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The Speed Bumps of Life

I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a listener who says “My wife and I were bicycling in a forested residential neighborhood, when we rounded a curve and she hit an unmarked speedbump and went down hard and was knocked unconscious and now has amnesia, is there anything we can do legally?”

Many residential neighborhoods install speed bumps. They have legitimate reasons to do so. But often we find they go about it in a careless way that can endanger motor vehicles as well as bicyclists and motorcyclists.

One frequent mistake is to fail to mark the speed bump with paint or otherwise warn of the bumps. A nice blacktop roadway upon which a black asphalt speedbump has been created can present a serious roadway hazard, especially when there are trees overhanging the roadway blocking out the sun and shading the roadway pavement.

This is what happened to the caller’s wife as he explained the situation in more detail. The two of them were in an area that has been newly blacktopped and maybe the residential community planned to apply yellow paint to the speed bumps, but as of the date when his wife fell, they had not yet painted the raised area of pavement.

So, it was black on black and when the wife’s bike hit the raised pavement that she encountered at approximately 15 mph, she had no warning of any danger, and she flew head first over the handlebars and slammed into the pavement.

Even though she was wearing a helmet the impact knocked her unconscious. And yes, she suffered an amnesia of events that happened in about a six months’ timeframe before the incident although her memory was otherwise intact.

In questioning the company that had placed the blacktop bumps, it became clear that it intended to follow the proper roadway marking conventions and put up signs warning of the speed bumps as well as paint them. They simply hadn’t gotten around to it. A construction company at the very least should have put yellow cones out and warned that they were still intending to do further work on the roadway.

Why do we share this information? Because these types of situations keep coming up. We all  think we are safe and we can be if all of the proper warnings are given. But, when for whatever reason someone fails to comply with the standards requiring them to give notice of such dangers people can and will be injured.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.