A bicyclist who became a quadriplegic after an accident in the city of Columbus, Ohio, partially caused by large potholes on a city road, was awarded $1.25 million in a recent settlement agreement with Columbus City Council.
The decision puts cities across the state of Ohio on notice that they can be held liable if their streets are in a state of disrepair.
W. Justin Crabtree and a friend were riding on Williams Road on the city’s south side in January 2006 when Crabtree was involved in an accident with a car. He sued the city claiming the potholes on Williams Road were a factor in the crash which occurred when motorist, Andre Cook, tried to pass the bikers in his vehicle.
Prior to the crash Crabtree was forced to ride to the center of the road because of the potholes in his path. Crabtree took the city to court charging negligence, but lost his case at the Common Pleas level. Crabtree appealed the decision to the 10th District Court of Appeals.
The appeals court reconsidered the city’s stance that it could not be held liable for such nuisances as malfunctioning traffic lights and potholes. Last November the appeals court ruled the city might be liable for any “negligent failure to keep public roads in repair.”
The appeals court remanded the case back to court where a mediator suggested the parties attempt to reach a settlement.
If you have experienced the death of a loved one in a bicycle accident or suffered injury yourself due to a driver’s reckless behavior or the negligent conduct of a company or a municipality or even another bike rider, contact an experienced Ohio personal injury attorney to find out your legal options before signing any forms or giving a statement to an insurance company.
After sustaining injury in a bicycle accident, it is important that you seek medical attention to assess the extent of your injuries. It is also important to keep documentation of your doctor visit(s). If you have a witness to what happened, ask them if they would make a statement on your behalf. You may have been unconscious, even briefly, and be unable to give an accurate report about what happened.
At Slater & Zurz LLP, we are experienced with Ohio’s automobile, insurance and liability laws and can help you explore all possible avenues of resolution to your bicycle accident case.
In addition, there are bicycle crash experts available who can investigate technical areas including bicycle design, assembly, or maintenance which may help you win your case. The experts can also explore issues related to roadways (as in Crabtree’s accident), trails or paths and investigate rider actions.
Slater & Zurz has offices throughout Ohio from which we can represent clients including locations in Columbus, Akron, Canton and Cleveland. Please contact Slater & Zurz LLP for a free consultation by calling 1-888-534-4850 or send us a message by filling out the FREE CASE REVIEW located on the right side of our website, slaterzurz.com.