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Reckless Lane Change by Driver Causes Death of Motorcyclist

A thirty-year-old man was riding a motorcycle on the Interstate highway in the left HOV lane. Traffic was very light in the HOV lane. All other lanes had heavy traffic. Another man was driving a light truck between his employer’s facilities while on company time. The driver of the truck made a reckless lane change to the left, into the HOV lane. The lane change caused the Reckless lane change by driver causes death of motorcyclist - Altizer Lawdriver of the truck to collide with the motorcycle. Both the motorcycle and the rider were knocked onto the roadway, and the truck ran over both the motorcycle and the man driving the motorcycle. The motorcyclist died at the scene.

The Virginia State Trooper heading the investigation of the accident testified at deposition that several witnesses indicated that the driver of the truck was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic. However, the Trooper was not able to produce contact information for any of the witnesses.

Further analysis of the crash scene by the Virginia State Police Crash Team reported the following:

  • The driver of the truck made a sudden lane change into the HOV lane.
  • The lane change caused the motorcyclist to brake suddenly to avoid a collision.
  • The motorcyclist laid the motorcycle onto the left side and began to slide toward the shoulder.
  • The motorcycle struck the jersey wall.
  • Impact with the wall caused the motorcyclist to become separated from the motorcycle.
  • As the rider was sliding on the pavement, he was struck by the driver of the truck.
  • There was no evidence of the truck striking the motorcycle prior to the motorcyclist falling.

An Investigator for the motorcyclist’s attorney discovered and identified four witnesses. Three of the witnesses testified at depositions that they were behind the company truck. They testified that they observed the truck driver swerve suddenly and without a signal into the HOV lane and collide with the motorcycle. The collision, they said, knocked the motorcyclist to the pavement and caused his body to cartwheel to a rest.

Several witnesses of the crash stopped to try to help the motorcyclist. Because of the injuries to his head, chest and arms, the motorcyclist was unresponsive.

Counsel for the motorcyclist (plaintiff) retained a number of experts, including vocational experts to testify regarding loss of future earnings capacity. Counsel also arranged for a number of relatives, friends and witnesses of the plaintiff to appear at trial and testify.

The motorcyclist was planning to marry two days after the crash. He was the father of two children, a daughter aged 13 years, and a son aged six months.

This accident and wrongful death case was settled in mediation. A qualified trust was established with court approval to administer the proceeds for the two children. The settlement awarded was $3,750,000. Both liability and settlement were highly contested.

If you or a loved one is injured due to the wrongdoing or negligence of another, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call the trusted attorneys of Altizer Law, P.C. Put their strength an tenacity behind your case.