Couple blamed for highway motorcycle crash on wet roadway recovers nearly $2,000,000 settlement against a paving contractor and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
Husband and wife, John and Jane, had made motorcycle trips like this one a frequent occurrence and enjoyed them with some of their closest friends and family over long weekend rides to select locations. To them there was nothing better than jumping on their cruisers and just driving.
Their most recent adventure ended abruptly when John and Jane were involved in an interstate highway motorcycle accident caused by a defect in a construction zone recently re-laid with asphalt.
This defect is referred to as bleeding or flushing, which is an area of the asphalt mix where little or no aggregate is on the surface of the roadway, minimizing, and at times eliminating, traction between a vehicle’s tires and the road surface. This bleeding/flushing defect results in slick surface areas, particularly when wet. It is nearly impossible to see.
The couple’s bike lost control on the roadway surface, throwing the driver, John, into the cable barriers. He suffered multiple bilateral leg fractures. Miraculously, Jane came away from the wreck with relatively minor injuries. She provided tremendous support and strength to her husband in the years that followed that night.
After two years of medical procedures, physical therapy, and 10 surgeries, John is unable to return to his labor-intensive job, and he suffers with intermittent lightning bolt sensations in each leg multiple times per day. The wreck, endless hospital visits, and constant pain burden this fun-loving, gentle, sweet man.
Motivated by her husband’s insistence that “there must have been something wrong with that road” and the emotional, physical, and financial burdens caused by this accident, Jane reached out to Schlapprizzi Attorneys at Law. She stood by her husband and, as the only wage earner of the family, she found ways to cut back on spending, such as driving a moped to work to avoid the high cost of gasoline.
She, along with dear friends, gathered around in support. Often, the impact an injury has on family members is overlooked; however, the impact is far-reaching. Certainly, the most profoundly impacted in this case was John.
Upon investigation by Schlapprizzi Attorneys at Law and the help of a trusted highway safety expert, it was found that repairs were made to the area of the highway where John and Jane were injured. The repairs came much too late; although the defect had been identified by both the contractor and highway department over ten (10) days before the crash, nothing was done until it was too late. No warning signs or markers were located anywhere near the area in question; and the very same defect had appeared on this same highway project at different locations before the couple’s crash, and had been corrected promptly.
The construction asphalt company, hired by MoDOT to take the primary lead in making and placing the asphalt, settled earlier this year, and now the couple has resolved the remainder of the case with the Highway Department for the absolute statutory sovereign immunity cap set by the Missouri legislature.
If you or anyone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident please keep in mind that there may be multiple causative factors that played a part or were responsible, call Schlapprizzi Attorneys at Law at 314-241-0763 for a free consultation.
Missouri boasts pure comparative fault for cases just like this. Meaning, even if an injured person shares some fault in the incident (up to 99%), that individual is still entitled to recover compensation. For cases in Illinois, an injured person can own up to 50% of the fault and still recover compensation.