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Q
I hit a pothole, lost control of my motorcycle, and crashed. Can I hold the city responsible for the unrepaired pothole?

A

It depends. The city could be liable for not fixing the pothole if the road hazard was reported to them and they didn’t do anything about it, or if they already repaired it and did a poor job or used poor materials. When an Atlanta motorcycle accident occurs due to roadway hazards, there could be other parties liable as well, including the:

  • State
  • County
  • City
  • Public works
  • Public agency responsible for street repairs
  • Contractor who was hired to repair potholes

While the public works and city crews are supposed to maintain a safe roadway to ensure the safety of all motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists, sometimes they do not stay on top of the reported hazards because they are backlogged. When a Georgia crash occurs due to a hazardous pothole, one of the parties listed above could be held liable for your injuries and damages.

Immediately after a wreck of this nature, it is important to take pictures—using your cell phone—of the pothole, damages to your bike, and injuries you sustained.  Additionally, if there are any witnesses who saw your crash, ask for their contact information. It is also critical to seek medical treatment for your injuries, and report your crash to the proper authorities so there is a record of your incident.

While the city may be liable for some potholes, they may not be for others if they’ve just developed because of recent heavy precipitation and cold temperatures. It is important to drive carefully this winter and to talk with a skilled attorney to find out if you have a case. Atlanta accident attorney Shane Smith may be able to help you seek justice and can be reached at 770-HURT-999 for a free consultation.

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia