A Los Angeles police motorcycle officer suffered injuries including a broken leg in a motorcycle accident in Atwater Village after a motorist backing her vehicle out of her driveway struck the officer. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Daily News, the collision occurred in the 3200 block of West Garden Avenue the morning of January 21, 2009. The officer’s name has not been released.
I’m relieved that this on-duty officer did not suffer a catastrophic or fatal Los Angeles motorcycle accident. I wish him the very best for a quick and complete recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, in 2006, 21 fatalities and 786 injuries were reported as a result of motorcycle accidents in the city of Los Angeles. In the county as a whole, there were 78 deaths and 2,168 injuries that occurred as a result of motorcycle accidents during the same period.
In this Los Angeles County motorcycle accident, it does appear to me, that the motorist who was backing out of the driveway failed to notice the officer on his motorcycle. I trust the accident investigation will go into why the motorist failed to see the officer. If she was under the influence of alcohol then she could face criminal charges. If she was distracted or negligent then she could be held civilly responsible for the officer’s injuries. Since the officer was on the job at the time of his accident, he would be entitled to workers compensation benefits from his employer, in this case, LAPD.
As an attorney who has represented injured motorcyclists for the last 30 years, I’ve observed that a number of these accidents can be avoided if only other motorists remember and are conscious of the fact that they share the road not only with cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians as well. A majority of motorcycle accidents occur when someone is making a left turn at an intersection or when the motorist is pulling out of a driveway. These tragedies and injuries can be easily avoided if motorists remain vigilant and devote all their attention to the road when they get behind the wheel.