Got Into an Accident After Hitting a Pothole? Here's What You'll Want to Know


Hitting a nasty pothole is no fun when you're in a four-wheeled vehicle, but it could have disastrous consequences when you're riding on your motorcycle. Damaging your wheels and suspension isn't the only worry when it comes to potholes -- there's also the possibility of being ejected from your bike due to the impact, with all of the serious injuries that often follow. In case you ever encounter such a situation, you'll want to know what to do and how to seek fair compensation.

Your Own Insurance May Cover Some Damages

If you accidentally damage your motorcycle after hitting a pothole, the damage may be covered by your motorcycle insurance provider. However, you'll need to have collision coverage as a part of your motorcycle insurance policy. Collision coverage normally handles the costs to repair your motorcycle, minus the deductible.

In the event your motorcycle is totaled because of the accident, your insurance provider may compensate you for the actual cash value of your motorcycle at the time of your loss. If you have an ongoing loan on your motorcycle or if it's equipped with modifications that increase its value, there's a good chance you may not receive the full value of your motorcycle.

Although collision coverage will take care of the damage done to your motorcycle, it won't be able to cover any of your medical expenses stemming from injuries sustained during the accident. The bodily injury coverage under your liability insurance only covers those you've directly injured during an accident.

Your Local Municipality Can Be Held Responsible

The municipal or state entity responsible for road maintenance and upkeep may be on the hook for any damages or injuries sustained during your pothole encounter. There are a couple of catches involved, however -- the government entity must not only have prior knowledge of the pothole being there, but also you'll have to prove that it had plenty of time to fix it. In essence, you'll need to prove negligence on the part of the municipal or state government in order to be compensated fairly for your injuries and other damages.

Ways to Strengthen Your Case

When bringing your claim to the government agency responsible, you'll need to make sure your case is as strong as possible:

  • Provide documentation - Not only will you need proof of the road hazards that led to your accident (usually in the form of photos and eyewitness testimony), but you'll also need documentation of your injuries and property damage. If possible, you should also provide proof that the government was informed of the pothole prior to your accident.
  • Consider how long the pothole was present - Public agencies won't be held responsible if the pothole was present for only a few days, but it may be held responsible if the pothole was therefore several weeks or even months.
  • Don't forget about the statute of limitations - Most governments have a strict statute of limitations when it comes to filing claims. You may have as little as 30 days to file your claim with the government before you lose your right to recover your losses. You'll also need to file a Notice of Claim to the public agency involved prior to filing your lawsuit in court, in most jurisdictions.

Keep in mind that making a claim with the municipal or state government is not a lawsuit in of itself -- instead, it's a way to inform your government of your intent to file a lawsuit and preserve your right to sue. If your claim is denied, then you'll still be able to pursue your case in court. Contact an attorney for more information.


28 December 2016

Learning About Accident Attorney Services

Hello, my name is Matthew. Welcome to my site. I am here to talk to you about accident and personal injury attorneys. When I was involved in a serious accident, I had to recover for months in the hospital. My finances suffered due to mounting medical bills and lost wages. I dealt with considerable pain through every phase of the healing process. I worked with an accident and personal injury attorney to obtain compensation for the repercussions of the accident. I created this site to help others find an attorney to work with so they too could acquire compensation following an accident.