When a motorcycle collides with an automobile, the motorcycle riders generally suffer more serious injuries than the driver or passengers in the automobile. This fact gives rise to the question of which driver is required to be more vigilant: the cyclist or the occupants of the automobile. A recent motorcycle-motor vehicle collision just south of Yountville would appear to put the greater burden on the motorcyclist, but the incident has an important “but.”
A man and a woman in their sixties were heading north on Silverado Trail when the driver saw a circumstance that led him to conclude that a collision was imminent. The driver of the motorcycle then intentionally laid the motorcycle on its left side. Both the man and the woman were thrown from the bike.
The driver of the bike apparently saw the following: a Tesla was heading north on Silverado when the driver slowed down and stopped in the right-hand shoulder. The driver of the Tesla then pulled away from the shoulder, apparently intending to make a u-turn. The driver either did not seek the cycle or she was too slow in completing the u-turn. In either event, the Tesla was now blocking the northbound lane, and the driver of the motorcycle executed an intended slide in an attempt to avoid hitting the Tesla. Both the driver and passenger were taken to Providence Queen of the Valley Medical Center; the driver was described as suffering from major injuries; his passenger suffered only moderate injuries.
Police did not release any information about the speed of either the Tesla or the motorcycle. Police also made no statement about whether driver may have been impaired by alcohol or drugs. The driver of the Tesla would appear to bear the greater burden of fault because she did not complete her u-turn in a safe and competent manner. The driver of the motorcycle may bear some portion of fault if he was speeding.
Anyone who has suffered an injury or lost a loved one under similar circumstances may wish to explore making a claim for damages for lost income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide a helpful evaluation of the evidence and an opinion on the likelihood of recovering damages.