Can More Than One Public Entity Be Responsible for Failing to Prevent an Accident?
If you are far enough along in your research on personal injury lawsuits, you may have encountered the term “premises liability,” which means that the owner of a property has a legal duty to keep the property in a safe condition in order to prevent accidents. If a visitor to the property gets injured in an accident caused by unsafe conditions, the injured visitor can sue the property owner for premises liability. You most often hear about premises liability lawsuits arising from incidents where a customer slipped and fell on a wet floor at a retail store, but premises liability lawsuits can result from any kind of accident on any kind of property, as long as the plaintiff can reasonably claim that the property owner knew or should have known about the unsafe conditions. The doctrine of premises liability sometimes even applies to traffic accidents; in this case, the defendant is the city or county responsible for the road or intersection where the accident occurred. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident where unsafe road conditions played a role, contact a South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer.
Couple Injured in Motorcycle Accident Sue Department of Transportation and Department of Public Safety
Larry and Jeannie Boiter suffered serious injuries when the motorcycle they were both riding collided with a car at an intersection near Inman, South Carolina. The traffic signal at the intersection was not functioning, making it impossible either for Larry or for the driver of the car to avoid the accident. A motorist had called the South Carolina Department of Public Safety 87 minutes before the accident to inform them of the traffic signal outage; the SCDPS had a duty of care to send a trooper to the intersection promptly to direct traffic until the traffic signal could be repaired.
Larry and Jeannie’s combined medical bills added up to nearly $900,000, and their combined lost income as a result of the accident totaled more than $200,000. They settled with the insurance company of the driver of the car, receiving $50,000, as this was the highest amount her policy allowed. Larry and Jeannie then sued the SCDPS for failing to send a trooper to the intersection in time to prevent the accident. They also named the South Carolina Department of Transportation, alleging negligence because the SCDOT had a duty of care to replace the light bulbs in traffic signals before the bulbs could burn out. The SCDPS and SCDOT both admitted negligence, but they disagreed with the plaintiffs about the amount in damages that the plaintiffs could collect. In the end, the court awarded them $1.2 million in damages.
Contact Us Today for Help
A Columbia motorcycle accident lawyer can help you if the medical bills for your motorcycle accident exceed the amount covered by the other driver’s insurance policy. Contact The Stanley Law Group for help today.