The claim was filed against both the state’s department of transportation, as well as a construction contractor whose employee made an illegal U-turn without warning on a highway on-ramp, straight into the motorcyclist’s path.
Although claims against the government and government contractors are often wrought with complications and technicalities, this case shows they are often worth pursuing. Such matters should only be handled by experienced attorneys from well-resourced law firms that can capably prepare for a trial, if necessary.
According to local news outlets, 46-year-old plaintiff was riding his motorcycle on the interstate on-ramp, where construction crews were carrying out a construction project. It was shortly before 5:30 a.m. Without warning, a dump truck driven by a contractor on the project made its way onto the ramp, directly in the path of oncoming traffic. Proper safety protocol required that the driver either use a gravel access road nearby to make this kind of turnaround, or else use a flagger to alert oncoming traffic of the road blockage ahead.
The motorcycle accident caused the rider to sustain severe and permanent injuries –and he was in a coma for a month. His attorney said he received negligent medical care also and nearly died from that as well. He spent a full year in-and-out of hospitals and rehabilitation centers. His brain damage is permanent and will more likely than not devolve into early dementia.
Plaintiff initially sought damages in excess of $30 million for his injuries. He must use a motorized wheelchair for mobility.
Despite all this, defendants in this matter were initially preparing to take this case to trial, asserting their position that the motorcyclist was at least partially comparatively negligent for the crash. It’s not clear how exactly the motorcyclist shared some measure of fault, but it was reported that several focus groups conducted for both sides indicated jurors were likely to find the motorcyclist partially responsible for the crash. This undoubtedly factored into the settlement that was $12 million less than what plaintiff originally sought. Still, plaintiff’s lawyer said it should cover his medical expenses for life – and his needs will likely be intensive until he dies.
When a defendant chooses to settle for a hefty amount like this, it’s indicative of the fact that defendant knows the odds at trial aren’t great, and they will likely be made to pay an even greater sum by a jury.
Motorcycle accident in particular often result in high settlement awards because:
- These crashes are often the result of other drivers who were careless;
- Motorcyclists have a higher likelihood of sustaining severe injury compared to those in other types of motor vehicles. This is true regardless of whether one is wearing a helmet.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident in Fort Myers, there are many considerations. Let our dedicated motorcycle injury lawyers help you determine the best course of action.
Call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.
$18.5 Million Settlement Reached in Interstate 5 Motorcycle Crash Lawsuit, Aug. 24, 2016, By Natalie Johnson, The Chronicle
More Blog Entries:
Bicycle Accident Results in $38 Million Verdict Against Valet Company, Feb. 20, 2017, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog