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In my experience, bicycle cases present factual and legal issues that are different than regular automobile accident cases. They are not simple matters and having an attorney who knows about bicycle injures is important. The view from the saddle is different from that in an automobile.
When a tire gets caught in a road rut, or goes off a ledge in an area that is being paved, the In most instances, the State owes a non-delegable duty to keep the roadways in a reasonably safe condition. This responsibility is on the Roadway Owner – City (such as NYC) – State – Local County (such as Orange County, NY). There is no obligation on the Municipalities to keep the road absolutely perfect. To show that the City or State is at fault the Plaintiff has to show that the State created the dangerous condition, or was aware of the dangerous condition and did nothing to fix it, before the danger caused the accident.
Keeping roadways safe is also not always about the condition of the roadway. For example the intersection of 97th Street and Columbus Avenue was designate as a high pedestrian/bicycle crash location. As a result of the continued accidents at that location the City put into place modifications at the intersection including new walk signals, discussed pedestrian safety bump outs and other roadway signs.
Uneven pavement caused by construction activity can be considered hazardous. If the road is really bad or there are several large issues that cause the bicycle to lose control and fall, then there is a possibility that there can be a case. There are issues when loose gravel is left on the roadway. If the wheels get caught up in the gravel the bicycle can stop all of a sudden, if there is a droop off of over 2” then there can be a case because the area was not made safe. There are cases where experts have said that the failure to protect or prevent a drop off of this size that can certainly lead to an accident and injury is negligence.