While any motorcycle enthusiast recognizes the vulnerability of riders to the unsafe driving practices of other motorists, this may not be sufficient to discourage a rider from speeding. The power of a motorcycle is part of its allure, so it is hardly surprising that riders sometimes violate the posted speed limit. Our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers know that some injured motorcyclists presume that the fact that they received a speeding citation means that they cannot recover financial compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages following a left turn motorcycle accident. Although the fact that a rider was speeding may impact the amount of damages recovered in a lawsuit, the speeding violation will typically not be an absolute bar to a claim.
How Insurance Companies Exploit Motorcyclists’ Speeding Violations in Left Turn Accident Lawsuits
Frequently, motorcyclists are cut off by the driver of a passenger car who violates the rider’s right of way by turning immediately in front of the rider. The rider may have no time to navigate around the passenger car or stop. Because motorists who violate a rider’s right of way in this type of accident face a substantial risk of liability, insurance companies for motorists look closely for unsafe practices by the riders, such as speeding. Because bikes moving at a higher rate of speed need more braking distance, offer fewer evasive options and collide with more force, the insurance company may argue that the accident would not have occurred had the motorcyclist been observing the speed limit. Alternatively, the carrier for the driver of the car might contend that the severity of a motorcyclist’s injuries were a function of the rider’s speeding violation.
While these arguments may be relevant, the fact that a motorcyclist was speeding does not excuse the negligence of the motorist who violated the biker’s right of way. Florida’s law of comparative fault is designed to apportion fault between a plaintiff and defendant so that compensation for a personal injury claim is adjusted based on the percentage of fault assigned to each party. Florida personal injury law uses a “pure comparative fault” system, which permits a jury to award damages to a motorcycle injury victim even if the rider was more at fault than the driver who made the illegal left turn. While a negligent motorcyclist can still recover damages even if the rider is more than fifty percent at-fault, the amount of the damages will be reduced based on the percentage of fault assigned to the rider. Let me give an example. If a jury decides that the driver of the car was 75% at fault and the cyclist 25%, they would determine the amount of damages (100%)of the cyclist, let’s say $100,000 and the Court would afterwards reduce the verdict to $75,000.
Comparative Fault Principles Might Allow a Speeding Motorcyclist to Obtain Compensation
Fault may be apportioned by the jury or the parties in mediation in a left turn motorcycle accident case involving a speeding motorcyclist. Motorcycle accidents often involve severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and other catastrophic injuries that may entail staggering medical costs. Riders should speak to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney even if the officer who investigates the accident concludes that the rider was at-fault. An experienced Florida motorcycle accident attorney can elect to conduct an independent investigation that might reach a different conclusion on the issue of fault. The attorney can use a skilled presentation of the evidence and sometimes expert testimony to establish that the passenger car driver was at-fault at least to some extent. We have often been successful in proving fault where it looked as though there was none on he part of the defendant driver.
Independent Investigation of the Facts to Obtain the Maximum Recovery for Motorcycle Crash Injury Victims
Our Florida motorcycle accident lawyers have handles hundreds of Florida motor vehicle accident claims resulting in death and significant injury. We have recovered from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for these claims. If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle collision, we invite you to contact the South Florida law office of Greenberg Stone and Urbano today. For over 120 collective years, we have aggressively represented the victims of motorcycle accidents across South Florida. Our commitment to excellence in providing legal services has earned us an “AV” rating from Martindale Hubbell, and it is why we have been asked to join Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. Moreover, the Miami Herald voted us as one of the top-rated South Florida law firms, and, we have earned the title of “Superlawyers,” designating us as being among the best lawyers in America. We want to put this dedication to work for you, so call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an initial consultation either in our main office, your home or hospital, or at one of the offices were we see client’s by appointment.