A 40 year-old a self-employed graphic artist was riding his scooter on a small side street in San Francisco just a block from his home. The electrical company was doing some major electrical work in the neighborhood, so they hired a concrete company to excavate the road to get to the electrical wiring in the neighborhood. This road construction was being conducted by the concrete company during the daytime. However, rather than properly pave over the large holes they cut into the street, the company left large sections of the street severely uneven and dangerous in the evening.
This was negligent, as such conditions presented real danger of causing a bicycle, motorcycle or even auto accident. The company placed no signs in the street to give warning of the dangerous conditions. Given the poor lighting on the street, the lack of warning signs and the large “dip” left in the road surface by the concrete company, the graphic artist’s front tire went into the trench as he was heading home. As a result, he was thrown from his scooter several feet into the street sustaining serious personal injuries including fracturing to both bones in his left forearm, which required surgical repair and physical therapy.
The concrete company contended that the dangerous conditions they left in the street were “open and obvious” such that the driver of the scooter should have seen the conditions and therefore avoided them. Rather than take responsibility for the dangerous conditions they created, they tried to blame the victim. This tactic did not work.
Experienced California scooter accident attorney Sally Morin attempted to settle the case early to help her client put the accident behind him, but the concrete company would not make a sufficient offer. Sally and her San Francisco personal injury team asked for just under a million dollars to start the negotiations, but the concrete company’s top offer was only $325,000. This was not a fair offer, so Sally and her client chose to file the lawsuit and push for fairness. After a few months of litigation and Sally Morin diligently pushing the concrete company’s attorney to make a fair offer, the parties were able to settle the case for $750,000.00.
If you’re in a scooter accident that was caused due to adverse road conditions, you may or may not have a claim. So you really have to look at what was the cause. What was the cause of this adverse condition? Was it simply that it rained a lot and there was a puddle? Or was it that there was some gravel that fell out of a dump truck that was doing construction on the house right next to where you’ve got in an accident? So if it was just rain, you’re going to sue mother nature? I don’t think so. But you could probably sue the construction company that failed to clean up after their spill. So for instance, I had a scooter accident case where the electric company in San Francisco hired an asphalt company to cut open the street so that the company could go down and do the electrical work under the street and every day at the end of the construction, the asphalt company is supposed to replace the big cut in the street, fill it in, flatten it out, and let everybody drive over it over overnight, and then the next morning they come open it up, do it all over again. So as you can imagine, over the course of several months, this gets probably pretty old for the construction company and they get lazy and so they fill it in, but they forget to flatten it out. It had a lift about this big, my client hit it with his scooter, he went flying, broke his arm, and we received a pretty healthy settlement from the construction company. So there are instances where you can make a claim due to the road conditions. If it’s against the city and county of San Francisco, that is a tough battle, but some lawyers may be willing to take those cases. If you have an adverse road conditions scooter case, give us a call, we’ll see if we can help. We also have a whole team of other law firms that specialize in those kinds of cases too.