Officers from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the City of Norwalk, CA are now working in conjunction with each other on a joint, Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation. The efforts are aimed at curtailing motorcycle accidents in areas where they are more prevalent, and will specifically target behavior by both vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders that contribute to motorcycle involved collisions. According to reports, some of the most common causes of motorcycle involved accidents include traveling at an unsafe speed, making unsafe turns, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The High Price of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle involved collisions are generally more dangerous than car to car collisions because of the lack of outer protection afforded to the motorcycle rider. Where a driver in a car is surrounded by a metal frame, airbags, and seat belts a motorcycle rider is completely exposed to the elements of the road. While many riders make efforts to protect their bodies from the damage of a collision by wearing protective gear and helmets, the use of this gear is not a guarantee that a life can be saved. Several factors will determine the effectiveness of safety equipment, like speed of travel, force of impact, terrain, and quality of the safety equipment used.
Because of the high risks involved with riding a motorcycle, both riders and drivers of cars sharing the road with motorcycles must make an effort to ride or drive safe. Taking the time to operate any kind of motor vehicle with care can save lots of people from serious injuries. According to the CDC, more people ride motorcycles today than ever before.
In civil law, a person injured in a motorcycle accident is allowed to seek damages from the individual or entity that caused the injury. The damages awarded are typically monetary and are designed to “make the victim whole”. In other words, it is not the purpose of civil court to punish wrongdoers; it is actually the purpose of civil court to compensate the victim for his or her injuries, first and foremost.
There is such a thing, however, known as punitive damages. These damages may be awarded for no other reason than to punish a tortfeasor (one who is accused of a civil offense), and to deter the individual person and society as a whole from conducting the kind of behavior that caused the injury. Punitive damages are not typically awarded for pure accidents, because pure accidents can’t be deterred. If, however, an accident is caused by a gross and avoidable deviation from a standard of care, then punitive damages may be in order.
Victims of motorcycle accidents should speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to determine exactly what kind of compensation they may be entitled to base on the specific facts of their cases.
In the Event of Death
When a victim of a motorcycle accident succumbs to his or her injuries, compensation is still allowed, however it is pursued by the survivors of the victim – which usually include the parents, spouse, or children of the victim. Survivors of the victim are allowed to seek damages to help cover funeral expenses, medical expenses, and certain lost wages if the deceased was a breadwinner, and in some cases, even compensation for the loss of companionship.