Articles Posted in Motorcycle Crash

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This is the house that Jack built.

This is the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built . . . .

Excerpt from the Nursery Rhyme “This Is the House That Jack Build”

Most people have heard this nursery rhyme which describes a long convoluted causal chain.  While this might seem line nothing more than a clever nursery rhyme, the principle of a chain reaction of events like this constitutes a real issue that arises in many personal injury lawsuits involving collisions.  The issue that often must be addressed in this context is whether the “cause” blamed for a crash and resulting injuries is too remote in the chain of events or time to impose liability.  In this blog post, our Miami motorcycle injury lawyers examine the issue of “proximate cause’ in the context of a chain reaction motorcycle accident decision. Continue reading →

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Although many motorcycle accidents in Miami and the surrounding areas of Florida are caused by an inconsiderate, inattentive, or careless driver of a car, pickup, or SUV, the driver of the other vehicle often will claim the rider was negligent.  Some injured motorcyclists assume they cannot pursue a personal injury claim because they were violating a traffic law or otherwise driving in an unsafe manner.  Florida negligence law allows a plaintiff to recover in a personal injury or wrongful death action even if the injured party is partially at fault for causing the collision.  In this blog post, our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers examine a Florida appellate court decision allowing a fatally injured motorcycle accident victim to recover despite evidence he was speeding.

In Diaz v. FedEx, the Florida Fifth DCA allowed a motorcycle accident victim to recover compensation for his injuries even though he was determined to be partially responsible for causing his collision with a FedEx truck.  At the time of the collision, the motorcyclist was determined to be driving at a rate of 59 to 79 mph, which substantially exceeded the speed limit of 45 mph.  The personal representative of the estate of the decedent defended against the wrongful death claim based on evidence that the plaintiff was driving at an unsafe speed at the time of the collision. Continue reading →

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Businesses like restaurants, bars, and other commercial establishments that serve alcohol to customers who subsequently cause a crash can be liable for injury to drunk driving victims.  When plaintiffs suffer an injury in an accident caused by an alcohol-impaired driver, they might find suing the intoxicated driver to be a fruitless pursuit.  Approximately half to two-thirds of motorists convicted of drunk driving continue to operate their vehicle even though their driver’s license has been suspended.  Because an unlicensed driver usually will be uninsured, many drunk drivers who cause permanent debilitating injury and wrongful death are essentially judgment proof.  This simple reality makes the rights of a drunk driving victim to pursue a business that serves the motorist especially important.  In this blog post, our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers examine a court decision last year in which the Florida Court of Appeals ordered a retrial after a jury awarded $11 million against a bar that served the drunk driver.

In Okeechobee Aerie v. Wilde, a motorcyclist was hit by a drunk driver who was highly intoxicated.  The motorist who caused the collision was determined to have a .26 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the crash.  The staff of the social club bar that served the intoxicated driver testified that they knew he was an alcoholic.  Based on this evidence, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the establishment.  After the jury returned the large verdict for the plaintiff, the bar appealed by arguing that it was not liable under Florida’s  Responsible Vendor Act. Continue reading →

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Many motorcycle accident victims probably realize that their ability to recover compensation during a personal injury trial will depend to a significant degree on a persuasive presentation of admissible evidence.  However, the civil litigation process is comprised of a complex system of rules that dictate the types of evidence that the jury may consider.  The rulings of a judge regarding the admissibility of key facts, documents, or other forms of evidence frequently determine the outcome of a trial.  Sometimes an unfavorable decision can lead to a negative outcome regardless of the merits of a plaintiff’s case.  In this blog post, our motorcycle accident attorneys examine how two evidentiary ruling in a motorcycle accident case influenced the outcome.

In the 2nd DCA case of Shaver v. Carpenter, a husband and wife were struck by an automobile while riding a motorcycle.  The couple entered an intersection proceeding straight from the west when the defendant made a left turn across the riders’ path as he approached from the east.  The primary issue of dispute involved right-of-way when the vehicles proceeded through the intersection. The married couple contended they had a green light when they continued straight through the intersection.  The driver of the automobile admitted partial fault because he alleged he entered the intersection immediately before the light turned red.  Based on this contention, the defendant argued the couple also was at fault because they entered the intersection against a red light.  The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiffs in the trial court and found that the driver of the car was 95 percent at fault and that the plaintiffs were five percent at fault.  Continue reading →

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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 →

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When injured accident victims come to us, they will be welcomed by strong advocates for their legal rights. Our motorcycle accident lawyers fight diligently for our injured clients, seeking full compensation for their serious injuries sustained in any sort of accident.  Many of our clients are injured in motorcycle accidents.  These crashes can lead to devastating injuries, leaving accident victims struggling under massive medical bills, forced time off work, and longer medical expenses.

Motorcyclists Are Vulnerable to Injury

Motorcyclists are more at risk of injury that other road users.  Motorcycles do not afford their drivers with the same level of protection as cars and trucks.  Motorcyclists are exposed to the elements around them and when they are involved in an accident, whether it is a single vehicle or multi-vehicle crash, they have a high probability of sustaining lasting injuries.  Continue reading →

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A motorcyclist was transported to the hospital with critical injuries following a serious crash on Biscayne Boulevard on Monday, August 3. The accident involved a motorcycle and a Volkswagen sedan.  Police report that at about 7 p.m. on Biscayne Boulevard and 39th Street, the motorcycle and the sedan collided for reasons currently unknown.  The motorcyclist was rushed to the Ryder Trauma Center.

Motorcycle Accidents Frequently Result in Serious Injuries

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 80 percent of all motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist.  This can be explained by the size and build of the motorcycle.  Motorcycles themselves offer no protection against head injuries to the ride or passenger.  Ejection from the motorcycle is the most common cause of serious injuries.  If the motorcycle comes to a sudden stop due to hitting another vehicle, the rider and/or passenger is often ejected from the motorcycle and may collided with another object and the ground.  Continue reading →

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The debate over mandatory helmet laws continues to wage in many states.  However, enough time has passed since Florida and a number of other states repealed their universal helmet laws to assess the impact of these reforms.  Florida exempted adult motorcycle riders with a minimum of $10,000 in health insurance coverage from mandatory helmet use in 2000.  In the immediate aftermath of modification of the Florida helmet law, the number of motorcycle accident fatalities increased substantially.  While a higher number of registered motorcycles explains some of the increased deaths, the majority of the additional fatalities involved riders without helmets.

Our surge in fatal motorcycle accidents has made Florida a case study for why universal helmet laws should not be eased in other states.  During the three years prior to modification of Florida’s universal helmet law, our state was the site of approximately 160 motorcycle deaths annually.  Helmet use plummeted the year after the helmet law was revised, and the number of motorcycle fatalities soared to 246, amounting to a 65 percent increase in a single year.  By 2006, the number of motorcycle accident deaths in Florida had risen to an all-time high of 550.  During the initial five year period after Florida’s helmet law was changed, the state experienced nearly a 3.5 fold increase in motorcycle accident deaths.  Although the number of fatalities dropped as the economy soured, this trend has since reversed.

Although all states that eliminated or loosened their laws requiring universal helmet use have seen a rise in motorcycle fatalities, Florida has seen the highest increase because the climate allows for a longer riding season.  A sufficient enough period of time has passed to allow federal safety authorities to reach some conclusions about the impact of repealing universal helmet laws.  States with universal helmet laws save eight times more riders lives per 100,000 registered motorcycles annually than states without helmet laws.  Universal helmet jurisdictions also save three time more lives than states with a partial helmet law according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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There are many motorcycle accidents all over the state of Florida. They also happen when Florida residents travel out of the state on their bikes in order to enjoy the open road. Many of these accidents involve cars that failed to observe the biker and moved over into the path of the bike, failed to stop in time, or turned in front of the bike. In May, there was a serious motorcycle crash up in New Hope, Alabama where a motorcycle carrying a married Florida couple pulled out of a business parking lot and onto the roadway with deadly consequences.

Motorcycle accidents frequently involve serious injuries for the biker because of the lack of protection that these riders have on their bikes. When the accident is caused by the negligence of another driver, it is possible to get the compensation that a victim needs to recover from his injuries. In the event of a fatality, the knowledgeable Miami motorcycle accident attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have more than 120 collective years of experience in getting the victim’s loved ones money to carry on after their tragic loss.

In the case of the New Hope accident, the husband and wife of the bike were both killed. The investigation into the cause of the accident still is ongoing, but this accident shows that the riders usually face far more serious harm than the occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash. When our firm investigates a crash, we look at the facts of the case to determine who was negligent in the terrible crash. Frequently, the biker is blamed completely for the accident, but many times, the other driver is partially or completely at fault.
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Many of our Miami motorcycle accident attorneys ride for pleasure or to commute, so we know that left turn motorcycle accidents are particularly common. Motorcycle crashes involving a left turn usually involve a car executing a turn across the lane in which a motorcycle is traveling, such as turning at an intersection or pulling out of a driveway or strip mall parking lot. When the driver of a passenger car violates a motorcyclist’s right of way by turning immediately in front of a bike, the rider may be left with virtually no option for avoiding the collision. Under circumstances like these, the risk of a collision is almost unavoidable for the rider, so measures to mitigate the injuries suffered in such a motorcycle crash become especially important.

Motorcycle Helmet Use Has Fallen Dramatically Since Florida’s Universal Helmet Law Repeal

Although many riders object to the notion of mandatory helmet laws, there is no question that Florida’s decision to repeal the state’s universal helmet law has resulted in more head injuries and fatalities in crashes like left turn motorcycle accidents. Chanyoung Lee, a senior researcher at the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research, told the SunSentinel that 98 percent of riders in the state wore motorcycle helmets before the state repealed its universal helmet law in 1990.

Many public safety experts would contend that since Florida riders were given a choice, the number of riders deciding to ignore this valuable piece of safety equipment has increased to alarming levels. According to a recent Florida Department of Transportation study, helmet use in among those who ride in Florida has plummeted to only 51 percent. This drastic decline suggests a difference between expressed attitudes about motorcycle helmet use and actual behavior. A Florida study conducted last year revealed that almost three in four riders considered it important for motorcycle enthusiast to wear a helmet.
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