Girardi | Keese

Motorcycle accident, death caused by distracted driving

When we think of a distracted driver causing a car accident, we imagine someone texting and driving, or even someone driving while intoxicated. We don't, however, typically think of someone simply being inattentive while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this was the case in a recent California automobile and motorcycle accident that resulted in the death of the motorcyclist.

The motorcycle accident occurred when a Toyota Prius that was traveling northbound on Highland Valley Road came to a stop to make a left turn. The Prius had stopped in order to wait for the southbound motorcyclist to pass when a Honda Civic approached the Prius from behind. The Civic, apparently not seeing the stopped vehicle, swerved to avoid a collision but still hit the left rear bumper of the Prius. The force of the collision caused the Civic to enter the path of the motorcyclist, who was flung from his bike by the resulting collision. The seriously injured biker died before he could be airlifted to a hospital.

The California Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident, an investigation that could take up to four weeks, and it is not yet known whether any charges will be filed. The driver of the Civic, though, was apparently distracted by talking to the passenger of his vehicle, causing him to be unaware of the stopped vehicle he was approaching and resulting in the motorcycle accident and death of the motorcyclist. Though this particular case is still under investigation, it is not uncommon in similar cases for the family of the victim to seek compensation from the at-fault party based on a claim for wrongful death. Monetary compensation can relieve the financial burden of a loved one's death as family members focus on comforting each other in their time of grief.

Source: Carlsbad Patch, "CHP: Distracted Driver May Have Caused Motorcycle Death of Carlsbad's Dennis Williams," Julie Pendray, March 7, 2012

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