A hit and run accident in Norwalk has left a motorcyclist in critical condition. According to report, the hit and run driver was leaving the parking lot of a convenience store on Pioneer Boulevard when he emerged directly into the path of a motorcyclist.
The motorcyclist had no opportunity to stop and crashed, full-speed, into the side of the vehicle. The rider was thrown from his bike on impact and suffered injuries that required immediate medical attention. The driver immediately fled the scene of the accident and is still being pursued by police.
It’s important to know and understand local traffic laws before you operate any motor vehicle in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, many drivers do not seem to have a firm grasp of important laws, including those pertaining to intersections and merging.
The Norwalk accident occurred because a driver entered a busy road in front of a motorcyclist traveling at full speed. Had the driver been well-versed in California traffic law, he would know that traffic entering a highway or other busy road must yield to oncoming traffic.
Specifically, California Vehicle Code 21804 states that “the driver of any vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from any public or private property, or from an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all traffic…approaching on the highway close enough to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that traffic until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.”
In other words, drivers must wait until they can enter the flow of traffic without creating a hazard for other motorists. Generally speaking, this means waiting until the coast is clear and there are no vehicles approaching within a reasonable distance.
The motorcycle victim may be entitled to compensation for his accident-related injuries. Motorcycle accident lawsuits are often based on the assertion that someone else’s negligence caused or contributed to an injury. Negligence occurs when a person has and breaches a duty of care, which causes someone else to suffer harm.
Here, the motorcyclist may not have to go through the entire process of proving that the hit and run driver was negligent. Why? The driver broke the law by violating California Vehicle Code 21804. As a result, the motorcyclist may be able to argue the presumption of negligence per se. Negligence per se simply means that a person will be considered negligent because they broke the law
Here, the motorcyclist can argue:
Arguing negligence per se can simply make it easier to prove that someone else is responsible for your harm.
In California, there is a strict statute of limitations that provides a very short window in which a victim can file a personal injury lawsuit. For bodily injury claims, the statute of limitations is two years. In other words, the motorcyclist will have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for damages.
What if the hit and run driver cannot be found? What if he is located, but only after the statute of limitations has expired? California law takes certain extenuating circumstances like this into account. The statute of limitations can be tolled (or paused) when certain special circumstances apply.
This helps to make sure that victims are not prevented from getting the financial compensation they deserve just because of a legal technicality. A defendant’s flight from the law should not bar a victim from successfully pursuing monetary damages.
Have you or someone you love recently been injured in a Los Angeles motorcycle accident? Contact Glotzer & Leib, LLP for help. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys know that an unexpected motorcycle accident injury can be devastating and will fight to hold the at-fault party responsible for his or her negligent actions. Call us today to schedule your free case evaluation.
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