Our Newport Beach motorcycle accident attorneys often find that a number of collisions between vehicles and motorcycles tend to occur when the vehicle makes a left turn in front of the motorcycle. This week, we saw yet another collision fitting this description. The Orange County Register reports that a man and a woman were hospitalized with major injuries when their motorcycle collided with another vehicle, which was turning left. The collision was reported the afternoon of March 29, 2016 at the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and Harbor View Drive.
Police say the man and woman were on the motorcycle traveling north on MacArthur when they collided with a vehicle making a left onto the road from the south lanes of Harbor View Drive. They were thrown from the bike and transported to a hospital with serious injuries. The female driver of the vehicle was not injured. Alcohol and drugs were not factors in the collision, police said. Officials say it appears that the driver of the vehicle saw the motorcyclist, but “misjudged the timing.”
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
There were two fatalities and 37 injuries reported as a result of motorcycle accidents in the city of Newport Beach, according to California Highway Patrol’s 2013 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In Orange County as a whole, 30 people died and 989 were injured as a result of motorcycle crashes during the same year.
Under the law, motorists are required to the yield the right of way to oncoming vehicles before making a left turn or U-turn. California Vehicle Code Section 21801 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”
Fault and Liability
We trust officials will look into several factors including the speed at which the vehicles were traveling, whether one of the drivers was operating while distracted or inattentive and whether a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to the incident. In this particular case, if the driver is determined to have been at fault, she could be held liable for the victims’ injuries, damages and losses.
The injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced Newport Beach personal injury lawyer will also be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.