SAN DIEGO NEWS NETWORK reported that 60-year- old Martin Davidoff, a resident of Riverside county, was severely injured and subsequently died from burns over most of his body resulting from a motorcycle crash on State Route 76 near Pala on May 2, 2010. California Highway Patrol officials stated that Davidoff was riding eastbound on his motorcycle, at around 1:30 p.m., when he ran into the rear of a pickup truck that had stopped in traffic. The impact was so severe that it caused the motorcycle’s gas tank to rupture and spill gas on the road and on Mr. Davidoff. Subsequently, a fire ignited covering him in flames. Witnesses pulled him from the wreckage and a Pala police officer, who was nearby, extinguished the flames with a fire extinguisher. Davidoff was airlifted to UCSD Medical Center in serious condition and subsequently died from his injuries.
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Davidoff
Applicable California Law
The driver of the pickup truck did not complain of injuries at the scene, and her physical condition is unknown at this time. There are no facts as to what caused Davidoff to rear-end the pickup truck and the CHP in Oceanside is still looking for witnesses. However, the gas tank failure would suggest that it was possibly defective. In evaluating the potential of any product liability claim, a thorough investigation of the vehicles involved, the accident scene as well as the motorcycle, must be conducted. Experts would need to be retained to determine if the motorcycle, any of its component parts, or possibly its design was defective (see my Blog post on California Products Liability law). After a comprehensive analysis, if it is determined that the motorcycle was defective, Mr. Davidoff’s heiress could pursue wrongful death claims (see my Blog post on California Wrongful Death law). However, if it is determined that his rear-ending the pickup contributed to causing his death, it would affect the value of any claims.
Serious and catastrophic injuries can result in wrongful death in cases involving motorcycle accidents. Acting promptly by gathering, preserving, and analyzing evidence is critical to being able to prove liability, causation, and damages. In many instances, evidence is lost, destroyed, or otherwise becomes unavailable, making it hard or impossible to prove your case. This is true in many accidents resulting in serious injuries such as auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents and, in particular, accidents involving product liability. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can make the difference in preserving your options.