Rut in Road Injures Motorcyclist
We represented Dennis against the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department. This case goes way back to 2011 (we were referred this case by another lawyer). Our client was a medical doctor out for a Saturday motorcycle ride when he encountered a gap in the pavement between two slabs of concrete.
This caused his motorcycle to behave erratically and him to fall off the back of the motorcycle sustaining rib, neck, and head injuries. Dr. Colbert went to the hospital right away but his diagnosis was not too serious.
He then did not get further significant medical care for about 6 months. At that point, he started having arm weakness, continued neck pain, and headaches. He underwent MRI’s and further testing along with rounds of physical therapy to deal with that weakness. His medical care was spaced out over years, which became a challenge.
Many defendants and juries believe that if medical is not obtained within a relatively short period of time following an incident, that medical can be unrelated to the incident at issue. This is particularly true when the initial medical does not have diagnostic tests or diagnosis of significant medical problems and if the Plaintiff is an older person in which degenerative changes are noted in the spine and other parts of the body. These could be symptom producing in and above themselves.
Missouri Highway Transportation Department must Safely Maintain their Roads
Regardless, the Missouri Highway Transportation Department must safely maintain their roads for all vehicles, including motorcycles. That this was an unwitnessed motorcycle crash also challenged liability. We were very pleased to settle the case for $165,000 – his medical bills were pretty low.
We currently are helping other folks in cases against the Highway and Transportation Department. We tend to file lawsuits and litigate these cases, conduct discovery, and take depositions where we show the dangerous condition of the MODOT should use to correct those conditions (or the absent of such systems) as well as violations of State and Federal highway safety guidelines.
We file suit in court in Missouri, but in Illinois we have to file it in special Court of Claims court. In waiving its sovereign immunity, Illinois requires claims in this administrative tribunal. While Missouri lets a regular civil claim, it only waives its immunity for dangerous property conditions, motor vehicle negligence claims and insurance claims.