Motorcyclist lane sharing is cutoff by vehicle
Personal Injury
Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle
Los Angeles Superior Court

On August 2, 2013, plaintiff Juan Altamirano (50 yrs old) was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and lane splitting in the #1 eastbound lane of the I-105 when defendant John B. Harrison, driving a Cadillac SRX he had rented from Hertz in the HOV lane, hanged lanes in what plaintiff alleged was a violation of California Vehicle Code §21658(a). Plaintiff’s motorcycle collided with the right fender of the Cadillac. Defendant disputed liability.

Juan Altamirano presented to St. Francis Hospital by ambulance with a closed fracture of the right femur neck; superior endplate L5 fracture with right L1 and right L2 transverse fractures; and multiple complex left mid foot fractures including metatarsal/ cuboid fractures and cuneiform fractures with widening of tarsal and metatarsal joints.

He underwent right partial hip arthroplasty as well as left leg fasciotomies for compartment syndrome, wound debridement and external fixation of fractures. He was then transferred to USC County Hospital where additional surgeries were performed to his left foot and leg including skin grafting. He was hospitalized for one month and released to Long Beach Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation Center for seven days.

Plaintiff’s medical bills totaled approximately $375,000. Plaintiff also was unable to return to work as a wastewater technician where he was making $21 per hr. Plaintiff further contended that he may need a below knee amputation if additional surgical intervention was unsuccessful.  Defendant disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries and damages.

This settlement represents the policy limit recovery from John B. Harrison’s personal policy with Travelers for $250,000, personal umbrella of $3,000,000 with Hudson Insurance, and an additional $15,000 from his employer PR Employer, Inc.