I don't wish to disclose a ton of extremely specific details here, but here's the gist of the situation.
Last Saturday while returning from a 5 day motorcycle ride with friends my wife experienced a crash on her motorcycle. She was injured, however in the grand scheme of motorcycle accidents, not extremely seriously.
Road is under provincial jurisdiction and is a secondary highway. Paved, but for a significant portion of it's length and in extremely poor repair. Speed was significantly below the posted speed limit as the poor road conditions warranted such. Conditions mostly cloudy and dry roads.
The accident was a direct result of the poor surface conditions on the road - she hit a series of potholes, the last (which caused the accident) of which was approximately 6+" deep, jagged, and surrounded by gravel and other potholes on all sides. The bike became unsettled due to the number of potholes and then when she hit the largest one it caused the handlebars to literally be ripped from her hands. The motorcycle went down immediately and she landed in the opposing lane approximately 10 feet ahead of the bike.
We have several witnesses who will attest to the entirely situation including the extremely poor condition of the road.
The OPP officer who attended the scene indicated he agreed that the poor condition of the road surface contributed to the accident, and suggested it would be mentioned in the report.
The ambulance drivers who attended the scene indicated that they agreed the road was in extremely poor condition and it even effected their ability to drive the speed they'd wish to maintain on the way to the hospital with my wife.
The motorcycle has approximately $2000-$3000 in damage to the and approximately $1000 in damaged riding gear (jacket, helmet, gloves etc) as a result of the situation. There is no collision / comprehensive insurance on the motorcycle, liability only, as the value of the motorcycle is only approximately $5000.
I'm going back and forth between filing the online claim for damage sustained on a provincial highway (http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/vehicl ... laim.shtml) vs just going straight to a lawyer and pursing the matter that way.
We are not seeking nor interested in any claim for injuries, we simply want the damage to the motorcycle repaired and the damaged gear replaced.
I know this is a time limited situation so we have until next Wednesday. I'm not even honestly sure I can get a total of all the required repairs by that point, but will start tomorrow.
If it was me, I would hire a personal injury lawyer. That's their business and they're good at it !!. Initial consultation if usually free ... but they get to keep a portion of the settlement if they (you) win.
If there was no advance warning and you immediately hit a 6" deep pothole, you might have a good case.
However, if you proceeded any significant distance after you first encountered the poor road conditions, the province's lawyer would likely suggest you were at fault. A good lawyer will know how to get you reimbursement for the bike repair.
I would nadmit that there was no personal injury because it could surface later in the form of PSD or actual physical damage.
I am not a lawyer .... in fact, I may have no idea what I'm talking about ... it's just my opinion.
Don't delay any further. You only have 10 days from the date of the incident to provide a written notice of claim against some government bodies (e.g. City). You don't want to restrict your claim to just the province, especially when they may have delegated some responsibilities to others such as the City or county/region. Talk to a lawyer immediately and file a written notice right away. You can always amend things later and figure out what you truly plan to sue for. As has been said, don't limit yourself to just property damage to the bike either---your wife fell and should be compensated for that. You, as a family member, could also be entitled to benefits. You can sue for many things and always settle for just the bike repairs, but don't limit yourself at this point. Hire a personal injury lawyer right away!
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