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Cyclist Dies After Being Struck by Motorcyclist in San Jose

While a motorcyclist is more vulnerable to injuries after crashing into a car, the tables are turned if they impact a cyclist. Motorcycles are much more heavy and sturdy compared to bicycles, and they are also capable of much higher speeds. As a result, motorcyclists can cause serious damage and catastrophic injuries to cyclists – and this is exactly what happened in a recent San Jose crash. If you were involved in a Bay Area bicycle crash, you might be wondering how to proceed in the aftermath. How can you cover your medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and other damages? In this situation, it might be best to consult with a qualified bicycle accident lawyer in the Bay Area.

Cyclist Suffers Fatal Injuries After Being Struck by Motorcycle

Cyclist Dies After Being Struck by Motorcyclist in San Jose
In March of 2024, it was reported that a female cyclist lost her life after a collision with a motorcyclist. The motorcycle in question was a Kawasaki Ninja – one of the fastest bikes on the market today. Although police reported that the motorcyclist was not intoxicated at the time of the accident, they did not reveal how fast the motorcycle was going, or whether the operator was breaking the speed limit. 

On the other hand, the cyclist was reportedly attempting to cross the street “outside of any marked crosswalk.” In other words, police are implying that the cyclist was committing a traffic offense and that she was at fault for the accident. The motorcyclist remained at the scene without fleeing and was apparently released without charges. In contrast, the cyclist was transported to a nearby hospital with critical injuries, ultimately succumbing to her wounds days later. 

Can You Sue a Motorcyclist for Auto Injuries?

First of all, you should know that it is mandatory for motorcyclists in California to carry auto insurance. If you believe that a motorcyclist caused your accident, this mandatory insurance may cover your damages. Since California is an “at-fault” state, you will need to file an injury lawsuit against the negligent motorcyclist who allegedly caused your crash. In other words, you will need to prove that the motorcyclist was at fault for your accident – and that their negligence led directly to your injuries. This is not always easy, and it may be worth working alongside a personal injury attorney to pursue compensation. 

California is also a “pure comparative negligence state,” which means multiple parties can share varying degrees of fault for the same accident. In other words, you can sue a motorcyclist for causing your accident – even if you were also partially responsible for the crash.

For example, the cyclist in San Jose technically committed a traffic infraction when she moved across the road outside of a crosswalk. Assuming the police report is correct, she was at fault for her own fatal accident. However, she may not have been 100% at fault, and the motorcyclist may have contributed to the accident in various ways. For example, the motorcyclist may have been speeding. 

Even if the motorcyclist was 1% at fault, the family of the deceased cyclist could theoretically sue them thanks to California’s pure comparative negligence laws. However, the family would only receive 1% of the “default” compensation for the death of their loved one. If they managed to establish that the motorcyclist was 35% at fault, however, they would receive 65% of the default compensation amount. If they proved 50% fault, they would receive 50% of the normal settlement, and so on. 

What Kinds of Injuries Can Motorcyclists Cause to Cyclists?

Cyclists can easily suffer catastrophic, fatal injuries after collisions with motorcycles. These include traumatic head injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, fractures, and many others. A cyclist may be ejected from their bicycle after an impact with a motorcycle before suffering secondary impacts from passing traffic. 

Even a “near miss” with a motorcycle can cause serious accidents. For example, a cyclist might swerve to avoid a speeding motorcyclist before falling and striking the pavement. Even if the bicyclist  never comes into contact with the motorcycle in question, it is still possible to hold them accountable for your injuries. Unfortunately, bike helmets often fail to provide adequate protection against head injuries, especially in the case of high-speed impacts. 

Find an Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyer in the Bay Area

If you have been searching for an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in the Bay Area, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs, including cyclists. While it might be rare for a motorcycle to impact a bicycle, these accidents are becoming increasingly common. To discuss the specifics of your situation in more detail, be sure to book a consultation at your earliest convenience. With our help, you can strive for fair compensation. 

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