If you are a motorcyclist who has been struck in a U-turn accident, you may sustain catastrophic injuries. As a family member of someone who has died in this type of accident, you may be both grief-stricken and anxious about the financial repercussions. At Sharifi Firm, our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys understand motorcycle culture and laws. We can evaluate your case to determine your possible legal options for seeking compensation.Holding a Negligent Driver Accountable for a U-Turn Accident
In some cases, a motorcycle U-turn accident happens because an oncoming vehicle strikes the motorcyclist making the U-turn. This can result in serious injuries to the motorcyclist, such as fractures, broken bones, whiplash, and even death, while the driver walks away without a scratch.
Under California Vehicle Code section 21801, a driver who is planning to complete a U-turn on a highway is supposed to yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction that are close enough to be considered a hazard at any time during the turn, and the driver must continue to yield the right of way to that approaching traffic until the U-turn may be made with reasonable safety. A driver who yields appropriately and gives a signal as required is permitted to complete a U-turn. Drivers approaching the intersection from the lane facing opposite, as well as those entering from the opposite direction, are required to yield the right of way.
If you are able to establish a violation of section 21801, you may be able to establish another driver's negligence or negligence per se and recover damages. Compensatory damages include special damages (economic damages) and general damages (noneconomic damages).
Motorcycle U-turn accidents sometimes occur because a rider tries to take a turn too fast and winds up crossing another lane of traffic or driving off the road. A rider may also lose control by braking too hard. While taking the turn, a motorcyclist must also pay attention to check for other cars and avoid making illegal U-turns. If a motorcyclist is negligent in making a U-turn and is partially to blame for an accident, his or her damages will be reduced by an amount equal to his or her degree of fault. However, the right to compensation will not be barred completely unless no other party was responsible.
Suppose, for example, that a motorcyclist makes an abrupt U-turn, and his bike capsizes. Meanwhile, a distracted driver who is talking on his cellphone makes a right turn into the lane where the motorcyclist is lying. Both the distracted driver and the motorcyclist may be responsible for the injuries that result. A jury will evaluate the total damages and assign a percentage of fault to both. If the damages are $500,000, and the motorcyclist is found to be 20% responsible, the distracted driver will be responsible for $400,000 of the total damages.Discuss Your Motorcycle Accident Case with a Los Angeles Attorney
At Sharifi Firm, APC, our Los Angeles lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation if you suffer injuries or a loved one dies as a result of a motorcycle accident. Call us at (866) 422-7222 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney. Our firm also represents victims and their families in other Southern California cities, such as Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, and San Bernardino.