Being injured in a traffic accident is undoubtedly a traumatic event. Even if you aren't seriously hurt, you're likely to experience some degree of shock in the aftermath. You may also feel angry at the person who caused the accident if you're not at fault. But no matter how upset you are, you should resist the urge to take revenge immediately after the crash.
That's precisely what happened after a motorcycle accident last month in Belmont, California. A San Jose man driving a Toyota Prius was traveling north on Highway 101 when he came upon a group of more than 20 motorcycles in the fast lane. He decided to use his cellphone to record video of the group, but he failed to notice when traffic slowed down. As he swerved suddenly to avoid the vehicles in front of him, he struck one of the motorcycles, bounced off the center divider and hit another motorcycle. Another two motorcyclists lost control of their bikes as they tried to avoid the crash.
The Prius driver got out of his car, which was stopped in a center lane of the highway. According to witnesses, that's when some of the uninjured motorcyclists approached and began punching him in the head. At one point the driver was also threatened with a knife, California Highway Patrol officers said.
The assault was over by the time police arrived. Some of the bikers had left, and the car driver wasn't able to identify or describe his attackers because they'd kept their helmets on during the fight. The driver received the only citation, for distracted driving.
One of the injured motorcyclists was taken to a hospital for broken ribs and a punctured lung. Another was taken away in a private vehicle, apparently with a broken leg. Two more suffered minor abrasions and the car driver was treated and released at a hospital, possibly for injuries from the attack.
Needless to say, a fistfight isn't the best way to settle the terms of a traffic accident. Assaulting the person who caused the crash won't help matters should you decide to sue the driver later. In fact, doing so could lessen your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. If you need to blow off some steam, you're better off talking to a personal injury attorney who can do your fighting for you.
Source: Mercury News, "San Jose man was driver in crash-and-clash with bikers on Peninsula freeway," Robert Salonga, May 22, 2012
While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with the attorney, please call at 408-293-7777 or complete the intake form below.