All experienced riders know that one of the major dangers for bikers is intersection turns and road or lane departures. In my practice as a motorcycle accident lawyer, I have found that a high percentage of accidents occur when in making a turn, a bike is struck by an oncoming vehicle. These intersection accidents can lead to serious injury or death for the rider. It is one of the most vulnerable circumstances for any rider, no matter how experienced.
This morning, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports that a motorist allegedly struck a biker last night in Dekalb County. The driver struck the bike when it was apparently making a turn at the intersection. The driver fled the scene after the accident. In this case, a witness was able to contact authorities right away to report the crash and then followed the motorist until he was arrested by the police.
In the report, the witness said he was stopped at an intersection. He saw the bike, but sensed that the driver might not have seen the motorcycle. When the car struck the oncoming bike and it ended up in the air, the witness said the driver left the scene with the bike and rider in the road. The good citizen was incensed by the callousness of this driver, called the authorities and followed the fleeing car.
The biker did not survive the crash. Our hearts go out to the rider and his family and community. We do not know all the facts yet, but we have to wonder about what goes through the mind of a person who hits a rider, pedestrian or another vehicle and flees. It just goes against all we know is right and good.
But most importantly, it is against Georgia law which prohibits hit-and-run. Official Code of Georgia section 40-6-270 requires that drivers stop at or return to the scene of an accident involving injury or death. If you leave the scene, you can be fined or serve jail time.
Amidst the very real sadness of this accident, we learn about the fortitude of one good citizen who wanted to help the victim of this crash. Although we do not recommend following offenders in most instances, this witness did the right thing. He saw something that was wrong, called the police and now the person is in custody. What if he hadn’t contacted authorities and made that call to 911?
We want to remind our readers that when you see something on the roads that doesn’t seem right to you, you can call 911. Of course, it is important to call only in a real emergency.
On occasion we have all seen impaired drivers for example who, for reasons we do not know, are weaving or driving erratically. This could be an impaired driver who is having a heart attack, is elderly or is under the influence. In any of these cases, it is vitally important to get these drivers off the road before they hurt someone else or themselves.
The next time you see someone on the road who doesn’t seem quite right, make the call for safety. As a community, we thank this good citizen for doing the right thing.
If you, someone you know or a family member has been seriously injured in a motorcycle crash, you need the support of experienced medical and legal experts. This is also important if your loved one has been fatally injured while riding his or her bike. Please contact The Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle for a free evaluation of your legal rights. I will personally assess your situation and let you know whether you have a case.