Hit-and-Run Crashes Particularly Perilous for Motorcyclists
Recent stories in the news of motorcyclists being sent to the hospital after hit-and-run crashes have highlighted the dangers posed to motorcyclists by hit-and-run drivers. Make sure you’re fully compensated after a hit-and-run collision by seeking out an attorney experienced in standing up for riders.
In a recent incident in Castro Valley, a motorcyclist was rear-ended at a stop light by a silver Chevy Camaro. The Camaro driver immediately fled the scene. The rider was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, and authorities are continuing to hunt for the Camaro’s driver. In another incident, a hit-and-run driver who evaded authorities for a month but was eventually arrested was recently convicted for fleeing the scene of an accident that resulted in a motorcyclist’s death. The defendant failed to see the victim biker as he waited to turn left at an intersection in Perris, California, rear-ending him and throwing him into oncoming traffic. The driver will face nine months in jail and five years’ probation for his role in the biker’s death.
Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to hit-and-run crashes, since riders often end up with more severe injuries than the passenger vehicle drivers involved in the crash, who are still able to drive away. Additionally, many two-vehicle motorcycle accidents are caused by the other driver, and those drivers fear the consequences they might face for seriously injuring the rider. For example, roughly 40% of all fatal motorcycle crashes each year result from drivers turning left in front of an oncoming motorcyclists, where drivers fail to look for or accurately gauge the speed of an oncoming biker.
Leaving the scene of an accident without exchanging information or offering assistance to an injured victim is more than impolite—it’s illegal, and can carry misdemeanor or felony charges. Due to the increased availability of traffic cameras and eyewitnesses taking photos on their phones, many hit-and-run drivers can be later found and brought to justice. Additionally, a skilled attorney will be able to use professional investigation methods to track down the at-fault driver and ensure that they pay for their wrongful behavior.
Even if the driver who hurt you is never found, there are still ways to receive compensation for your medical expenses and lost work after a hit-and-run crash. Your insurance policy likely contains coverage for uninsured or unknown motorists that will cover accidents where the other driver flees the scene. Having the right attorney represent you in your hit-and-run case is crucial. Many insurers and courts are skeptical of motorcyclists’ claims by default, believing motorcyclists to be dangerous drivers who must have been at fault if they got hurt. It’s important to find an experienced attorney who not only knows the law, but is also an advocate for bikers and understands the bias that must be overcome to ensure riders receive full compensation when they’re hurt by a negligent driver.
If you’re a California motorcycle rider who has been injured in a hit-and-run with a car or truck and want to ensure you receive everything you’re owed for your injuries, contact the experienced and dedicated Bay Area motorcycle law attorney William Weiss for a free consultation on your claims, at 415-362-6765.