A motorcyclist was hospitalized with injuries after he was struck on a freeway in Fullerton the morning of January 28, 2015. According to a news report in the Orange County Register, the incident occurred on the southbound 57 Freeway when a Ford Escape traveling in the carpool lane attempted to cross lanes to enter the 91 Freeway. California Highway Patrol officials said the female driver did not see the motorcycle behind her. The male motorcyclist hit the back of the woman’s car and fell off. He was transported to an area trauma center. The nature and extent of his injuries is not known. The investigation is ongoing.
We hope the motorcyclist did not suffer major or critical injuries. We wish him the very best for a speedy and full recovery.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
There were no fatalities, but 35 injuries reported as a result of motorcycle accidents in Fullerton, according to California Highway Patrol’s 2012 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). During the same year, 23 people died and 934 were injured due to motorcycle crashes countywide.
Collision During Lane Change
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver changed lanes suddenly and didn’t see the motorcycle in her rear-view mirror. This is one of the most common causes of such car versus motorcycle collisions. This is why it is critical that all motorists consciously look out for motorcyclists when they make a lane change especially on the freeway.
California Vehicle Code section 21658 (a) states that whenever a roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic in one direction the vehicle “shall be driven as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.”
Fault and Liability
If the driver is determined to have been at fault, she could be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.