Traffic signs regulate driving and convey important safety information. Stop signs determine right-of-way in intersections. At an unregulated intersection, the first vehicle to arrive at the intersection has the right of way. A stop sign automatically gives the right of way to oncoming traffic that does not have a stop sign.
When a stop sign is obscured by a tree branch or overgrown bush, a motorcyclist may assume that having arrived first, he or she has the right of way. An oncoming driver, expecting the motorcyclist to stop, might not slow down when approaching the intersection. In that situation, an obstructed stop sign is a substantial cause of any ensuing collision.
The obstruction of other important regulatory signs and signals, including traffic lights, yield signs, and “no right turn on red” signs, can lead to motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists are also at risk when they cannot see signs that warn of hidden driveways, dangerous curves, and lane transitions.
The state or local government responsible for road maintenance is also responsible for assuring that its signs are visible. Unfortunately, tight budgets often cause governments to neglect their responsibilities. When the government knows or should know that a sign is obstructed and does nothing to correct the problem, a lawyer, like a motorcycle accident lawyer, can help riders recover compensation for accident injuries that are related to the obstructed sign.
Time Limit for Visiting a Doctor After a Motorcycle Accident Caused by an Obstructed Sign
States have established important time limits for motorcycle accident victims who want to make injury claims against local governments. A statute of limitations creates a deadline for initiating legal action in court. That deadline is typically two or three years, but it may be as short as one year.
Notice of claim laws requires accident victims to notify the government of a claim that might lead to a lawsuit. Failure to give that notice before the deadline, like the failure to meet the statute of limitations deadline, could extinguish the right to sue. State laws usually require those notices to be given quickly, typically within three or six months after the accident.
While laws impose deadlines for making claims, no law sets a deadline on visiting a doctor after an accident. In fact, no law requires an accident victim to see a doctor. As a practical matter, however, injury victims must prove that negligence — in this case, the failure to remedy an obstructed traffic sign — caused their injuries. Accident victims cannot realistically offer proof of a serious injury unless they have been treated for the injury by a physician.
Reasons for Visiting a Doctor Soon After a Motorcycle Accident Caused by an Obstructed Sign
While it is important for motorcycle accident victims to visit a doctor, it is equally important to visit the doctor promptly. Most injuries heal more quickly and completely when they are treated. Insurance companies resist paying full compensation for injuries that become aggravated by the failure to seek prompt medical care.
Establishing that the injury was caused by an obstructed sign also requires evidence of the date on which the injury occurred. Visiting a doctor immediately after the accident creates a record that associates the accident with the injury. Waiting days or weeks to seek treatment raises the possibility that an intervening event, such as a second motorcycle crash, caused the injury. Insurance companies seize on that possibility to justify the denial of claims.
For the same reason, it is important to follow through on all recommended treatments. When appointments are canceled and not rescheduled, or when injury victims decide they are too busy to follow a doctor’s orders, insurance companies argue that the injury must have healed. They attribute any subsequent treatment to a subsequent cause. Following a doctor’s advice is the key to obtaining full compensation for motorcycle accident injuries.
Thank you to the experts at Butler Law Firm for their input into motorcycle accidents and the law.