Can Bicyclists Bring Claims Against The Government For Poor Road Conditions Or Road Hazards Leading To A Bike Crash Injury in Connecticut?
Bicyclists face hazards every time they ride. From reckless and distracted drivers to potholes, road debris, and adverse weather conditions, a bicyclist must remain vigilant to avoid a bicycle accident. However, even the most skilled and alert rider can be injured in an accident caused by road hazards or poor road conditions. When this happens, the government may be responsible for the rider’s injuries, damages, and losses.
Connecticut bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Therefore, the Connecticut Highway Construction and Maintenance statute permits bicyclists to sue the government for damages sustained in road hazard accidents. However, you must be sure to follow the rules for filing a claim against the government, or you lose your right to recover compensation. For example, as part of the claim process, you must file a notice with the correct government entity within 90 days of your injury.
Because filing a lawsuit or a claim for a bicycle accident caused by poor road conditions or road hazards can be complicated, we urge you to seek assistance from an experienced legal professional. Our attorneys take care of the details for you, so you don’t need to worry about deadlines, filing requirements, and legal theories. You can focus on your recovery while we investigate your accident, prepare your claim, and file the necessary legal documents to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Does the Law Say?
Claims against the state of Connecticut for this type of car accident are governed by CT Gen Stat § 13a-149 (2015). A claim filed against a municipality for a road hazard accident is governed by CT Gen Stat § 13a-144 (2015). Both statutes require the 90-day notice to protect your right to file a lawsuit. In addition, to be successful, you must prove that the defect was the proximate cause of the car accident and the accident was the cause of your injuries. If you fail to prove these elements, your claim will be denied.
Because the state and each municipality may have slightly different noticing requirements, it is always best to contact the specific government entity to verify the procedure for filing a notice of claim. Contact information for state departments and agencies can be found on the state’s official website. There is also a list of cities and towns on the state’s website.
In some cases, your claim is against the Department of Transportation. The claim could be against the DOT or the DOT and another government agency. The DOT provides specific instructions for filing a claim on its website. The claim must be mailed to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, Attn: Claims Unit, P.O. Box 317546, Newington, CT 06131-7546.
If you feel overwhelmed trying to make sure that you have everything correct, our attorneys can help. Whether it was a pothole, work zone debris, or poorly maintained road shoulder, if a government agency or entity failed in its duty of care, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries.
Common Causes of Road Hazard Accidents
Examples of road hazards or poor road conditions that can cause a bicycle accident include:
- Faded or missing painted road markings
- Inadequate, missing, or damaged guardrails
- Cracks, uneven pavement, and potholes
- Poorly maintained shoulders
- Signs obscured by overgrown brush or foliage
- Road debris caused by road work or construction
Some bicyclists may not be aware they have a claim against the government for their damages. Unfortunately, this does not change the rules and laws governing claims against the government. That is why it is always best to seek the advice of an attorney after a bicycle accident if you have any doubt about who is responsible for the crash.