Many people bicycle, in California and across the country. For cyclists, poorly maintained streets are a bigger danger than they are for motor vehicles. When a person crashes his or her bicycle, it can result in traumatic brain injuries or permanent disabilities.
If a person hits a pothole, wrecks his or her bicycle, resulting in serious injuries and damages, liability becomes a question.
Cyclists may want to know whether premises liability applies to municipalities or government entities. After all, the city should maintain safe roadways. Bicycling.com explains that while municipalities have immunity from most lawsuits, they can face claims for dangerous road conditions.
When can the city avoid accountability?
When a person suffers an injury due to a bicycling accident on an unsafe road, timing does matter. Potholes can form quickly and if the city can argue that it could not reasonably foresee the accident because it did not know about the pothole, the judge may rule in the city’s favor.
Likewise, if the city sets up warnings, despite being unable to fix the hazard, then the cyclist may not have a case.
When does the city have liability?
According to the California Legislative Information, plaintiffs can hold public entities accountable for injuries sustained on the property. If the city government knew about the pothole and took no measures to protect civilians from the hazard before the injury, then the judge may find the city liable for any injuries or damages the cyclist suffered. If an employee’s wrongful act or error created a dangerous condition, then the cyclist can hold the government entity accountable.