If you have been injured in a sloping road accident, the attorneys at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC are here to help.
Steep slopes make for beautiful vistas and gorgeous rides on a motorcycle, but those roads can be more dangerous, especially if there is no shoulder, visibility, warning sign, or guard rail. Some vehicles are easier to handle on sloped roads, but motorcycles will have a more difficult time maneuvering and slowing down.
Can the design of a road increase the likelihood of an accident?
There is a high traffic accident rate on descending roads on mountainous highways. Research shows that the accident rate increases exponentially even with an average vertical gradient, and a long descent prior to the gradient can increase the likelihood of an accident.
Suppose there is a hiking, biking, or walking path near the road designated for cyclists and pedestrians. In that case, the dangerous road design increases the chances that a motorcyclist or driver will strike someone on that biking or walking path. Insufficient shoulder areas also make it dangerous for all road users.
Road slipperiness refers to the condition of low skid resistance on a surface. Public works agencies are responsible for measuring and reducing road slipperiness. The materials used to construct the road could also contribute to an accident. Asphalt is sealed with a sand sealcoat, but if it is not mixed properly, then it can make the road more slippery when wet. Public works agencies are also responsible for ensuring that friction does not differ significantly between the left and right wheel paths. If it does, then the change in friction levels in one lane can cause the motorcycle wheels to lose their traction, which is especially dangerous when taking a turn.
Liability In Sloping Road Accidents
Distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, and recklessness are all factors that contribute to motorcycle accidents generally, but riding a motorcycle on a steep slope can easily lead to accidents, which is why riders need to use extra caution when traveling on these types of roads. Due to the steep grade of a slope, it is more challenging to control a motorcycle as it gains momentum when descending. Riders are at risk of losing their balance, rolling over, and suffering severe injuries.
Motorcyclists must exercise caution while driving on steep slopes to prevent an accident. If an investigation shows that a biker was not abiding by the speed limit or not driving cautiously while going down the slope, then they can be held liable for the accident. For example, if a biker is following too closely behind another vehicle ahead and causes a rear-end collision, then they will be at fault for the accident.
The owner of the road could be held liable for a sloping road accident if it was poorly designed or improperly maintained. This would then result in a premises liability lawsuit where the designer of the road, usually a firm, could be held liable for the defective nature of the grade. If it is a public road, then a public entity will be held responsible for the motorcyclist’s injuries.
Although helmets aren’t required under Missouri state laws, they are required in certain cities, like St. Louis. Wearing a helmet can protect you from head and traumatic brain injuries. Wearing a helmet also increases your chances of getting the maximum compensation for your injuries.
What causes poor road conditions?
Many factors can cause poor road conditions and make riding a motorcycle more dangerous, including:
- Severe weather, such as heavy rain and ice
- Construction zones
- Road damage, such as potholes or cracks
- Low or no shoulder
- The width of the road
- Low visibility
- Debris on the road
- The absence of warning signs
What should I do after a motorcycle accident?
The steps you take after a motorcycle accident are important to get the compensation that you deserve. Immediately call 911 and tell the operator that you need an ambulance. If you can, and if you are in the way of traffic, then move your bike to a safe location on the side of the road. Accept medical assistance from the paramedics when they arrive. The responding police officer will ask you for a statement. Only state what you remember seeing and hearing before and during the crash. Do not speculate on how you think the crash occurred.
Exchange contact information with the other driver and any witnesses. Make sure to get the other driver’s name, address, email address, phone number, and auto insurance information.
Take pictures of the accident scene so they can be used later on to corroborate your story. You should take pictures from various angles that show the entirety of the accident scene and close-up details of the damage. Also include relevant street signs, traffic signs, and traffic signals in your photos.
How can an attorney help me?
Anytime you have been in a motorcycle accident, you should hire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can help you establish liability and get you the damages you deserve. They can conduct an investigation on your behalf to prove who is at fault for your accident, so the liable party or entity compensates you for your damages. You could recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, future lost earning potential, damage to your motorcycle, and other out-of-pocket expenses. You could also recover compensation for your physical pain and emotional suffering due to the accident.
Hipskind & McAninch, LLC offers a free case evaluation to all potential new clients. Call 618-312-1515 now to schedule your free consultation with us so that you can learn more about your rights under the personal injury laws and how to legally proceed in your case.