Understanding the Dangers of Negligence as a Motorcyclist

Ever since I was nine years old I’ve enjoyed riding and racing motorcycles. My first mini bike was a Honda 70, and 41 years later, I still enjoy riding.

Mitch Jackson on DirtbikeThis is a picture taken by a friend of me getting a bit of air on my Honda CRF 450 out on the local motocross tracks. When it comes to street riding, there is nothing my wife and I enjoy more (OK- maybe just me, but she’s a good sport and goes along with it) than taking an afternoon ride on the winding coastal roads found on the Hawaiian Islands.

Have said this, I also understand and appreciate the unfortunate risk and hazards with riding on the track and on the street. The problem I’ve notice over the years is that regardless of how good and safe a rider you are, there is always the chance that someone or something else can ruin your day as quickly as you and I can twist the throttle or release our clutch lever of your motorcycle. Of course, there are things that we can all do to minimize this from happening, but the reality of the situation is that no matter how safe or careful we are, there is always the chance of being a motorcycle accident victim.

Not too long ago, I arrived at one of our local motocross tracks and relaxed unloading my bike while sipping on a hot cup of coffee and talking with friends. I had just had my bike’s suspension and top-end worked on by Pro Circuit and to get familiar with the new feel and power, started the morning off with slowly “rolling” the track.

Sure enough, despite the fact that I was riding way over on the right side of the track, some yahoo decided it would be smart to try and jump by (over?) me on a medium size step-up jump. While the top of my helmet doesn’t make a very good landing area, the accident was not as bad as it could have been and I’ve simply chalked it up to another close call. The fact of the matter is that I was doing everything right but because of someone else’s negligence, a very serious accident could have taken place.

On the way home that afternoon, we passed two street bike motorcycle accidents which looked pretty bad. I’m not sure how the accidents happened but this section of winding road on the Ortega Highway is a frequent riding area for street bikes. In the past, I’ve seen autos and trucks passing other vehicles on blind corners and with a 500′ cliff on one side of the street and a solid rock wall on the other. One morning I actually watched a guy on his bike blow past me, pop a high speed wheelie and then ride that wheelie around a blind corner. What part of “a recipe for disaster” did this rider not understand?

Just this past week, my firm resolved a horrible motorcycle accident case which involved a wonderful client who had spent the past 30 years with the Army’s Special Forces. He was happy to recently retire and did not have a scratch on his body.

While riding a motorcycle in downtown Los Angeles, California, he entered an intersection pursuant to a green light when all of a sudden, an inexperienced 16 year-old driver decided it would be a good idea to make an illegal left-turn directly in front of our client. Needless to say, he suffered multiple broken bones and despite healing very well, is expected to experience a life-time of discomfort. The $1,200,000.00 policy limit settlement was only a first step in helping this rider get back on his feet and back on his bike.

These are just a few examples of how carelessness or outright stupidity can pose a serious risk to a rider. To discuss your case and how my firm can help, give me a call at (800) 661-7044.

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Our Orange County personal injury lawyers have a long history of helping the injured. Since we opened our doors in 1986, we have negotiated and litigated to secure the best possible results for every client. Our hard work resulted in considerable recoveries, including a number of multi-million dollar settlements and awards – the type of compensation that truly makes an impact as you work to rebuild and move on with your life. We are prepared to put our experience to work for you.

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