Motorcycle hit by a mixer truck...

by Reziel

My father got into an accident August 9, 2016. On his way home a truck mixer (front bumper) hit the back portion of his motorcycle and caused him to fall and get injured (deep wounds and now with stitches). We want to claim special damages from the other party (equivalent or close to his work compensation because he can't go to work after the accident).

What's the law that covers it? I also learned from a friend that there's a certain rule that says if a small and big car are involved in an accident, the big car takes the bigger responsibility to pay the claim of the small vehicle (in this case, the motorcycle). Is this true? What other things should we keep in mind for a motorcycle truck accident? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Motorcycle hit by a mixer truck...":

Reziel (California):

Your friend, although well-meaning, is wrong. California does not have a law governing liability of a driver based on the size of the vehicle he or she was driving at the time of an accident.

In most cases, a driver following behind another driver who collides with the driver in front is in violation of California law. Most court decisions regarding rear end collisions find in favor of the driver in front, as the driver behind failed to remain a "prudent" distance behind.

In the fact scenario you present, it appears the truck driver may have been in violation of California's controlling statute applicable to drivers involved in rear-end collisions.

The statute can be found in the State of California's Motor Vehicle Code. It is commonly referred to as "Following Too Closely." You can read the law here:
California Vehicle Code, Chapter 3, Section 21703

Be sure to obtain a copy of the accident report. In it will be information relevant to the accident, including the truck driver's name and contact information, as well as his or her employer's information, traffic citations issued to the driver, a diagram of the accident, weather conditions, witness names and contact information, and more.

Regarding the damages you referred to in your question, your father may be entitled to one or more of the following:

- Medical bills, including X-Rays, CT Scans, MRIs, and other diagnostic tests
- Out of pocket expenses for such items as medications, bandages, crutches, etc.
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering, sometimes referred to as "mental anguish"

While some injury claims can be handled without legal representation, if your father's injuries are more serious, including fractures, permanent scarring, head trauma, and similar serious injuries, it would be in his best interests to consult with several personal injury attorneys in his area.

He has nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so, especially because most injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Have him bring along copies of the police report, medical bills, medical records, test results, and other documentation related to the accident.

After visiting with several personal injury attorneys, your father will have a much better idea of the viability of his claim and the probability of success.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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