Fatal Left-Turn Motorcycle Crash in Liberty

by | Nov 22, 2021 | Car Accidents

A teenager is dead after he hit the passenger side of a pickup truck that turned directly into his path. 

The wreck happened at the intersection of U.S. Highway 127 and State Highway 906. According to police and witnesses, a pickup truck driver was turning from SH 906 onto northbound US 127. This driver did not see an approaching motorcycle rider as he made the turn. As a result, the young man, who was described as a juvenile, smacked into the passenger side of the pickup truck. The motorcyclist was transported to a nearby hospital where he later died.

The investigation is ongoing but no charges are pending at this time.

Left-Turn Motorcycle Wrecks

Overall, these crashes account for about a third of the fatal motorcycle accidents in the United States. These wrecks are especially common in urban areas where cars parked on the street, large vehicles, like SUVs, and other obstacles limit driver visibility.

Many riders try to avoid these wrecks by increasing their visibility profiles. Some common hacks include:

  • Weaving slightly inside their own lanes,
  • Occasionally flashing their headlights,
  • Wearing bright clothes or helmets, and
  • Altering their mufflers to make their bikes louder.

However, there is no evidence that these tricks are effective. Additionally, they might only irritate motorists who do not particularly like motorcycle riders to begin with. More on that below.

In many ways, these wrecks are pretty much the same. Usually, a tortfeasor (negligent driver) is waiting to make an unprotected left turn against traffic. Due to the aforementioned lack of visibility issues, the tortfeasor does not see an approaching motorcycle. Since tortfeasors think they see a break in the traffic, they suddenly accelerate to shoot through the gap.

Largely because the tortfeasor moves so quickly and at such an unpredictable time, the motorcyclist cannot possibly avoid a crash.

All left-turn wrecks have a lot in common. But the injuries vary, largely depending on the angle of impact and a few other factors. Some common injuries include:

  • Head Injuries: Motorcycle helmets do not protect riders against all trauma injuries. They don’t protect them against any motion-related head injuries. When riders fall off their bikes and land hard, their brains slam against the insides of their skulls. Motorcycle helmets aren’t designed to address such internal injuries.
  • Excessive Bleeding: Exsanguination is often the official cause of death in motorcycle wreck cases. The aforementioned motion affects more than the head. It also causes internal organs to smash against each other. As a result, these organs often bleed very badly.
  • Broken Bones: Unlike excessive bleeding, these injuries normally are not life-threatening. However, like head injuries, broken bones are usually permanent, at least to an extent. Since doctors must use extreme measures, liek metal rods, to reconstruct shattered bones, some permanent loss of mobility is usually inevitable.

Prompt and proper treatment is usually the key to a successful outcome in these situations. Unfortunately, many doctors lack the expertise to deal with collision-related injuries. So, a Lexington personal injury attorney connects victims with doctors who focus on such matters. Usually, these medical providers charge nothing upfront for their services.

Liability Issues

Compensation is available for these injuries if the victim proves negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.

The prima facie portion of an injury claim usually hinges on the negligence per se rule or the ordinary negligence doctrine. Left-turn motorcycle wrecks could involve either one.

Basically, negligence per se is a violation of a safety law. Tortfeasors could be liable for damages as a matter of law if:

  • They violate a traffic or other safety law, and
  • That violation substantially causes an injury.

Turning in front of another vehicle is a clear violation of Kentucky’s right-of-way law. Yet despite this fact, the negligence per se rule often doesn’t apply in motorcycle wreck cases. Quite simply, many emergency responders don’t issue citations in these situations.

The lack of a citation is usually not a problem, because the ordinary negligence principle still applies. All motorists have a duty of reasonable care. As part of this duty, they must drive defensively and avoid accidents when possible. Turning in front of another vehicle clearly violates this duty. Driver excuses, like “I didn’t see you coming” or “The sun was in my eyes,” do not hold up in court.

These claims are not as straightforward as they seem, mostly because of the motorcycle prejudice. Many people have this image of motorcycle riders. They believe motorcyclists are reckless thugs. Therefore, they are more likely to embrace legal defenses, such as comparative fault and last clear chance. So, unless a Lexington personal injury attorney addresses the motorcycle prejudice and defuses it, victims usually end up settling for less.

Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. Home and hospital visits are available. #goodelawyers