A Los Angeles motorcyclist will receive $6.1 million from the city of Los Angeles for injuries he suffered in a 2015 crash. According to reports, Philip Ramon Alvarez was riding his motorcycle in San Pedro when he struck several potholes on Western Ave. The hazardous road conditions caused him to crash. He suffered severe injuries in the accident.
In his lawsuit, Alvarez claimed the potholes had been caused by surveying equipment utilized by city employees. In order to avoid a large jury award, council members unanimously agreed to issue a payment of more than $6 million to put the motorcycle accident lawsuit to rest.
The Government Has to Provide Safe Roads
Generally speaking, the government is immune from personal injury lawsuits. However, the government can be sued if its own negligence – or the negligence of its employees – creates a dangerous or hazardous situation. More specifically, the government can be liable for injuries if it knew or should have known about a dangerous condition, but failed to provide a warning or fix the hazard.
Here, Philip Alvarez was involved in a severe motorcycle accident because of road conditions in a Los Angeles neighborhood. The roads were in bad condition because city employees used surveying equipment. The equipment caused the roads to break down and generated potholes.
Potholes Pose Serious Risk to Motorcyclists
Potholes can be incredibly dangerous, particularly for smaller two-wheeled vehicles. When the front tire of a motorcycle hits a pothole, the bike can:
- Throw the bike out of alignment
- Spin into neighboring lanes
- Eject the rider, or
- Flip over.
Any of these outcomes can put motorcyclists at an increased risk of severe and fatal injuries. Some studies even suggest that the impact of hitting a pothole on a motorcycle is similar to being in an accident while driving 35 MPH.
Can’t Motorcyclists Just Avoid Potholes?
Ideally, motorcyclists should be able to navigate their bikes around any potholes that exist on the road. However, this can be difficult for a number of reasons.
Changing Lanes Suddenly Is Dangerous: Los Angeles roads are busy. MOtorcyclists typically aren’t riding alone. They’re right alongside other, often larger, vehicles. When a motorcyclist sees a pothole, there may not be much space for them to maneuver around it. If a motorcyclist changes lanes suddenly, they risk hitting (or being hit by) another vehicle or creating a hazard themselves.
Roads Have Multiple Potholes: In his lawsuit, Alvarez claimed that he hit a “series” of potholes on Western Ave in San Pedro. Even though he may have been able to avoid one or two potholes, others were still in his path.
Potholes Aren’t Always Obvious: Potholes don’t have to be deep to create a hazardous situation for motorcyclists. Some potholes are relatively shallow. It can be difficult for a motorcyclist to see these potholes, especially when they’re focused on traffic and other vehicles around them.
Damages Available in Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Cases
Alvarez will receive $6.1 million to settle his motorcycle accident lawsuit. The money is paid to cover damages he has incurred because of the accident. Damages that are recoverable after a Los Angeles motorcycle accident include:
- Past, present and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Nursing care
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Disfigurement, and more.
If Alvarez is temporarily or permanently disabled, the financial award can be used to compensate for his reduced earning capacity.