An officer with the Pomona police department was injured in a motorcycle accident after a left-turning vehicle struck him at a street intersection. An article in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin states that the incident occurred at the intersection of North Garey and Garfield avenues in Pomona, just south of the 10 Freeway. The officer was traveling north on Garey Avenue on his way to a fatal hit-and-run crash when the collision occurred. Police say a Ford Explorer that was traveling south on Garey turned left in front of the officer. The officer's motorcycle collided into the passenger side of the SUV.
He was ejected from his motorcycle. The officer suffered major head trauma and was transported to an area hospital. The driver of the SUV, a 22-year-old Pomona man, was detained by officers for questioning. However, it is not clear if he was arrested or charged. Police investigators said they are still looking into whether drugs, alcohol or distracted driving may have played a part in the collision.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015, 4,976 people died in motorcycle accidents, which was up 8.3 percent from 4,594 in 2014. In 2015, motorcycle accident statistics showed 88,000 motorcyclists were injured. In 2014, NHTSA estimated that motorcyclists were 27 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and almost five times more likely to be injured. Also, during the year, there were about 8.4 million motorcycles on the nation's roadways.
Making a left turn can be complex because there are a number of factors in such scenarios. Left turn motorcycle accidents are some of the most common and most dangerous. The act of making a left turn in itself disrupts the flow of traffic. Drivers must judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars, watch for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians and watch and react to other drivers. Nationwide, 53.1 percent of street intersection crashes involve left turns. According to NHTSA, close to half of the 5.8 million car accidents in the U.S. are intersection-related and the majority of those are the result of making a left turn.
California law requires motorists turning left to yield to oncoming vehicles. California Vehicle Code Section 21801 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
When a vehicle strikes a motorcycle, it is often the motorcyclist who suffers serious or even fatal injuries. Some of the common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents include:
- Head injuries: These are some of the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents. A head injury could range from concussions to a severe traumatic brain injury that could result in permanent or lifelong disabilities.
- Spinal cord trauma: When a person is ejected from a motorcycle after a collision, he or she may suffer severe spinal injuries that could result in paralysis. Other types of debilitating neck and back injuries could also occur.
- Broken bones: Blunt force trauma in a motorcycle accident could result in bone fractures that could require extensive treatment and rehabilitation. Those who are injured may need weeks or even months of therapy to recover flexibility, mobility, strength and function in the injured areas. Sometimes, they are unable to recover completely from serious fractures.
- Road rash: These are severe burn injuries that occur when the rider's skin makes contact with the roadway. These injuries could leave a motorcyclist permanently scarred.
- Internal injuries: A motorcycle accident could also result in damage or injury to internal organs such as the lungs, spleen, kidneys, liver, etc.
- Amputations: Limb amputations are also a common consequence of motorcycle accidents. This is of course a catastrophic injury, which means that the victim has suffered a permanent disability.
Steps to Take after a Motorcycle Accident
There are a number of steps injured motorcycle accident victims can take in the event of a collision. First and foremost, report the incident to law enforcement. File a police report and get a copy of the report for your own records. Take as many photographs as possible at the scene of the accident including the roadway, position of the vehicles, damage to your motorcycle and your injuries. Get as much information as possible from other parties involved in the accident such as contact information, vehicle registration, license plate, driver's license, and insurance.
Secure contact information for any persons who might have witnessed the incident. If you have been injured, have a friend or family member collect this information for you since evidence from the scene can be invaluable during the claims process. Get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for your injuries. Accept treatment at the scene and go to the emergency room or hospital if you feel pain or have suffered apparent injuries. Even if you have not sustained injuries that are obvious, be sure to get checked by your doctor. Save all receipts of expenditures related to the accident and injury including motorcycle repair costs, hospital bills, and therapy bills. Then, it's time to find out whether or not you need a motorcycle accident attorney. Contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Southern California who will fight for your rights and help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses.
Protecting Your Rights
The value or worth of a motorcycle accident settlement will depend on the nature and extent of injuries and losses you have suffered. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Family members of deceased motorcycle accident victims may be able to seek compensation as well by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact the motorcycle accident attorneys in Los Angeles at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates for a free case review.