Out of Control Truck Collides Head on With Motorcycle
Most motorcycle accident lawyers will agree that a head on collision with a truck will usually result in catastrophic injuries. In 2002, 51-year-old Kenneth G. was riding a motorcycle westbound on Highway 2, in Wrightwood, California when a large water truck spun out of control from the eastbound lane. Highway 2 travels through a mountainous area affording only one lane of travel in each direction. So by the time Kenneth saw the oncoming truck, he had no time to avoid it. A head-on collision ensued and the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. A self-employed carpenter, Kenneth was in his final semester of course work to get his certification as a drug and alcohol counselor.
According to California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS), among motorcyclists aged 45 to 54, there were 94 fatalities and 1,916 injuries. In San Bernardino County, there were 39 fatal motorcycle accidents and 507 injuries in 2006 alone.
Kenneth's estate filed a lawsuit against truck driver Ted R., and against Donna E., driver of a stalled vehicle. Plaintiff alleged that Ted droved his vehicle in a highly negligent manner, and that he had plenty of time to either slow or stop after observing Donna's vehicle in front of him; but for some reason, Ted failed to realize that the Donna's vehicle was traveling slowly and had stopped, which caused Ted's out-of-control breaking/turning maneuver.
"A winding mountain road with poor visibility can be especially dangerous to motorcycles," noted John Bisnar, California motorcycle accident attorney. "Large trucks and other vehicles that are forced to stop or slow down must allow plenty of room to react and not be forced to turn into an oncoming lane."
Plaintiff further alleged that Donna created a road hazard by greatly slowing or stopping completely in the eastbound lane of travel, thereby causing Ted's loss of control. Ted indicated that by the time he realized how slowly Donna was going, he had no choice but to slam on his brakes and swerve into the westbound lanes to avoid rear-ending her vehicle. Ted therefore contended that the incident was mostly Donna's fault for unreasonably slowing down. Donna placed the blame on Ted's unsafe driving.
Finally, both defendants contended that the defendants lost earnings were not that substantial based on his earning history, and that his future career as an addiction counselor was speculative.
The defendants settled this wrongful death suit for $950,000.00.
"We commend Kenneth's G. family for pursuing these two drivers whose combined negligence caused this unfortunate accident," said California motorcycle accident attorney and motorcycle enthusiast, Brian Chase. "Our hope is that this lawsuit, and the similar lawsuits we have filed against irresponsible drivers, will pressure them to observe all of California's safe driving laws and be particularly vigilant in navigating mountain roads."
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries as the result of a defective auto part or vehicle, contact the experienced California auto products liability attorneys at Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP for a free consultation. We will use our extensive knowledge and resources to achieve the best possible results for you and your family.