What to Do when a Truck Hit You, Motorcyclists?
Motorcyclists do not receive the same protections drivers of passenger vehicles do; there is no barrier, or “steel cage,” to shield them from the elements. Commercial trucks, on the other hand, are large, heavy and powerful, which equates to a huge amount of force when they are in motion. When the two collide, the resulting damages can be devastating, even deadly, especially for the motorcyclist.
“I Did Not See the Motorcycle”
Many accidents where a commercial truck hits a motorcycle happen during turns. In nearly all of these case, the truck driver is at fault because he or she was distracted or driving negligently at the time of the accident.
Common distractions include the following:
- Fatigued driving (this is especially bad when the driver falsifies logs to violate Hours of Service regulations)
- Driving drunk
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Failing to properly inspect the condition of the vehicle
- Failing to secure the load properly or overloading the vehicle
The truck driver may say that he or she didn’t see the motorcyclist. This is no excuse. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a car driver, a motorcyclist, or a truck driver – EVERYONE has the duty to exercise vigilance and caution on the road.
Extra Duty of Care for Truck Drivers
Not only does a commercial truck driver have to abide by the standard rules of the road, but he or she also has a higher level of duty of care. As a professional driver, he or she is required to be alert and maintain control of his or her truck at all times. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations, §392.3: “No driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him or her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle.”
Compensation for Motorcyclists
In cases where a commercial truck driver is at fault, the motorcyclist and his or her passenger, if there is one, have the right to sue for compensation. In addition to economic damages (medical expenses, lost wages, etc.), compensation for non-economic damages, such as loss of quality of life and pain and suffering, may be pursued as well. However, accurately assessing the value of such damages is a task only qualified professionals can do. Your attorney should work with medical and economic experts to determine fair compensation for your case.
California Truck Accident Attorneys You Can Rely On
At Wilshire Law Firm, our dedicated personal injury attorneys have been helping motorcycle accident victims obtain optimal case outcomes for many years. Since 2007, we have achieved more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. Each case and the results vary, so we invite you to call us toll-free at (800) 522-7274 to discuss the specifics of your case with one of our excellent legal team members. We offer FREE, NO OBLIGATION consultations.