A head on collision between a car and ten motorcyclists is a reminder of just how critical helmets are to a rider’s safety. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys know how devastating these types of accidents can be and we hope to see a smooth recovery for the injured cyclists. Nine of the cyclists involved are in the hospital with injuries and one cyclist died.
Road conditions were clear around 3 pm on the afternoon of the crash. Although police have not announced a formal cause of the wreck, local papers have speculated that the car driver’s criminal record is somehow related.
According to the Sheboygan Press, the local Sheriff said the driver’s blood samples had been submitted to the lab for testing. It is common practice in law enforcement to submit blood tests for the driver responsible for serious accidents. However, the Sheriff did note that there may be reason to believe blood tests will expose important factors in the crash.
Online criminal records available to the public reveal pending cases and numerous past offenses on the driver’s record. The Sheboygan Press is reporting that the driver has two criminal matters pending; felony bail jumping and possession of THC, narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and controlled substances. Past convictions include burglary and drug related offenses. The driver also has four or more convictions for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. The current licensure status is unknown.
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A doctor who participated in the emergency medical efforts to save the cyclists said that without helmets, fatalities from the accident would have been greater. At the time of the accident twelve riders were traveling together on the return ride from a longer trip. Two of the twelve escaped unharmed. Photos from the accident illustrate unbelievable wreckage.
It appears as though the driver could not be removed from his vehicle until firefighters completely cut the roof off. In the aftermath, newspaper photos show the vehicle completely smashed and with no roof. Bicycle wreckage is strewn everywhere across the pavement.
As a result of the crash the driver was in critical condition. Updated reports indicate the driver’s condition has been stabilized.
According to Sheboygan Press coverage, the driver is now expected to face a charge of homicide by negligent operation of a motor vehicle. In cases like this the state will prosecute the matter. In order to substantiate a legal claim the state will likely need to show that the driver of the vehicle acted in a manner akin to negligence or recklessness.
The burden of proof to satisfy for negligence or recklessness varies from state to state, and even from court to court to a certain extent. The general legal idea behind negligence is that a person is negligent if his or her actions create a hazard to others.
On the road, a person can be negligent for a whole slew of things such as; extreme speeding, driving in the dark without headlights on, doing stunts on a motorcycle in the road, street racing, and much more. Recklessness generally indicates conduct more serious than creation of a basic hazard. Again definitions of recklessness may vary, but the general idea is someone acting with complete disregard for the safety of other humans.
Criminal prosecution is a state mechanism to enforce laws, but it does not benefit the injured parties in any way. In order for the victims or their families to recover money the parties will need to initiate separate lawsuits.
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Victims in this particular incident have not yet indicated whether or not they will seek legal recourse. If you or a loved one is involved in a serious accident you should promptly consider contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer. An attorney can help you to recover compensation for present and future medical costs, emotional hardship and more.