Many motorists injured in motor vehicle crashes presume that they cannot prevail in a personal injury lawsuit because the investigating police officer has determined that the injury victim was at-fault. While police officers are trained in analyzing crashes, law enforcement officers do make mistakes and draw improper inferences, especially when they possess inaccurate or incomplete information. If you are injured in a traffic collisions, you should seek legal advice despite the conclusions of the investigating officer because an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer might have a different perspective. Further, the evidentiary impact of such conclusions are limited under Florida law as evidenced by the Florida 5th DCA case, Diaz v. FedEx Freight East, Inc.
In Diaz, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate brought a wrongful death action against FedEx after a motorcyclist was killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer driven by the defendant. The plaintiff alleged that the truck driver crossed the motorcyclist lane while executing a left-hand turn. The maneuver involved moving across two lanes of traffic traveling in the opposite direction including the motorcyclist’s lane. The truck had crossed one of the lanes and come to a complete stop in the median because of an interruption in the flow of traffic. The decedent slammed his motorcycle into the side of the big-rig. Evidence revealed that the decedent’s speed was approximately 59 to 79 miles per hour when the crash occurred though the speed limit was only 45 miles per hour. The evidence also revealed the motorcyclists could have avoided the accident had he been obeying the speed limit. Continue reading →