From lane-splitting on the freeway to hugging curves on the Pacific Coast Highway, motorcycling carries its risks in California. Bikes are harder to see than conventional vehicles, and they offer almost no protection to riders in the case of a collision. Experienced bikers know how to protect themselves, but sometimes that is not enough.
Motorcyclists and bicyclists rely on drivers of cars and trucks to help them stay safe, and drivers have a legal obligation to assist victims and investigators in the case of a crash. Drivers who may have caused a collision through reckless or negligent driving may have stiffer criminal penalties if they abandon or attempt to leave the scene of an accident.
A 27-year-old man from Foothill Farms was killed in a collision with a sports utility vehicle on a recent evening in the Sacramento area. The man was on his motorcycle southbound on a major thoroughfare in Antelope when he was struck by the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders.
The driver immediately fled, leaving eyewitnesses to describe a large black sports utility vehicle with tinted windows and possible damage on the side which impacted the motorcycle. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.
Victims of motorcycle accidents and the survivors of fatal bike crashes may rely on the criminal justice system to punish offenders who committed a crime, but this process does not materially support those who need help recovering from a tragedy. An attorney can help guide people through the civil court system to claim financial damages from drivers and their insurers.