A motorcyclist whose driver error resulted in a collision with a Toyota SUV in Orange County is dead and officials have now charged the other driver with a DUI. The accident occurred at approximately 10:15 p.m. last Tuesday evening on a stretch of The City Drive near the I-5 freeway.
The biker, an adult male of Huntington Beach, ran a red light as the driver of the SUV, of Long Beach, was attempting to exit the freeway. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, but authorities booked the other driver, who remained at the scene, charging him with vehicular manslaughter. This marks the second motorcycle fatality in Huntington Beach in 11 days.
Motorcyclists at greater risk to severe injury and death
According to the National Safety Council, California is second only to Florida in the highest number of fatal motorcycle accidents. Although motorcycles account for only 3% of all registered motor vehicles in the United States, they make up 14% of all fatalities, which includes 17% of passenger fatalities and 3% of reported injuries. As many nonfatal biker accidents go unreported, the number of injuries may be much higher.
Accidents involving motorcycles are often more catastrophic due to the instability of the vehicle on the road as well as its lack of protection to the occupants in a collision. Head and brain injuries are the greatest cause of death to bikers, and catastrophic injuries or death can result from traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, amputations, broken bones and severe burns.
Although cars and motorcycles share the road and travel at the same speeds, in any accident, the biker’s body will sustain the direct impact of the collision or traumatic injury from ejection. Most motorcycle accidents are the result of a collision with another vehicle, and often when the driver did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid hitting it.
In California, if the accident was the result of the negligent actions of another driver, the injured party or their family may file suit to recover damages. California follows the legal theory of comparative negligence in a personal injury claim, which allows the court to award the injured party the percentage of the accident attributable to the defendant in cases where both parties share liability.
A successful outcome can result in compensation for medical or rehabilitative expenses, lost wages or financial support, funeral expenses, pain and suffering and companionship.