January 28, 2013—Los Angeles, California—A motorcyclist died in a crash that was caused by a semi truck being driven illegally on the Arroyo Seco Parkway, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The Highland Park Patch reports that the motorcycle rider was ejected from his bike when the motorcycle collided with a big rig that cut him off. He was transported to an area hospital where he died.
The California Highway Patrol investigated the incident and stated that a 59-year-old male was riding his Harley Davidson in the number three lane at an undetermined rate of speed. The truck cut him off, causing him to crash into the off-ramp. It is illegal for semi trucks to use the Arroyo Seco given the size of the lanes. Authorities emphasized the importance of calling 911 if witnesses observe a big rig truck getting on the 110.
Restrictions on Highway Use May Lead to Liability
When a driver is performing an illegal action, negligence per se may apply if the driver causes injury to another person. In other words, when you are breaking the law, you may automatically be considered negligent even if you might have escaped liability under other circumstances.
This is important information for those who are injured in collisions caused by drivers who are breaking the law. If a driver is considered negligent, he or she may be liable for damages for your injuries, including medical bills, pain and suffering, and other costs.
In this case, the fact that the truck driver was using prohibited lanes could mean that the truck driver was behaving negligently. Of course, the driver also allegedly cut off the motorcyclist which would also constitute negligent behavior.
Big Trucks Involved in Crashes at Higher Rates than Other Vehicles
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are approximately 4,300 fatal crashes involving large trucks per year and another 77,000 injury crashes. This represents 11 percent of all fatal crashes and four percent of all injury collisions. However, large trucks represent only three percent of all vehicles on the road at any given time. That means that big trucks are involved far more often, statistically, than cars in fatal and injury crashes.
The problem is actually more severe than even these numbers suggest. One reason that the percentage of injury victims in truck accidents is so much smaller than fatalities is because victims are far more likely to die in one of these crashes than to be injured. Furthermore, the victims most likely to be killed in such a crash are those in a passenger car or on a motorcycle rather than the driver of a large truck.
Victims who have been injured in a semi-tractor-trailer crash should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. There are laws in place that may allow you to collect damages such as costs of medical treatment, payment for your pain, suffering and emotional trauma, and even lost wages and increased living expenses as a result of your injuries.