Side-impact collisions are also called broadside collisions. These may be devastating no matter which vehicles are involved, but they may be particularly devastating for motorcyclists who are struck broadside by a larger vehicle. Unlike a car, which has a metal barrier between the driver or passenger and other vehicles, a motorcycle offers no protection when it is struck from the side. The result may be catastrophic injuries or even a wrongful death. If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a broadside collision, you should consult the experienced California motorcycle accident attorneys at Black & DePaoli
Pursuing Compensation for a Broadside Collision
Most broadside collisions could be prevented through the use of reasonable care. Often, they result from failing to yield the right of way, distracted driving, running a yellow or red light, or driving under the influence. The force of a broadside collision is likely to cause injuries to a motorcyclist, and sometimes the force also pushes the motorcycle into the path of other vehicles, causing additional collisions and injuries. Injuries in these crashes are likely to result in a need for emergency care and may also necessitate surgeries, rehabilitative therapy, long-term medical care, medical equipment, and accommodations.
When a motorcyclist has been pushed into another lane of traffic and been struck by two or more different vehicles, they may have a right of recovery against each negligent driver. To establish negligence, they must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant failed to use reasonable care in driving and thus caused their injuries. A key question when determining whether a motorcyclist may recover compensation from a second driver is whether the other driver could have stopped in time to avoid injuring the motorcyclist further. If there was enough time to stop, but the second driver was distracted or otherwise negligent, the second driver may also be liable.
In California, you may recover economic damages from each responsible party on a joint and several liability basis. This means that you potentially could recover all of your economic damages from the first driver who broadsided you. However, you may only recover noneconomic damages from a defendant based on their assigned percentage of fault. If the first driver is 60% responsible for your injuries and pushed you into a second driver, who is 40% responsible for your injuries, and the noneconomic damages are $500,000, you would need to recover $300,000 from the first driver and the other $200,000 from the second driver. However, you may recover all of the economic damages from the first driver, who is then responsible for seeking contribution from the second driver.
Contact a California Attorney for Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
Our principal, Black & DePaoli formerly worked in both law enforcement and the insurance industry, and he can bring his insights about these industries to your claim. It is crucial to consult a California motorcycle accident lawyer if you were injured in a broadside collision. We provide knowledgeable legal counsel to victims from our Folsom office and work hard to assert their rights to the fullest possible extent. For a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney, call Black & DePaoli at 916-962-2896 or contact us online.