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Anaheim Motorcycle Accident Claims Teen’s Life

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17-year-old Kevin Tran died in an Anaheim motorcycle crash after being hit by a car at Orange Avenue close to West Anaheim Hospital and Beach Boulevard, according to a recent article in The Orange County Register.

Anaheim police Sgt. Rick Martinez said Tran was wearing his helmet and riding east on Beach Boulevard when he was hit by a white Toyota Yaris sedan making a left at a signal just in front of Tran. The driver of the Yaris, a Reseda resident was reportedly driving west on Orange Avenue when he made the turn to enter a medical facility and hit Tran’s 2004 Suzuki motorcycle. The impact threw Tran a distance of 75 feet and he died later at UCI Medical Center in Orange.

I’m deeply sorry for the loss suffered by Tran’s family in this motorcycle accident – so tragic and with the young man’s entire life ahead of him.

While auto accident fatalities have been reduced in the recent years,motorcycle accident fatalities have risen, with their rates almost doubling. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has described the growing trend of motorcycle accidents as the nation’s greatest highway safety challenge.

In 2006 there were 26 motorcycle fatalities and 730 reported injuries from motorcycle accidents in Anaheim. The age group 15 to 24-years-of-age suffered the highest number of motorcyclists killed or injured over any other age group. Statistics according to the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) (http://www.chp.ca.gov/switrs/pdf/2006-sec7.pdf)

It is not known at this time which driver was at fault and caused the accident. I trust the Anaheim Police investigation will reveal the results of their investigation within a few weeks. However, based upon the newspaper account, I’d bet that the driver of the Toyota was at fault for failing to yield the right of way to through traffic. The driver probably just did not see the approaching motorcycle, which is common in these types of accidents.

There is the possibility that there was some condition of the roadway where this accident occurred that could have caused or contributed to the accident and which might point to some liability on the part of the City of Anaheim. Rarely is such a dangerous condition disclosed in a traffic collision report. Such was the situation in a recent case were we recovered millions of dollars from a California city that failed to correct a dangerous condition that contributed to a serious accident. Remember that any claim against a city needs to be properly filed with six months of the accident.

Tran’s family has substantial rights to compensation, if in fact; the Toyota driver or anyone else is at fault. The family would be well served consulting with a truly experienced Orange County motorcycle accident attorney who has a track record of success against governmental agencies for a discussion of their rights, options and the timing sequence within which they must take action or risk losing all rights.

If Tran’s family have any thoughts of eventually pursuing their rights, it is very important to preserve the motorcycle and for an expert to promptly examine it closely for all types of evidence including pre-existing mechanical problems. Another important consideration is the intersection itself and to determine if it posed a dangerous condition for motorists on either street.

Please visit NHTSA’s Web page for more information on motorcycle fatalities.

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