Articles Posted in Failure-to-Yield Motorcycle Accidents

Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued an interesting opinion in a motorcycle accident case that was filed against a taxi-cab driver as well as the taxi-cab company. The case required the court decide whether the taxi-cab company could be held vicariously liable for the allegedly negligent actions of the taxi-cab driver. Finding that the jury was presented sufficient evidence to create an agency relationship between the driver and the company, the court determined that the company could be held vicariously liable.

TaxisVicarious Liability

Vicarious liability is a theory of liability where one party is held legally responsible for the negligent actions of another party. This type of liability is most commonly seen in cases involving a case against an employer for the negligent actions of an employee. However, the relationship between the parties need not be that of employer/employee for vicarious liability to apply; a party may also be held liable for the negligent actions of their agent.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was injured when he was involved in a motorcycle accident with a taxi-cab driver who was operating a cab marked with the defendant’s logos. According to the facts as discussed in the appellate opinion, the taxi-cab driver made a left turn directly in front of the plaintiff, causing the vehicles to collide.

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One of the most common causes of serious or fatal motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle is that vehicle’s failure to yield to the motorcyclist. Whether it is because the motorist is unfamiliar with sharing the road with motorcyclists, fails to see the motorcyclist, or misjudges the speed at which a motorcycle is traveling, the root cause is the same:  negligence on the part of the motorist.

Highway at SunsetWhen a motorcyclist is injured in a motorcycle accident, the unfortunate reality is that people will often initially look for ways to blame the motorcyclist. For whatever reason, all motorcyclists get a bad reputation, although very few motorcyclists drive recklessly. In fact, less than half of all motorcycle accidents are caused by motorcyclist error. Regardless, from the police who investigate the accidents to the news media who report on them, it is all too common to see accidents prematurely labeled as the motorcyclist’s fault.

Motorcyclists who have been injured in a serious accident may be entitled to monetary compensation for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Even if the police investigating the accident seemed biased and failed to issue a citation to the other motorist, a personal injury lawsuit may still be possible.

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A 19-year-old Connecticut woman was arrested last month after she collided with a man on a scooter while driving her car on a state highway near New London, Connecticut. The rider was ejected from his scooter, suffered serious injuries, and remains hospitalized in critical condition. According to a local news report, the driver of the car remained at the scene of the accident and appeared intoxicated when police and emergency officials arrived. Evidently, she was charged with DUI and released on a promise to appear. Although her current charges do not incorporate the serious injury that she caused to the motorcyclist, prosecutors may decide to press more serious charges, especially if new evidence is uncovered or the victim’s condition worsens.

ScooterDrunk Drivers Are a Danger to Everyone on the Road, Especially to Motorcyclists and Scooter Riders

Thousands of people are killed every year in alcohol-related road accidents. Although most drunk driving injuries are suffered by people in cars and trucks, motorcyclists are at a greater danger individually than people in other vehicles.

Any motorcycle or scooter enthusiast knows that other drivers sometimes fail to notice them or yield the right of way. Alcohol intoxication is described by the World Health Organization as causing symptoms that include loss of coordination, reduction in motor and visual abilities, delayed reaction time, and poor judgment. All of these effects of alcohol make the dangers motorcyclists face from cars even worse. A drunk driver with impaired judgment and delayed reaction time may decide not to check her mirrors before changing lanes or may drive at excessive speeds and without regard for others on the road. Motorcyclists and other two-wheeled vehicle riders must be vigilant to always look out for other drivers who are driving dangerously and may be drunk.

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Motorcycle accidents are a scary thought. With nothing to protect the rider except a helmet, a serious or fatal injury is often the result of an accident. While there are certainly many causes of serious or fatal motorcycle accidents, one of the most common causes is another motorist’s failure to see or failure to yield the right-of-way to a motorcyclist. In fact, by some estimates, these two causes combined account for almost half of all motorcycle accidents.

escaping-1309188The general rule is that vehicles are required to yield to those vehicles with the right-of-way. While the situations giving rise to a potential failure-to-yield accident are countless, a few of the more common scenarios are:

  • Intersections with one or more stop signs;
  • Situations that require one vehicle to merge into another lane, such as a highway on-ramp or off-ramp;
  • Parking lots;
  • Pulling out of a driveway or shopping center exit;
  • Any time a vehicle makes a left turn in front of a motorcycle; and
  • Whenever there is a posted “Yield” sign.

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Earlier this month, an accident in Harmans, Maryland resulted in one Hanover man losing his life when the motorcycle on which he was riding was struck by a passenger vehicle. According to one local news report, the accident took place at around four in the afternoon near the intersection of Dorsey Road and Sandalwood Court.

motorcycle-01-1463298Evidently, the motorcyclist was driving his 2011 Harley Davidson westbound on Dorsey Road when a minivan pulling out of a driveway slammed into the motorcycle. The driver was thrown from the bike and was found on the road by emergency responders, who immediately took him to Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore. Despite their best efforts, the man was pronounced dead a few days later. The driver of the minivan was not injured in the accident.

The motorcyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, and police have ruled out alcohol and speed as potential causes for the fatal accident. Police do believe, however, that the accident was caused by a failure of the minivan driver to yield to the motorcyclist as the minivan pulled out of the driveway into traffic. Police are still in the middle of their investigation and are working with the prosecutor’s office to determine if criminal charges are appropriate in the wake of the fatal accident.

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Earlier this month in Alexandria, Virginia, a motorcyclist was injured when he was struck by a car that was in the process of making a left turn. According to one local news source, the accident occurred at around 4:30 in the afternoon at the Church of Saint Clement on N. Quaker Lane.

left-turn-with-care-1255768Evidently, the motorcyclist was heading north when a car made a left turn and struck the motorcyclist. As the rider flew off the bike, the bike crashed through the window of a nearby daycare. There were 10 children and their teacher in the daycare at the time, and five of them suffered minor injuries that required they be taken to the hospital. The motorcyclist was also taken to the hospital and admitted in serious condition.

Police told reporters that they have been keeping an eye on that intersection for some time, since it is known as a dangerous area. In fact, they mentioned that drivers come down the hill and make the left turn at high speeds too often, putting other motorists at risk. The cause of this accident still remains under investigation. Police expect to have a result in the near future.

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Earlier this week in Abilene, Texas, an accident between a Jeep SUV and a motorcycle sent two people to the hospital with serious injuries. According to one local news source, the accident took place around six p.m. on a Sunday evening.

bikes-from-ace-cafe-london-4-232165-mEvidently, the Jeep was at a stop sign waiting to continue eastbound when it failed to yield to oncoming traffic and entered the intersection without checking for approaching vehicles. As the Jeep entered the intersection, a motorcycle with two people on board crashed into the rear-passenger side of the Jeep, sending both riders flying off the bike.

Both people on the motorcycle were wearing approved helmets. However, they did sustain major injuries, including heavy bleeding, and were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. It is expected that they will make a full recovery. The driver of the Jeep did not sustain any injuries in the accident and was cited by police for failing to yield to the motorcycle.

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