Most people think motorcycle accidents always involve the biker being hit by another larger vehicle, which is what most often happens, but is not always the case. Some motorcycle accidents occur without an impact from another automobile. Usually in these cases, the biker tries to avoid a collision by laying the bike down. This action can sometimes help avoid serious injury, but serious injuries can still happen, including fatal ones. If a motorcycle rider does lay down a bike before being hit, regardless of how much injury occurs as a result, he or she can still have a legal claim against the driver that put life and limb at risk. Legally, the biker must simply have acted in a way that is reasonable to most people, including laying down the bike.
Consider this possible incident. A motorcycle driver is riding at 60 miles per hour down a narrow road with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour. The rider is distracted for a few seconds and doesn’t see a broken down car on the side of the road with its door open. Even when the rider does look up, there is little time to avoid collision. He tries to keep from hitting the open door by laying the bike down and possibly receiving injury. The rider in this situation could have a case against the person with the open door, since this was not a safe thing to do in the first place. However, complications will surely turn up due to the rider’s speed and inattentiveness. The car owner will argue that the bike rider could have avoided having to lay the bike down if attention had been paid to the open door earlier.
Here is another possible case. A motorcyclist is riding at 50 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour zone. A car suddenly pulls out of a side road and slowly turns right into the bike rider’s lane. The rider knows that a rock cropping is along the right side of the road and sees a semi-truck in the on-coming lane. The rider decides to lay the bike down to avoid a serious collision and then has a much stronger case for a lawsuit than the scenario listed above. In any case, if a person lays down their motorcycle in the face of a life-threatening impact with another vehicle, that person has not lost the right to seek monetary damages for any negligence on the part of the vehicle driver.
If this is something that has happened to you or a loved one, you should hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you make a claim for your physical or emotional damages. Call experienced motorcycle lawyer Nick Ortiz at 850-898-9904 for more information.