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Of course, you can. A large number of bicycle accidents in San Francisco and all across California are caused by poor road conditions in the areas controlled and maintained by the city. However, suing the city for poor road conditions and recovering damages is not as easy as it might seem.

“Many cyclists in San Francisco and elsewhere in California blame themselves whenever they get injured in an accident caused by potholes, cracks in the asphalt, or other poor road conditions,” says our San Francisco bicycle accident attorney. “Instead, they should be blaming the city if it failed to maintain the roads in proper condition.”

Poor road conditions that cause bicycle accidents in California

Under California’s premises liability law, the city, municipality, or county can be held liable for injuries caused by poor road conditions in the public areas controlled and maintained by the government. Our experienced bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco at the Allegiance Law has outlined the most common road conditions that can lead to a bike accident:

  • Potholes
  • Cracks in the road
  • Uneven pavement and surfaces
  • Loose gravel
  • Elevated asphalt or pavement
  • Lifted sidewalks due to tree roots
  • Lack of or damaged road signs

Under California’s premises liability law, you can sue a business, property owner, or the city if they fail to maintain their property properly. A bicycle accident can occur on commercial property, private property, or even city property, which is why it is important to establish who owns, controls, and maintains the area in which the accident occurred. Public roads fall under the jurisdiction of the city, municipality, or county that has control of the area.

Half of California’s public roads are in poor condition

Each year, the city of Los Angeles alone pays out dozens of millions of dollars to injured cyclists and their families for bike accidents caused by poor and dangerous road conditions on public roadways and sidewalks. In 2017, authorities in Los Angeles settled 17 claims for a total of more than $19 million. Furthermore, a report by the Los Angeles Times found that almost 20 percent of all bike lanes in the city are categorized as grade D or grade F lanes.

Fact: According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), half of California’s nearly 200,000 miles of public roads are in “poor condition.”

In the vast majority of these multi-million dollar settlements paid out to injured cyclists, the city was aware of the dangerous and poor condition that caused the injuries. Furthermore, in some cases, the city was even made aware of prior and similar bicycle accidents in the same locations or nearby.

How the city can be held liable for your bicycle accident

“If the city is aware of the poor road condition and/or prior bicycle accidents caused by that condition, you may have legal grounds to sue the city and recover compensation, as proving that the city was aware of the dangerous condition and failed to remedy it is the No. 1 requirement for filing a premises liability lawsuit,” explains our San Francisco premises liability attorney at the Allegiance Law.

If you think the problem is only in the negligence that prevails in Los Angeles and San Francisco, think again. These two cities are not the exceptions. Unfortunately, roads, sidewalks, and bike lanes all across California and other states are not properly maintained and inspected by the authorities.

Authorities neglect the safety of their residents, and fail to repair the roads with potholes, cracks, uneven surfaces, and other conditions. These road conditions place millions of bicyclists in San Francisco and all across California at a high risk of injury or even death.

If you have been injured while riding a bicycle on public roadways, sidewalks and bike lanes, do not hesitate to consult with a lawyer. Contact the Allegiance Law and get a free consultation today. Call our offices at 415-404-6395 or complete this contact form to establish liability in your particular case.

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