A Santa Barbara County Motorcyclist Dies After Being Run Over by Multiple Vehicles

A Santa Barbara County Motorcyclist Dies After Being Run Over by Multiple Vehicles

Motorcycle accidents are often catastrophic or fatal for the motorcyclist. Even if the initial crash doesn't inflict those sorts of injuries, that first impact may throw the motorcyclist from his/her motorcycle, causing major injuries when he/she strikes the pavement, slams into another vehicle, or is thrown into a lane of traffic (and subsequently run over by additional vehicles.) That means that your accident may involve multiple parties who were at fault, and getting what you're owed means knowing how to proceed in that type of circumstance. Advice and representation from a knowledgeable Santa Barbara motorcycle accident lawyer can crucial to obtaining the full compensation you may urgently need.

As an example, we can look at a tragic motorcycle crash just south of Orcutt. According to KEYT, a 31-year-old SpaceX engineer lost control of his motorcycle near Highways 1 and 135. The accident left the motorcyclist in the right lane of southbound Highway 1, unresponsive and unable to move, according to the California Highway Patrol. Subsequently, multiple drivers ran over the motorcyclist, some of which stayed at the scene but some which may have left, CHP said. The motorcyclist was dead when paramedics arrived.

Motorcycle Accident

This type of scenario potentially presents complex issues regarding fault and legal liability. It's possible that the motorcyclist made an error that caused him to lose control in the first place. It's also possible, however, that the motorcyclist was alive and would have survived if the subsequent drivers hadn't hit him. If their failure to see him and avoid hitting was the result of their engaging in one or more forms of negligence (like speeding or driving while intoxicated/distracted/drowsy,) then their negligence might represent a cause of the total harm the motorcyclist endured.

Causation, Liability, and Comparative Negligence

To understand who potentially owes compensation after a crash like this, we have to understand causation. California law says that a "substantial factor in causing harm is a factor that a reasonable person would consider to have contributed to the harm. It must be more than a remote or trivial factor. It does not have to be the only cause of the harm." In situations where multiple factors played a role in the totality of the victim's harm, the law says that any person or entity whose negligence "was a substantial factor in causing" the victim's harm is responsible for that harm and "cannot avoid responsibility just because some other person, condition, or event was also a substantial factor in causing" harm to the victim.

If you succeed in proving that multiple drivers were negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries, the law may deem them "jointly and severally liable" for your harm and the compensation you're owed. That legal language means that, even though multiple parties were responsible for your injuries, you have the right collect the entire compensation award from any of them. 

Additionally, keep in mind that California is what the law calls a "pure comparative negligence" state. That means that, even if you were partly at fault -- moreover, even if you were mostly at fault -- you still can collect a judgment. As long as you prove that a party was negligent and that their negligent was one of the substantial factors in your harm, you are entitled to an award, which will be reduced by the percentage of culpability that the jury assigns to them. So, if you were 75% at fault and Driver A was 25% to blame, you may still be entitled to collect from Driver A 1/4 of the damages you suffered.

San Mateo Car accident Attorney
John N. Frye, Santa Barbara Motorcycle accident Attorney

If you're hurt in a multi-vehicle motorcycle crash, there often are numerous parties and "moving pieces" involved. You may have both known and unknown drivers (if some were hit-and-run drivers,) and you may have to interact and negotiate with multiple insurance companies. If one or more drivers was a commercial driver or otherwise "on the job" at the time, then their employers may have liability, meaning they and their insurers could be involved, too.

Your motorcycle accident probably has inflicted serious injuries causing pain, extensive medical care, and a significant absence from work. As you work to recover physically, count on the helpful Santa Barbara personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP to address your legal recovery. Contact us at 805-617-1365 or through our website to get a free case consultation today, and put our team in charge of getting you the financial recover you deserve.


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