Motorcycle Accidents: On the Rise in Humboldt?

The frequency with which motorcyclists are struck by unsafe/inattentive drivers seems to be on the rise in Humboldt County. Janssen Malloy LLP is currently handling several motorcycle/vehicle collision cases in which the driver of a car, truck or delivery van was speeding, turned unsafely into the motorcyclist, or rear-ended the motorcyclist. All motorcyclists (and bicyclists) have stories of how they felt like some magic dust had rendered them invisible on the road to drivers of cars and trucks. Most motorcyclists are careful, defensive drivers, because they absolutely have to be. An additional challenge for an injured motorcyclist is that there are public stereotypes regarding motorcyclists, with many motorists automatically assuming that the motorcyclist is at fault if there is a collision. Traffic collision reports from the CHP or local police departments often make unsupported assumptions about fault when dealing with motorcycle/vehicle collisions as well.

Let’s take a look at two current cases being handled by Janssen Malloy LLP. The two incidents coincidentally occurred 3 days apart in December, 2013 (in fact, one client saw the collision involving the other client). In the first example, a young man was stopped at a crosswalk, waiting for a pedestrian to finish crossing through to the curb, when he was struck from behind by a driver going too fast and not looking at traffic in front of him. The young man was thrown 20 feet off his motorcycle, and while injured, fortunately did not sustain life-threatening fractures. In the second case, a truck turned suddenly in front of the motorcyclist near the intersection of 4th Street and the Samoa Bridge access, causing the motorcyclist to be ejected from the bike, sustaining pelvic fractures, broken ribs, hand fractures, and the need for surgery during a prolonged hospital stay. Both motorcyclists had the right of way, were obeying all traffic laws, had a right to be exactly where they were on the road when struck.

Motorcyclists have the same rights to occupy their lane of travel as any car or truck. The California Vehicle Code provides the same rights to and imposes the same responsibilities on motorcyclists as it does to cars and trucks.

Janssen Malloy LLP has extensive experience representing motorcyclists who have been injured by careless drivers. We use that expertise to uncover all applicable insurance coverages for the accident, address the need for accident reconstruction analysis, fully present the extent of medical damages and lost wages, and bring the case to a successful conclusion. If you or a loved one are injured in such a situation, the trial attorneys at Janssen Malloy LLP stand ready to assist and protect your rights.