A SoCalGas pickup truck ran into the back of a motorcyclist a week ago in Hawthorne dragging him under the truck for more than 400 feet. Horrified witnesses and other drivers attempted to stop the pickup truck driver who acted as if he wasn’t aware he had hit the motorcyclist. The pickup truck paused for 20 to 25 seconds, and then proceeded to turn left dragging the motorcyclist and his bike beneath the truck until onlookers surrounded the vehicle forcing it to stop.
The 30 year old Air Force Captain from the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo who was driving the motorcycle suffered severe injury to his leg and other unspecified injuries. He was immediately transported to County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center where the doctors were making ever effort to save his leg. The driver of the SoCalGas pickup truck was arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run and released from Hawthorne jail after posting bail.
Police said the driver of the pickup was working at the time of the accident (6:45 am) and called his supervisor from the scene of the accident. News stories confirmed a spokesperson from SoCalGas acknowledged that the driver works for the gas company but provided no further comment.
After more than 40 years of service as an injury attorney here in the LA and Southern California region I can tell you this case will require legal skill and experience. SoCalGas company appears to share liability for the injuries suffered by the Air Force Captain as the driver of the company pickup truck appeared to be at work. While there are several apparent witnesses and some video from the scene, attorneys for the gas company and its insurance provider face extensive financial liability for the incident. The legal battle to recover lost wages, medical expenses, future medical treatment and any long-term impacts from the harm inflicted upon the Captain must be taken into account. The severe nature of the accident and the suffering that must be endured to recover from this accident must be considered.
This case may require a “Life Care Plan” to provide for his needs into the future, and to adapt his home and vehicles to accommodate his injuries. This case may very well wind up in Court, and will require an experienced and proven injury attorney with experience in similar cases who will stand up to the SoCalGas and insurance attorneys and aggressively protect the interests of the Air Force Captain and his family.
I have tried many cases over the years, including a very similar case involving an injured motorcyclist that required accident reconstruction and a substantial trial process. If you or someone you love has been injured in an LA or Orange County motorcycle accident I invite you to review the recommendations of our clients and call for a free consultation at 949-273-2693. I work on a contingency fee basis, and there is no cost to my clients out of pocket.
The Captain faces a long and challenging recovery and our thoughts are with him and his family during this trying time.