motorcycle accident in construction area

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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motorcycle accident in construction area

Yesterday evening I was riding my motorcycle through an intersection that was having some construction performed. There was a “roadwork ahead” sign, “single lane road” sign, and a person moderating traffic flow. When I was my turn to cross, I made it across the intersection but then high-sided from slipping out on gravel that was not cleared from the streets under construction, this damaged my motorcycle and I am a little bruised. I have images showing that no effort was made at the end of day to clear the roadway via brush, and there was no signage stating gravel/loose stone present. do I have any form of case to get my deductible covered by the county?

Asked on October 9, 2018 under Accident Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You *may* have a case: it depends first and foremost on whether, according to current road construction safety standards, it would be considered "negligent," or unreasonably careless, to not clear the gravel and/or have signage warning of loose stones/gravel. If it woud be considered careless, then they may be liable for not doing these things; but if under current road, etc. safety standards, given the amount of gravel present, they would not have been expected to have done anything special to remove or warn about the gravel, they were not at fault and would not be liable.
Secondarily, your own carelessness, if any, would also be a factor: e.g. were you riding too fast for an intersection where construction was going on? If you were, your own carelessness would undercut your claim, since parties may not recover compensation to the extent they themselves were at fault. 
Bear in mind that even if they were at fault, to prove that, you'd have to hire some road safety, etc. expert to testify in court--the court will not accept your layperson opinion as to what is or is not proper or good safety practice. You have to foot this expert cost yourself--you cannot get it back from the other side. Depending on how large a deductible you have, it is possible that the cost of said expert will equal or exceed what you hope to recover, so bringing a case might not make sense on a cost-benefit basis.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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