise you of your rights and legal recourse and help get you back on the road to recovery.