Attention Californians: Watch For Motorcycles, Share the Road

The California Highway Patrol is making an effort this May to remind drivers to watch for motorcycles as a part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Hundreds of deadly accidents involving motorcycles occur each year in California, including a recent accident that resulted in the death of a California man whose motorcycle collided with a big rig and another vehicle. CHP officers said weather may have been a factor.

Hundreds of Fatal Accidents Annually

In 2010 alone, the most recent year for which data is available, 361 motorists died and close to 11,000 others suffered injuries in motorcycle accidents, according to The Sacramento Bee. CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow told the Bee that drivers have difficulty judging the distance and speed of approaching motorcycles because motorcycles have a much smaller profile than other vehicles.

In the recent fatal accident, the truck behind the motorcycle failed to stop in time to avoid a collision and ran over the rider, the Bee reported. The driver said the air brakes on his truck went out. Another vehicle trailing the big rig and motorcycle then got caught in the wreck and struck the victim.

Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits

While fatal motorcycle accidents such as this are tragic and require time for the grieving process, family members of victims might have legal claims available as a way to seek compensation for the loss of their loved ones and related expenses. One potential option is to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

To prevail on a wrongful death claim, the family members must prove that the other driver caused the accident and that the victim was killed. Next, they must prove that the driver was negligent, reckless or acted intentionally in causing the accident; in most cases, it is an issue of whether the defendant was negligent. Basically, this means the driver deviated from the standard of care that an ordinary person would use when driving.

When a motorcycle accident causes serious injuries or death, victims and their families should contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can take legal action on their behalf if another motorist is potentially liable for causing the accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer for more information.