SAN DIEGO NEWS 10 reported that Timothy Allen, 48, of Escondido, caused a motorcycle accident as a result of suffering a heart attack on July 2, 2010. Allen lost control of his truck , hit a motorcycle, and swerved through the center divider while traveling southbound on I-15 at around 3 p. m.. Allan died at the scene from heart failure, the motorcyclist, who was not named, sustained injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. According to Sean Maher, AMA director of state affairs, “Research shows that more than half of all motorcycle crashes are caused by other vehicles violating the right-of-way of a motorcyclist.” More than two-thirds of car-motorcycle crashes, and nearly half of all motorcycle crashes are caused by drivers other than the motorcyclist. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, show that of the 1,319 fatal car-motorcycle crashes in 1999, 38% involved another vehicle violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way by turning left while the motorcycle was going straight, passing, or overtaking the vehicle.
Applicable California Law
California Vehicle Code 22107 requires the driver of a vehicle to stay within their lane, unless a lane change can be done safely. Even though Allen lost control of his vehicle due to a heart attack, his actions still constituted a violation of statute, and his estate would be civilly liable for the motorcyclist’s property damage and personal injuries. This would include the repair or fair market value of the motorcycle and any loss of use. In addition, there would be claims for medical expenses, lost earnings, and earning capacity as well as compensation for pain and suffering. If Allan carried auto insurance, his carrier would still be responsible for any damages up to his policy limits, and or defend any lawsuit on behalf of his estate.
Accidents resulting from unforeseen circumstances happen every day. Auto accidents or truck accidents resulting in motorcycle accidents can occur due to carelessness, recklessness, or random circumstances. If you or someone you care about have sustained serious injuries, seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney.