Garrett Bowman, 20, was killed in a San Diego car accident after a car turned left in front of him at a Rancho Penasquitos intersection, 10 news reports. Bowman was riding a motorcycle south on Black Mountain Road the evening of October 23, 2009 when a car headed north turned left on to Defreitas Avenue in front of him. Bowman was transported to a local hospital and had to undergo surgery, but died early morning on October 24. The driver of the car escaped with minor injuries, San Diego police said.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Garrett Bowman for their tragic loss. They will be in my prayers.
Motorcycle Accidents in San Diego
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records (SWITRS), 12 fatalities and 293 injuries occurred in San Diego involving motorcycle accidents. In San Diego County as a whole, 50 deaths and 985 injuries were reported in 2007 as a result of motorcycle accidents. Also during the same period, 268 were killed and 14,641 were injured as a result of car accidents in the county.
Based on this news report, it appears that the motorist turned left in front of Bowman leaving no time of the rider to react. In such cases it’s very important to investigate or look into who had the right-of-way at the intersection. Bowman, the motorcyclist, would seem to have the right-of-way here unless the driver of the car had a green arrow to turn left. There is the possibility that Bowman was at fault here. But if it is determined that the driver was at fault, he could be held civilly and criminally liable for Bowman’s fatal injuries depending on the circumstances of the crash. Why did he miss seeing Bowman? Why could he not stop to allow Bowman to pass? Was the driver distracted, impaired or otherwise negligent? These are just a few questions that need to be answered to determine liability.
California Car Accident Law
California Vehicle Code section 21801 (a) states the following requirements for drivers making a left turn or a U-turn: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”
In such cases, the victim’s family would be well-advised to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Diego who will analyze all aspects of this accident and make sure that the negligent parties are held accountable. If the driver caused the crash because of recklessness, negligence or driving under the influence, he could be held liable for the accident and Bowman’s fatal injuries. Where there is negligence or wrongdoing involved, families of deceased car accident victims may be able to file wrongful death claims to seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of earnings and other related damages.
A skilled California car accident lawyer will also look into whether a dangerous intersection caused or contributed to this fatal motorcycle accident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could be held liable as well. Any claim against a California governmental agency must be properly filed within 180 days of the accident or injury.
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.