Thousands of motorcyclists die each year on American roads and highways. Many times, these crashes are the result of a car, truck, or SUV driver who failed to maintain a proper lookout and executed a left turn that directly led to the fatal crash. When that happens and you lose a loved one as a result, the law allows you to seek justice for your loss. Retaining an experienced Oregon motorcycle accident lawyer can provide your family crucial advantages as you undertake that legal process.
A recent fatal motorcycle accident in Lincoln County follows a factual pattern that tragically is all too familiar. A 27-year-old man from Toledo was traveling northbound on Highway 101 about 15 miles south of Newport.
According to the Oregon State Police’s preliminary investigation, as the motorcyclist passed through the intersection of Highway 101 and North Bayview Road, the driver of a Dodge Ram pickup truck turned left onto northbound 101 from Bayview Road. The motorcyclist was unable to avoid an impact and crashed into the truck. The motorcycle caught fire and the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiled statistics regarding motorcycle accidents and found that nearly 90,000 motorcyclists are injured in crashes each year. Of those, more than 40% resulted from motorcycle-versus-car/truck/SUV accidents where the car, truck, or SUV driver was executing a left turn.
The Ways Left Turn Crashes Can Unfold
These can occur in various ways. Sometimes, they’re the result of a driver turning left and crossing into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. Other times, a motorcyclist may be legally passing a car when the driver abruptly turns left into the motorcycle. Still other are scenarios like the Lincoln County fatality where a driver turns left at an intersection in front of the motorcycle, leaving the motorcyclist no room to avoid a crash.
In a large number of these instances, the driver may tell the police or investigators that he/she never saw the motorcycle prior to the collision. This may be partially the result of the driver driving while distracted or impaired by drugs or alcohol. Many times, though, it’s simply an oversight.
Even if the driver honestly didn’t see the motorcycle, that doesn’t absolve them of potential civil liability for the crash. The law says that everyone on the road is responsible for seeing what should be seen… and that includes motorcycles.
What this means is that, if you’ve lost a loved one or you’ve been severely injured as a result of a motorcycle-versus-car/truck/SUV crash, you need to take prompt legal action. By hiring the right legal team early on, they are more likely to conduct a thorough investigation and obtain relevant evidence that will make it more likely that there is a just and successful outcome in the case.
The experienced Oregon motorcycle accident attorneys at Kaplan Law LLC are here to help. Our team offers our clients direct experience from having litigated motorcycle crash cases firsthand, as well as providing personalized attention and customized strategies and advice specific to each unique situation. Call us today at (503) 226-3844 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.