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A man from Durham, North Carolina was charged in a car accident on July 15 that killed a motorcyclist. 

Durham Police stated that a 1996 Cadillac Seville driven by Rodney McLaurin, 45, was turning left in Durham from Massey Ave. onto South Alston Ave. when he hit the motorcycle driven by Umar Muhammad, 30.

The motorcycle struck the front part of the Cadillac. Muhammad was transported to a local hospital, but he died of his crash injuries later in the day.


McLaurin suffered no injuries. He was charged by Durham police for misdemeanor death by vehicle, failure to yield right of way and driving while his license was revoked. He also was served with an outstanding warrant that charged him with misdemeanor possession of Schedule III controlled substances.

Our View

In 2015, 4976 people died in motorcycle accidents, and the above case is yet another addition to grim national statistics. Our North Carolina and Virginia personal injury attorneys are saddened at this tragic car accident that killed a motorcyclist. Car drivers need to follow important driving safety rules to avoid accidents with motorcycles: 

  • Increase your driving distance behind a motorcycle. It is recommended that you stay at least four seconds behind. If something unexpected happens ahead, there is a greater risk of a serious injury to the motorcyclist. So, better safe than sorry – stay far back so you have time to react.
  • Look before turning. Almost 45% of two vehicle, motorcycle crashes in 2013 involved a car turning left and the motorcyclist going straight. This type of accident often is caused by the car driver simply not seeing the motorcyclist. All car drivers must remember that it is their duty to look for any oncoming vehicles, including motorcyclists and bicyclists.
  • Check blind spots. Motorcyclists have a much smaller profile than cars. It is easy for them to slip into your blind spot next to you. Take a very good look at your blind spots before you ever change lanes.

More drivers should follow these basic driving rules to avoid injuring or killing motorcyclists. But sometimes accidents happen. A car driver may cause an accident with a motorcyclist leading to serious injury or death. In such cases, filing a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death may be the appropriate legal action.

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in a case where it is believed that the car driver was negligent in such a way that led to the death of the motorcyclist. Our wrongful death attorneys have won settlements in car accidents and truck accidents in the past, such as this $2.4 million wrongful death settlement. Those funds can be very important to ensure that dependents left behind after the tragedy are cared for.


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