A Long Beach Police Department officer was injured in a car accident after his motorcycle collided with a Cadillac, the afternoon of September 19, 2011. According to a news report in The Long Beach Press Telegram, the motorcycle accident occurred at the intersection of California Place and San Antonio Drive in Long Beach. The officer was travelling west on San Antonio, with his motorcycle lights flashing, when the 85-year-old woman driving the Cadillac began to make a left turn and struck the motorcycle. The officer sustained moderate injuries in the collision. The 85-year-old driver sustained minor injuries and her male passenger was unharmed in the crash. She has not been cited for the accident as the collision remains under investigation.
My thoughts and prayers are with the injured victims of this Long Beach accident. I wish them a complete and speedy recovery.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), six people were killed and 83 were injured in Long Beach motorcycle accidents. During that same year, there were 83 fatalities and 2,719 injuries reported as a result of Los Angeles County motorcycle accidents.
The report states that the officer had turned on the motorcycle’s emergency lights at the time. Did the car driver fail to yield to the officer who was in an emergency vehicle? California Vehicle Code Section 21806 states: “Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle which is sounding a siren and which has at least one lighted lamp exhibiting red light that is visible…the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway, clear of any intersection, and thereupon shall stop and remain stopped until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.” Additionally, investigators will have to determine if the driver violated California Vehicle Code Section 21801 by making a dangerous left turn.
If the elderly driver of the Cadillac is determined to have been at fault, she can be held liable for the officer’s injuries. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, physical therapy, and other related damages. In this particular case, the officer will also be able to claim workers compensation benefits because he was on the job at the time. An experienced Long Beach personal injury lawyer will better advise motorcycle accident victims about their legal rights and options.