Our client was riding his motorcycle when a driver in front of him stopped suddenly to make a left turn. He was forced to lay down his bike to avoid a collision. The force of the crash broke his left knee.
The driver, an elderly woman with dementia, had been driving erratically before the crash. She left the scene even though witnesses tried to get her to stay. A witness wrote down the woman’s license plate number, and police found her at her home. Despite receiving a citation for negligence, she did not believe that she had caused the accident. She was charged with felony hit-and-run.
All too often, drivers who cause accidents involving motorcycles leave the scene of the accident. In some cases, a driver may understand that they caused a crash, but may choose to leave in the hopes of avoiding a citation for negligent driving, driving under the influence, or operating a car that they have stolen or are driving without a license.
In some cases, a driver who causes an accident may not be aware that they hit a motorcyclist or that their negligent driving caused a motorcyclist to crash while attempting to avoid hitting their vehicle.
An Investigation To Learn The Truth
Davis Law Group often sees cases involving defendants who genuinely do not believe that they have injured a motorcyclist, even when they are facing criminal charges and numerous eyewitnesses have described their behavior on the road in detail. Drivers who behave erratically on the road by stopping and starting abruptly or turning without signaling can put motorcyclists at risk.
While cars are designed to stop as quickly as possible, a motorcycle that is traveling at a high speed on the road cannot come to an abrupt stop without the risk of the rider being thrown from the bike.
Bikers who see a driver suddenly stop ahead of them are often faced with a difficult choice that they must make in a matter of a fraction of a second. They could slow down as much as possible and risk slamming into the back of the stopped vehicle; they could veer around the stopped vehicle, possibly into another obstruction or oncoming traffic; or they could “lay the bike down,” going into a sideway slide that can slam arms, shoulders, knees, or ankles into the unyielding road surface but may protect the head from a fatal injury.
When our client was admitted to the hospital for surgery on his broken knee, he was given food too close to the time he was given anesthesia. This caused him to throw up and aspirate into his lungs, a potentially fatal complication of anesthesia. He was placed on a ventilator for over a week before it was safe to perform surgery on his shattered knee, and in addition to dealing with the pain and time off work caused by his knee injury, he battled a lung and voice box infection so severe that he had to return to the hospital after his first discharge.
After more than a year of negotiating with the at-fault driver's insurance company, our the evidence produced by investigation was enough to hold the at-fault driver legally responsible for causing the accident. We recovered a $125,000 settlement on behalf of our client which paid for his medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.