Motorcycle Road Defect—$550k GDOT Settlement
Today, I want to talk about conditions on highways and roads that can cause bikers to lay down their bike, as well as whether you can pursue a claim for compensation.
In particular, I want to highlight a recent settlement against Georgia DOT right before a trial. This case settled for $550,000. What happened was that a biker was riding I-20 near its intersection with 285.
There was a portion of the road that had deteriorated enough to where it was breaking down and becoming just gravel in that area. The bike hit the gravel portion and goes over on its side, and slides down the highway.
The biker had to have two surgeries within weeks. The case had to go into litigation but was ultimately settled for $550,000.
These are not cases to take lightly. You need more than evidence that there was a defect. You need evidence that GDOT should have known that it was there.
In this case, there was evidence. There were contractors working in the area, as well as an inspection report, with pictures, highlighting the gravel to GDOT, and noting that it probably needs to be taken care of.
This kind of evidence allows liability. If you just have a pothole or gravel without evidence that they should have known about it, or that there's otherwise a defect, i.e., a design defect, you may not be successful. It can get very challenging to prove that GDOT or the county or the city or state involved is liable for the hazard.
I would suggest that people get involved, specifically bikers, and call when they see poor road conditions. Call GDOT. Call the county involved or the state, and put them on notice. Once they're on notice, they go out and get it fixed. This may prevent someone else from being injured.