With less external protection for riders than a car or truck would provide, motorcyclists face enough challenges on Wisconsin roads. Unfortunately, riders are also subject to a higher chance of injury or death if they encounter a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A 51-year-old man from Ashwaubenon now faces criminal charges for an incident six months ago involving the death of a motorcyclist. The accused was making a left turn off of State Route 29 when he collided with the biker, throwing the biker off his mount. The victim was taken to a local hospital, where he died 12 hours later due to head and torso trauma.

The driver seemed coherent and regretful immediately after the incident, during which he said the motorcycle “came out of nowhere.” A blood test conducted by a Wisconsin state agency, however, shows that the driver had THC, the psychoactive substance present in marijuana, in his system at the time of the crash.

The charges against this man are expected to include homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle (a form of involuntary manslaughter) as well as the failure to yield while making a left turn. If the survivors of the victim are determined to file civil charges for wrongful death against him, he may also find himself liable for financial damages.

Victims of motorcycle accidents and their survivors may be entitled to claim reimbursement of crash-related expenses, compensation for their pain and emotional distress and any other costs the court deems appropriate. An attorney can help victims and their families understand the strengths and weaknesses of their potential claim.