Motorcycle vs Car Accident At Fault Questioned

Investigators have yet to assign fault in a motorcycle-vehicle crash in Calcasieu Parish.

Louisiana State Police report that 46-year-old David Butts, of Sulphur, was southbound on Highway 27. As he attempted to pass the vehicle in front of him, that driver suddenly made a left turn into a private driveway and crossed directly into Mr. Butts’ path. The force of the collision launched him off his motorcycle. First responders rushed Mr. Butts to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The motor vehicle driver, whose name was not released, was not injured.

Motorcycle Crash Injuries

There may be some doubt as to the fault in this crash, which will be discussed below, but there is no doubt that motorcycle crash victims are much more likely to be seriously injured than vehicle occupants. In fact, the fatality rate for motorcycle riders is twenty-six times higher than the fatality rate for vehicle occupants. That is because vehicle occupants are protected by a steel cocoon and multiple restraining devices, and motorcycle riders are completely exposed to danger. Some of the serious injuries in these cases include:

  • Internal Bleeding: Many first responders and emergency room doctors are so preoccupied with trauma injuries that dangerous internal bleeding is unchecked for minutes or even hours.
  • Broken Bones: Motorcycle crash victims often suffer from shattered bones that require metal screws, plates, or pins to repair. These victims must then endure months of painful and expensive rehabilitative therapy.
  • Biker’s Arm: When riders extend their arms to break their falls – which is a natural reaction – the impact often causes permanent nerve damage in the brachial plexus area.

Damages in motorcycle crash cases normally include compensation for economic losses, like medical bills, and economic losses, including emotional distress.

Fault in a Vehicle Collision

In the area where the above wreck took place, Highway 27 curves sharply. The double yellow lines on the road indicate that the area is a no-passing zone, so it may have been illegal for the motorcyclist to pass the vehicle. At the same time, it is also illegal to turn left unless traffic is clear in all directions, and that was clearly not the case.

As discussed in a previous post, Louisiana is a pure comparative fault state that apportions damages based solely on the percentage of fault. There is no 50 or 51 percent cutoff. So, in a hypothetical lawsuit based on the above facts, the jury might have to divide fault, and therefore divide damages, between the two parties.

For prompt assistance with a motorcycle crash claim, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lake Charles from Hoffoss Devall today, because you have a limited amount of time to act.