Since there is no buffer between a motorcycle and a car that hits it, broadside collisions can result in devastating consequences. While protective gear such as helmets or leather riding clothes can help, a motorcyclist may still suffer soft tissue damage, tendon tears, fractures, broken limbs, traumatic brain damage, and worse. In many broadside collisions, the full extent of the motorcyclist's injuries are not known right away. At Sharifi Firm, our motorcycle accident lawyers can guide residents of Los Angeles through the process of pursuing compensation from negligent drivers.Broadside Collisions in Southern California
Why do broadside collisions happen? Often, it is because the driver of a larger vehicle does not expect to encounter a much smaller vehicle, fails to yield the right of way, is distracted by texting or checking directions to a destination, or is speeding. For example, if a motorcyclist is driving straight through a green light at a wide intersection, and a driver coming the opposite direction is not paying attention and makes a left turn without looking carefully, he or she may T-bone the motorcyclist.
If a driver violates a statute and thereby causes a broadside collision that results in injuries to the motorcyclist, the victim can sue under a theory of negligence per se. In such a case, negligence may be inferred if the motorcyclist can show that there was a statutory or regulatory violation, the violation caused the accident, and the accident was of the type that the statute or regulation was designed to prevent.
In some cases, both the motorcyclist and the driver in an accident are at fault. California follows the comparative negligence doctrine. This means that a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit can argue that the plaintiff was partially or fully to blame for the accident. The jury then will evaluate not only damages but also the respective liability of each party alleged to be at fault. For example, a jury could find that the total damages are $100,000, but the motorcyclist is 50 percent at fault and the driver is 50 percent at fault. In that case, the motorcyclist may be able to recover up to $50,000 from the other driver.
What if the motorcyclist in a broadside collision dies? In some cases, an at-fault driver may be criminally prosecuted. However, even if the driver is not convicted, a lower standard of proof applies to civil cases for damages than to criminal cases, and a decedent's family can proceed with a wrongful death suit. In California, the decedent's family may be able to pursue compensation for lost companionship, any medical or funeral expenses they have paid, lost parental instruction, and lost income. Wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the victim’s death.Legal Representation for Crash Victims in Riverside
If you are a motorcyclist who has been hurt in the Riverside area in a broadside collision, our injury attorneys can bring a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your harm. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form to set up a free, no-obligation consultation. We represent clients in Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, and San Bernardino, among other cities throughout Southern California.