A motorcyclist was killed in a Golden Hill accident shortly before the new year when his bike collided with another vehicle. The motorcycle rider suffered serious injuries that required immediate medical attention. He arrived at the hospital and received treatment, but died approximately 45 minutes later. The driver of the car that was involved in the crash walked away without suffering any serious injuries.
The cause of this particular accident is still under investigation. As police investigate, the motorcycle accident victim’s family may be wondering how they are going to pay for medical bills and a funeral. If the victim’s family also relied on him for income and support, they may be struggling to make ends meet in the wake of his death. There are many reasons that a motorcycle accident can happen. If the cause of the accident can be attributed to another person or entity, the victim’s family may be able to recover much-needed compensation.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Other Motorists
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers on the road. Since they do not have much protecting them from the outside environment, motorcyclists are at increased risk of suffering fatal injuries in an accident. When other drivers engage in reckless or negligent behavior, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer life-changing or deadly injuries. If a victim’s family can prove that another driver’s negligent or reckless behavior caused the fatal accident, they may be able to hold that driver financially responsible for their damages. Common causes of motorcycle accidents, where fault is attributed to other drivers, include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Failing to yield to motorcycles on the road;
- Driving aggressively;
- Fatigued driving;
- Texting while driving;
- Speeding; and
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Motorcyclists
Sometimes, it is the motorcyclist who is responsible for causing an accident. If the motorcycle rider is responsible for causing the accident that led to his own death, the family may find it difficult to recover the money they need. If that motorcyclist is responsible for causing another person to suffer an injury, the rider (or his estate) could be on the hook for that other person’s damages. Common causes of motorcycle accidents, where fault is attributed to the motorcyclist, include:
- Lane splitting;
- Failing to use turning signals;
- Failure to wear reflective materials;
- Weaving through lanes of traffic;
- Riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and
- Fatigued driving.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Road Conditions
There are also situations where an accident will not be the fault of any of the involved drivers. Instead, a hazardous road condition could cause an accident. When this is the case, the government entity that is responsible for this hazard can be held responsible for any resulting damages. The process for recovering compensation is a bit different when a personal injury accident victim (or their family) decides to name the government as a defendant.
Most personal injury claims must be filed within two years of an accident. When the government is responsible, a special administrative claim must be filed with the government itself within six months of the accident. This claim should state that the government knew or should have known about the hazard and failed to correct it in a timely manner. If the government denies a claim, the victim will have an additional six months to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit in civil court.
Comparative Fault in Motorcycle Accident Cases
In California, more than one party can be held financially responsible for damages suffered because of an accident. Imagine that in the case mentioned above the motorcycle rider, other driver, and local government all contributed to the fatal accident. The rider’s family would not be barred from recovering compensation just because their loved one contributed to the accident. Instead, they could potentially recover a percentage of their damages from the other driver and the government. Each party would be financially liable to the degree they contributed to the accident.
So, let’s say that the motorcyclist was determined to be 30 percent at-fault, the other driver was 50 percent at-fault, and the local San Diego government was determined to be 20 percent at-fault. The victim’s family could recover, at most, 70 percent of the damages they suffered. Their ability to recover compensation is reduced by the degree of fault that was attributed to their loved one. The other driver would be liable for 50 percent of their damages, and the government would be liable for 20 percent of their damages. If the other driver also suffered injuries he could also pursue compensation from the rider’s estate and the government.
Experienced San Diego Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Have you been injured because of a San Diego motorcycle accident? Call Injury Trial Lawyers, APC to learn more about filing a personal injury claim for damages. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can review your case, explain the steps involved in filing a claim, and answer the questions you have. California limits the amount of time you have a to file a claim, so it is important to act quickly. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.
Injury Trial Lawyers, APC
1230 Columbia Street, Suite 560
San Diego, CA 92101