Many drivers in California choose to own a motorcycle because smaller vehicles are more maneuverable and can move faster through freeway traffic, passing between cars and using HOV lanes. There is also the attraction of feeling free; i.e., the thrill of the ride is not the same behind handlebars as compared to sitting in the driver’s seat of a car. Nonetheless, motorcycles come with hazards and risks as they are often harder to see in the lane by drivers of nearby cars and trucks. There is little protection for motorcycle drivers and passengers, so accidents caused by careless drivers who are not aware of traffic near them, or motorists under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause serious injury or death.
Recently a motorcyclist was the victim of two car accidents on one night, with the second one leading to his death. The accident happened on the I-5 freeway when the biker was struck and knocked off his mount by a hit-and-run driver. While he was getting himself off the surface of the road, a second vehicle struck him.
Passersby attempted to help the man but he died at the scene. California Highway Patrol officers suspect that the woman driving the vehicle in the fatal collision may have been drunk at the time. She was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.
Motorcyclists struck and injured by motorists or the survivors of those killed in motorcycle accidents have the right to claim financial damages to help rectify losses caused by inattentive, negligent or drunk drivers. This may include reimbursement for medical expenses and compensation for pain and suffering.
An attorney can be helpful in evaluating the likelihood of a claim’s success and making sure to file the appropriate claims in civil court. Settlements and jury verdicts can help make people whole after a tragic accident.
Source: NBC Los Angeles, “Motorcyclist Ejected, Fatally Struck by Suspected DUI Driver,” Rudy Chinchilla, March 18, 2018