Not too long ago in April 2010 a motorcycle rider and his child passenger on a motorcycle struck a recliner on the highway near Santaquin Utah. This past Tuesday July 6, 2010 another motorcycle rider struck more debris on the highway near Bluffdale. This time the offending debris was a plastic garbage can on I-15. The motorcycle rider was ejected from his motorcycle and struck the concrete barrier. The man suffered a head injury and road rash. He was life-flighted to a hospital in serious condition.
In both of these cases a strong argument can be made against the motorcycle rider's uninsured motorist coverage. Under Utah Code Section 31A-22-305 (Uninsured Motorist Coverage) one can make a claim. An uninsured motor vehicle is described as “an unidentified motor vehicle that left the scene of an accident proximately caused by the motor vehicle operator.” The argument would be that it is reasonable to assume that the garbage can fell off a truck that left the scene of the crash. In other words, if it had not been for the garbage can on the road being dropped by the operation of the unidentified vehicle no crash would have occurred at all.
I also recently blogged about biases and prejudices that exist in Utah regarding motorcycle riders. Read the comments to the KSL article about this recent garbage can crash and you will get a feel for the biases and prejudices that persist. Not only do the biases and prejudices exist in the minds of individuals but the same biases exist in the minds of the media. Look at the articles at the Salt Lake Tribune and The Daily Herald where both articles note that the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet. This man was in his 50's and the law does not require motorcycle riders over 18 years of age to wear a helmet. Either blatantly or unconsciously both articles want to place blame on the motorcycle rider for not wearing a helmet. That theme is echoed in the comments to articles on motorcycle riders who are injured and not wearing a helmet.
One of the best comments I read was for passersby to take an active role and call the police when they see debris in the road. You could save a life.
Are the biases and prejudices echoed in the comments fair? You tell me!
Utah Bike Law and its lawyers are not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions about your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well. Utah Bike Law and its attorneys are licensed to practice law only in the State of Utah and maintain offices in Salt Lake City, Utah. No attorney client relationship is established by simply visiting this website.