A 23-year-old U.S. Marine was killed in a San Diego car accident after his motorcycle was struck by a car that turned left in front of him. According to a 10news report, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred the morning of November 7, 2009 when the driver of a Lexus sedan traveling east on Miramar Road made a left turn directly into the path of the young Marine’s Yamaha motorcycle near Camino Ruiz. The motorcyclist sustained fatal injuries although he was wearing a helmet. He was pronounced dead shortly afterward in a local hospital.
My heart goes out to the family of this U.S. Marine for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. According to the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Web site, the motorcyclist was married and lived with his wife in San Diego. I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved this man, including his fellow Marines. They will be in my prayers.
San Diego Motorcycle Accident Statistics
In 2007, there were 12 deaths and 293 injuries involving severe motorcycle accidents in San Diego, according to the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In San Diego County as a whole, motorcycle accidents claimed 50 lives and injured 985 individuals in 2007. Also during the same year, 268 fatalities and 14,641 injuries were attributed to all car accidents in San Diego County.
Based on this news report, it seems to me that the driver of the Lexus sedan may have been at fault here. California law is very specific about the requirements for drivers making a left turn or a U-turn. California Vehicle Code section 21801 (a) states: “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.”
Who is Liable in a Car Accident?
The Coroner’s report says that the driver was turning left into a business’ driveway. The victim could not stop his motorcycle in time to avoid the collision. If this report is accurate, the motorcyclist had the right-of-way here. The driver, if determined to be at fault, could be held liable for the accident and the fatal injuries. If the driver was on-the-job at the time of the accident, his or her employer could also be held liable.
If there was a dangerous condition on that roadway, the city or the governmental entity responsible for maintaining that roadway could be held responsible as well. California Government Code requires that such claims against governmental agencies be filed within six months of the accident or injury. An experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer will be able to guide victims and/or their families through these complex liability issues and make sure that their legal rights are protected.
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.