Motorcycle Broadside Collisions
Broadside collisions occur for many reasons. Whether due to following too closely, driver distraction, or speeding, the State of New Hampshire expects drivers to drive safely while taking into account weather and traffic conditions. Motorists who injure others as a result of failure to exercise due caution may be found to have acted negligently. A motorcyclist who is involved in a broadside collision normally finds his or herself without the benefit of the padding or surrounding materials normally afforded an automobile driver, and is more likely to suffer very serious, if not life threatening injuries.
The victim of an accident can not only initiate legal action against the negligent driver, but may also sue the driver’s employer if the driver was in the course of his employment at the time of the accident. A legal doctrine called “vicarious liability” allows for simultaneous actions to be pursued for the same accident. An example would be if an individual pizza delivery driver causes an accident while on the job; both parties can then be held liable.
There are instances where more than one defendant can be held liable for a broadside collision. One example would be a motorcyclist attempting a left turn into a busy intersection where a construction company is performing repairs. The traffic light and/or stop sign may even have been removed or disengaged. As a result, it may be difficult for the motorist and oncoming traffic to see one another. Should the construction company fail to post signs regarding the potential hazard, the company may also be held liable for any harm suffered by the injured motorcyclist.
The motorcyclist in this example may be allowed to seek damages from multiple sources under the theory of “joint and several liability” where each defendant may be held liable for the sum of the plaintiff’s damages. This doctrine also allows a plaintiff to recover his or her full losses from solvent defendants, even in the event that one of the defendants is bankrupt.
If a person loses their life in a broadside collision due to a defendant’s negligence, an administrator needs to be appointed before a claim can be pursue for that person’s death. Once the administrator is appointed, a claim may be brought against the responsible party or parties for the mental and physical pain suffered by the deceased in consequence of the injury, the reasonable expenses occasioned to the estate by the injury, the likely duration of life but for the injury, and the deceased’s lost earning capacity. Additionally, the surviving spouse of the decedent has his/her own claim for the loss of the comfort, society, and companionship of the deceased (up to $150,000). Where the decedent is a parent of a minor child or children, the child or children can claim damages for the loss of familial relationship up to $50,000 per child.Helping You Recover for Your Injuries
If you are a motorcyclist who was hurt in a broadside collision, or are a family member of someone who lost their life in a broadside accident, a trustworthy New Hampshire personal injury lawyer should be retained to aid you and your family to obtain civil remedy pertinent to the harm caused by a negligent driver. An experienced attorney may be able to identify multiple sources of compensation, including the insurers for other drivers involved in the accident. Don’t go it alone; contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 800.804.2004 or via our online form to set up your no-cost initial consultation.