It doesn’t matter how careful you are when riding a motorcycle, even if you’re a cop. You can still get into an accident.
It was a typical day on duty for the officer, riding a police cycle in the downtown area: The leather-clad officer on the motorcycle was riding along beside a 27-year-old driver in a car, heading east in the left lane of the road. Without looking, and without seeing the officer, the driver changed lanes. He slammed the officer with such force that he knocked him over and sent him into an almost 50-foot slide, into a curb and light pole. Not a good scene.
Luckily, several other witnesses to the crash rushed to help the cop, and give him first aid, while using his police radio to call in the accident. When EMS crews arrived, they immediately took the injured man to the nearest hospital. He was later transferred to another facility in order to treat his head and neck injuries. The man was lucky to be alive. He was alert and responsive, and had been wearing a helmet, which was credited with preventing more serious and possibly fatal injuries.
It’s not usual for a motorcycle cop on patrol to get hit by another vehicle; luckily, their years of experience have taught them how to handle their rides with a high degree of safety. Nonetheless, no one can always anticipate what another vehicle is going to do. In fact, this was the second time this officer had been hit by a car and sent to hospital. The first time, a vehicle blew into an intersection without looking, and broadsided his bike. The officer sustained right leg injuries, but was quickly able to return to work.
Was the driver in this second accident under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Evidently not, as he had both tests and was cleared. It looks like he may be charged with making an unsafe turn, which raises the question of why he did not see the biker in the lane, right next to him. Did the driver look before he whipped into the right lane? If he had looked, it would be hard to miss something as large as a police motorcycle with a rider.
In cases like this, the key element is the presence of negligence: was the driver negligent in changing lanes? On the face of the evidence, he was negligent, and because he was, he harmed another person. Could the officer file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation to pay his medical bills? Yes, he could, and he would most likely be successful in his suit.
Have you been in a wreck caused by someone else while riding your bike? Don’t waste time trying to deal with the situation on your own. The insurance company will hound you into trying to settle for just about nothing. Take your case to an experienced Austin personal injury lawyer and get the straight goods. You need to know your rights. Don’t hand them over to someone else.
Bobby Lee is an Austin personal injury lawyer for Lee, Gober and Reyna. If you need an Austin personal injury lawyer, contact an Austin personal injury attorney from Lee, Gober and Reyna. Visit RWLeelaw.com.