According to accident investigators, a 31 year old woman was killed on the afternoon of Sunday, March 3rd, 2013 when a pickup truck driver pulled into the woman’s path to make a turn. Reports indicate that the woman was wearing safety gear but had little time to avoid the collision. The driver of the pickup truck was attempting to make a left hand turn from an intersecting road when he pulled in front of the motorcycle and caused the motorcycle to broadside his truck. Neither drugs nor alcohol appear to have played a factor in the tragic accident, which happened in the southeast area of San Diego County.
A Simple Left Turn Has Tragic Consequences
In the unfortunate story reported above, it is clear just how quick an unpredictable accident on the roadway can occur. From a single driver trying to make a left turn, the lives of two people, and those who know them, are changed forever – a victim forced to an untimely death, a motorist who will have to live with that death for the rest of his life, and families of both who have to live through the experience.
Advice for Riders
Unfortunately, no amount of safety gear in the world can guarantee a person’s safety when they operate a motorcycle on the open road. While great at reducing the likelihood of death and serious injury, nothing in life or motorcycle safety gear is absolute. That’s why, in addition to wearing appropriate safety gear whenever riding, motorcycle riders are reminded that they should never assume that other motorists are doing what they’re supposed to be doing and to maintain situational awareness at all times. This means driving where motorists can clearly see them and scanning the road ahead for potential harm, like distracted and inattentive drivers. Ability to see potential harm from as far as possible increases the likelihood of being able to respond in time.
Criminal Charges Not Likely
Based on the facts as they have been reported, and unless any new information is found, it does not appear that criminal charges will be pursued against the driver of the pickup truck. Considering the fact that drugs or alcohol are not suspected to have played a part in the accident and the fact that the driver of the pickup didn’t flee the scene, nothing criminal appears to have taken place.
This does not mean, however, that the family of the deceased woman can’t pursue civil charges in a wrongful death case. To be successful in pursuing civil charges, the family will have to show that the negligence or recklessness of the driver caused the motorcycle rider’s death.
As a general note, criminal and civil charges can be brought together or one after the other (although, usually, criminal charges come first, if they come at all). A government, like a city or state, will bring criminal charges, while private persons will bring civil charges. The defendant in a criminal case is found either guilty or not guilty, and the defendant in a civil case is found either liable or not liable. Also, the outcome of one proceeding is no indication of success in another. Even if a person is found not guilty of criminal charges, he or she may still be found liable of civil charges. For better chances of recovering maximum compensation from a civil charge it is always best to hire an attorney specializing in motorcycle accidents. Simply hiring any type of general law attorney is not recommended.