Can the City of Palo Alto Be Held Liable for Road Defects That Cause Bicycle Accidents?
Being a safe and defensive bicyclist in Palo Alto doesn’t always mean that you’re going to reach your destination without incident. That’s because the cause of some bicycle accidents isn’t necessarily the result of the negligence of the motorists that are supposed to be sharing the road with you. Poor road maintenance involving potholes, sinkholes, deep cracks, crumbling shoulders and improperly placed storm sewer grates are sometimes the cause of serious injuries that are suffered in bicycle accidents.
Preserving the evidence
Bicyclists who have been injured in accidents caused by poorly maintained roads will want to consult with a bicycle accident lawyer from our office about the laws that control municipal liability for road maintenance. If we’re retained to represent you, we’ll make our own inspection of the defective road condition. We’ll want to determine exactly what caused your crash and preserve evidence of the condition. You might be eligible for damages that compensate you for your injuries.
Time is of the essence
There is a prerequisite to suing any municipality in California for personal injury. In accordance with the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA), an injured person who claims that a government entity caused or contributed to their injuries must file notice of a claim within 180 days of the date of their accident. Strict compliance is required, and that includes detailed content of the notice. Failure to file a timely claim notice or the filing of a deficient claim notice can be cause for dismissal of a personal injury lawsuit.
Note: If you are passed the 6 month mark, contact us anyways; we may be able to file a late claim.
California purports that the legislative intent behind the claim notice is to notify it of conditions that it needs to remedy and budget for claims. The public is generally unaware of this short and strict statute of limitations. A claimant’s failure to file his or her personal injury lawsuit against the municipality within the six month deadline is likely to be cause for dismissal of the case.
Contact a Palo Alto bicycle accident lawyer today
Between the California Tort Claims Act requirements, and the rules of pleading, practice and evidence, you really don’t want to take on the City of Palo Alto alone.
If you want an experienced ally to help you get what you are owed or if you need bike accident advice regarding a poorly maintained roadway, call Bay Area Bicycle Law today for a free, no obligation consultation with a Palo Alto bicycle attorney at (415) 466-8717.