Motorcyclist, Trucks and Wrongful Death
It is a fact of life, the rule of gross tonnage. This means that in a collision the vehicle with the highest gross tonnage is going to prevail. In the situation involving a motorcycle accident with a truck, the motorcyclist is in the greatest danger of serious personal injury or wrongful death. This is why it is so important for trucks to follow all safety rules and regulations to make sure their trucks are safe for operation on the road. It can fairly be said that truck failures have much to do with a failure of proper maintenance and inspections. It is not acceptable that a trucks brakes fail. It is not acceptable for two reasons, the first is that with regular maintenance, a trucks brakes will not fail. The second is because the harm a truck can do to a passenger in a car, or a rider of a motorcycle can be catastrophic. The damage is easy to imagine, broken bones, spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, brain injuries, amputations and wrongful death. It is hard to imagine having to endure these damages simply because the trucking company was taking short cuts and endangering people’s lives.
Just such a motorcycle crash happened in Indianapolis yesterday. The motorcyclist was exiting I465 onto west bound 56th street. The motorcyclist had the right of way. As the motorcyclist entered the intersection, a box truck operated by Christopher Schell, of Kokomo, entered the intersection and struck the motorcycle causing the wrongful death of the rider. The truck was apparently towing a trailer and could not stop. Clearly it is foreseeable that if you increase the load a truck is pulling or carrying, you are going to increase the stopping distance and the pressure on the brakes. Although it is not yet known whether the brakes did not respond properly or the driver did not properly judge his stopping distance. In either event, an avoidable collision occurred and resulted in the wrongful death of an innocent Hoosier. Our sympathies go out to the family for their loss.