Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable on the road. Accidents involving motorcycles often leave bikers with severe or fatal injuries. Due to these accidents’ frequent severity, motorcyclists have an especially high need for knowing how to go about getting all of the compensation that the law allows. That includes identifying all of the people and entities who were liable for your crash and obtaining judgments or settlements involving each of them. All of these processes, and outcomes, can be enhanced by putting the knowledge of an experienced Louisiana injury attorney on your side.
What do we mean by identifying all defendants? The case of a motorcyclist named D.N. is a good example. Reportedly, D.N. was traveling on a four-lane road in Alexandria. As D.N. passed by a local restaurant, T.D. was trying to exit that restaurant and enter the road in his pickup truck. With his vision allegedly obscured by another pickup truck parked on the public right-of-way at edge of the restaurant’s parking lot, T.D. proceeded with his turn. The two vehicles crashed. The impact was massive enough to total both vehicles and cause D.N. to suffer severe injuries.
If you find yourself injured in a situation like this, you may possibly know that you can seek recovery from the truck driver (and his insurer,) as well as potentially your own uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage provider. What you may not know, though, is that your options may not end there. Depending on the precise facts of your case, you may be able to pursue a claim against the entity responsible for the hazard that lead to your accident.
In D.N.’s case, he pursued legal action against the owner of the restaurant. His claim alleged that the restaurant owner customarily allowed customers to park illegally along the state’s right-of-way at the edge of the road. That practice reduced the visibility of oncoming traffic for patrons leaving the restaurant and contributed to D.N.’s crash, according to his complaint.
To back up that claim, D.N. had evidence that the restaurant’s parking lot was not marked with any lines and was not manned by an attendant. On Friday nights, the business was so busy that patrons regularly parked “wherever they can,” including the public right-of-way. Exiting the restaurant was very hard at these times, according to the motorcyclist’s witnesses.
‘Care, custody and control’ of the parking lot were the keys to liability.
The court of appeal decided that the injured motorcyclist was allowed to take such a claim against the owner to trial. Even though the restaurant operator did not own the land upon which the hazard was located, as the restaurant owner was just a tenant of the property, the defendant’s lack of ownership doesn’t prevent you from suing them. Louisiana law says that the key factors are the defendant’s “care, custody and control” of the area where the dangerous condition existed. In Louisiana, there’s a general duty not to obstruct roadways, and that legal obligation applies to tenants as well as owners, as long as they control the area in question.
The restaurant owner had a legal obligation to operate its business in a way that was free of unreasonable risks of harm. By routinely allowing customers to park on the right-of-way, it arguably fell short of that duty’s requirements, was potentially liable for the motorcyclist’s damages and possibly owed him compensation.
Given the frequency of severe or catastrophic motorcycle accidents, any injured motorcyclist should be sure he has reliable and insightful legal counsel. Cardone Law Firm and our highly experienced Louisiana injury attorneys are here to provide that kind of powerful and effective representation. We have many decades of experience handling a wide array of auto accident cases, including motorcycle crashes.
For your confidential consultation contact us online or phone Cardone at 504-522-3333.