A Philadelphia jury has awarded a local man and his wife $3.2 million in
compensation after he was injured in a bicycle accident caused by a sinkhole.
According to the lawsuit, the man had been one of over 800 cyclists participating
in the Phillies Charities Bike Ride in the city in May 2015. As he was
approaching the finish line near Citizens Bank Park, a large sinkhole
caused him to crash. Although the 55-year-old cyclists was wearing a helmet,
the force of the crash knocked him unconscious. He also suffered multiple
fractures and required implants in his spine.
In the lawsuit, the bicyclist alleged that the city, which is responsible
for the maintenance of local roads and bike paths, knew about the sinkhole
prior to the event and the accident. He also provided evidence showing
that the sinkhole was visible on satellite images in October 2014, roughly
7 months before the race. The jury ultimately agreed that the city failed
to address the known hazard, and awarded damages to both the cyclist and his wife.
Personal Injury Lawsuits & Government liability
The successful lawsuit filed by the Philadelphia bicyclist illustrates
the importance of liability laws that hold at-fault parties accountable
for causing preventable accidents and injuries. In many cases, these laws
are applied to everyday private citizens who act negligently – such
as when they cause
car accidents or
bicycle accidents as a result of traffic violations, distracted driving, or drunk driving
– or commercial entities such as trucking companies and retail stores
that fail to take reasonable measures in keeping the public safe.
Although defendants named in personal injury cases are typically individuals
or corporations, they may sometimes also be government agencies, contractors
that work for the government, local cities, or other entities within local
government. These entities too can be held accountable for failing to
address hazards they knew or should have known about, and failing to uphold
legal obligations for maintaining public roads or areas in order to keep
the public safe from preventable harm.
When cities or other government entities fail to uphold their legal duties,
they can be liable when those unaddressed dangers lead to victims suffering
preventable injuries. Examples of these cases may include:
- Inadequate road maintenance (potholes, sinkholes, broken or defective signs
and signals, etc.)
- Poor bike path maintenance
- Public transportation accidents
- Roadway construction zone accidents
- Accidents involving public utilities
- Lawsuits filed against school districts or recreation programs
- Slip and fall accidents at government buildings
- Government employees who cause motor vehicle accidents on the job
Although victims have a right to seek damages following injuries caused
by the negligent or wrongful acts of government entities, government liability
cases adhere to different laws, including those established under the
California Government Code (Section 815 - 818.9), which gives private
parties the right to sue public entities and public employees. These lawsuits
adhere to a unique set of rules and procedures, such as different elements
of liability, statutes of limitations (allowing victims injured by government’s
negligence only 6 months to file a claim, as well as 6 months to file
a lawsuit following denial of that claim), and more – and they demand
the attention of experienced attorneys.
Discuss Your Case with Proven Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers
At Biren Law Group, our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys have advocated
on behalf of numerous injured victims and families throughout Southern
California, including those harmed in bicycle accidents and other accidents
caused by the negligence of private and public entities. We know the issues
involved in these challenging cases, especially in highly populated urban
areas where many cities and government agencies have responsibilities
for the upkeep or public roads and resources.
Holding the government, municipal organizations, and public entities accountable
for negligence and preventable injuries can be a daunting task, but it
can be done effectively when qualified attorneys leverage extensive experience,
resources, and insight into government liability claims to ensure public
entities are held to similar standards of accountability. Not only do
successful lawsuits help victims receive the compensation they need to
cover their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other
damages, they are also critical to ensuring the government acts in accordance
to the law, and does not endanger other citizens through preventable acts
If you have questions about a bicycle accident or any preventable injury
caused by government negligence, our legal team is available to help you
learn more about your rights and whether you may have a valid claim.
Contact us for a FREE and confidential consultation.