Will comparative negligence apply to fatal bike crash?

Motorcyclists in Long Beach and throughout California will always be vulnerable. Many motorists fail to look out for bikers, especially when they enter the roadways from a curb, driveway or from public parking area. However, motorcycle riders must also comply with traffic rules to avoid accidents. 

Crash report 

A fatal motorcycle accident on a recent Sunday evening claimed the life of a 22-year-old female biker. According to a preliminary crash report, police indicate that she crashed into a van as it pulled away from the curb. Despite the officers’ efforts, who performed CPR and rushed the victim to a nearby hospital, the biker succumbed to her injuries later. 

The 72-year-old van driver had a valid license and cooperated with the officers at the crash scene. However, police determined that the motorcyclist had no license for riding a motorcycle. Although the report mentioned excessive speed as playing a suspected role in the crash, no mention was made of alcohol or drugs. 

Legal options 

The family members of the deceased motorcyclist might have grounds to pursue damage recovery by filing a wrongful death lawsuit in a California civil court. However, the pure comparative negligence theory is applied in California, which might affect the percentage of damage recovery. 

According to this theory, the court will determine whether the deceased rider was responsible for a part of the fault that caused the accident. If that is the case, the court will deduct the percentage of fault by the motorcyclist from any damages awarded to the plaintiffs.