Articles Posted in Motorcycle accidents

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Last month marked the 76th annual Daytona Bike Week, where hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists thundered into Florida to enjoy the warm climate and camaraderie. motorcycle accident

While initial reports were that motorcycle accidents surrounding the event had tapered off, this news was dampened by recently-released figures from AAA, which reported Florida had a stunning 30 percent uptick in motorcycle deaths in 2015. Perhaps not surprising given that number, Florida was also reported to have the highest number of motorcycle deaths in the nation. It held the same top spot last year.

AAA reported there were 26 motorcycle accident deaths in Lee County, which means it tied for sixth place statewide for the most rider deaths in 2015. Miami-Dade reportedly ranked No. 1 with 67 motorcycle crash deaths that year, and Hillsborough ranked No. 2 with 48 fatalities.  Continue reading →

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An injury lawsuit has been resolved with an $18.5 million settlement on behalf of a man who suffered critical injuries in a motorcycle accident two years ago. motorcycle

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.  Continue reading →

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Every year, tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts come roaring into Florida or travel from various corners of the state to attend the two biggest annual motorcycle events on the East Coast: Bike Week and Biketoberfest, both held in Daytona Beach. The former is held every spring and the latter every fall. These yearly events draw huge crowds and are great for local and state economies. motorcycle

However, motorcycle accidents also spike during that time. Officials have estimated nearly 500 people have died in motorcycle accidents in Flagler and Volusia counties between 2005 and 2015, with more than one-third of those crashes involving one of the areas two big biking events. That’s according to an analysis of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted by the Daytona News-Journal. Those incidents have included:

  • Motorcyclists crashing into utility poles at 45 mph.
  • Motorcyclists drifting into oncoming traffic on S.R. 40.
  • Motorcyclists losing control and being thrown from their rides.

Just at the most recent Bike Week, one man died and three were injured in a Saturday crash when two motorcycles collided. The following day, a female rider was killed in another crash.

Still, there may be a silver lining in the analysis. That is that motorcycle deaths at these two massive events appear to have been at a historic low in 2015 (the last year for which final numbers are available).  Continue reading →

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It was December when the 20-year-old young man from Tallahassee had just plunked down a down payment for his first motorcycle. He had some previous experience on the bike and was ready to commit to being a responsible bike owner himself. The bike was so new, in fact, he was on his way to the insurance office to obtain coverage when the motorcycle accident happened. motorcycle1

According to The Tallahassee Democrat, the driver behind the wheel of that Dial-A-Ride bus pleaded no contest in connection with the crash. A judge found her guilty of failure to yield to oncoming traffic with serious bodily injury to the victim.  According to records, the bus driver for the service, which offers curb-to-curb pick-up for the elderly and those with disabilities, was making a left turn when she struck the young motorcyclist.

The same day she was adjudicated in court and her license was suspended for 90 days, she was assigned to other duties at the service – but not fired. In fact, the driver has a history of preventable collisions while driving city buses – seven total going back to 1998. Among those cases, reporters noted:

  • Striking a Honda Civic in 2006;
  • Slamming into the mirror of a parked sport utility vehicle;
  • Rear-ending another vehicle in 2012.

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Florida drivers can expect to see more motorcyclists on the roads this month, an estimated 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts come rumbling into the state for Daytona Bike Week, which stretches through the first and second weeks of March. motorcycle7

Many of those bikers are from out-of-state, and many take the opportunity to make a longer trip of it and ride through the rest of the state. Even those who live here full-time may be traveling cross-state to attend the popular 10-day event.

It’s an opportune time to discuss the fact that motorcycle riders face unique dangers on our highways, especially because Florida has more motorcycle fatalities than anywhere else in the country.  Continue reading →

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Cape Coral Bike Night is coming this weekend, Saturday, Feb. 13th from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, are proud sponsors of this lively event.harley

Held quarterly, the first event this year takes place the day before Valentine’s Day, with the Cape Coral Parks and Recreation serving as organizers.

Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts will come roaring into the Cape to enjoy raging rock and rowdy country music from live bands. They wolf down fiery food and ice cold drinks and bond with other bikers. It’s also a great opportunity to check out all the latest biker products, gear and, including helmets and other critical safety equipment.  Continue reading →

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A motorcycle accident victim will have the opportunity for a new trial after an appeals court ruled the trial judge erred in excluding certain evidence that would have been beneficial to the plaintiff. motorcycles1

Summerhill v. Klauer was an accident that involved a motorcyclist and a moped rider in Indiana. We explore the case here as some of the legal matters at issue are pertinent to motorcycle accident victims in Fort Myers too.

According to court records, the excluded evidence at issue was:

  • Plaintiff’s accident reconstruction expert witness testimony;
  • Evidence of defendant’s dishonesty, based on a decades-old fraud conviction which he lied about under oath in these proceedings;
  • Plaintiff’s expert medical witness testimony as to the likelihood his injuries were result in post-traumatic arthritis in the future.

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Usually when spouses find themselves on opposite sides of the courtroom, it’s a family law issue: Divorce, child custody, alimony payments and the like.motorcycle

But there are some situations in which spouses who love each other very much and indeed intend to stay together might need to square off in a courtroom – and it’s truly nothing personal.

It has to do with the fact that individuals cannot sue insurance companies directly for personal injuries. That leaves plaintiffs sometimes no choice but to sue the negligent person – and sometimes that includes a relative, close friend or even a spouse. The insurance company provides indemnification for the defendant and will be required to pay the judgment to plaintiff if defendant is found liable. It is sometimes the only way a plaintiff can recover damages for medical bills, lost wages and ongoing pain and suffering. In the majority of cases, the parties involved remain on good terms. Continue reading →

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Auto insurance companies often will not pay an insured what is owed under uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provisions without a fight. motorcycle2

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is coverage paid for by the insured in the event he or she is injured due to the negligent actions of another driver who either has a low maximum payout or lacks insurance. Although this type of coverage isn’t mandatory in Florida, it usually comes standard in most auto insurance packages, and people have to sign a waiver declining it if they choose to do so. It’s a good idea to have it, however, because recent studies indicate 1 in 4 drivers in Florida don’t have any coverage at all.

In the case of State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Earl, a motorcyclist suffered severe injuries in a 2008 crash after a semi-truck merged into his lane, forcing him off the highway at 65 mph. The motorcyclist survived, but the trucker didn’t stop and was never found. (Other witnesses on the road confirmed his account of what happened.)

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A large group of speeding, wheelie-popping daredevil motorcyclists and all-terrain vehicle operators have made headlines as they’ve roared across South Florida highways, recklessly weaving in and out of traffic and surprising unsuspecting motorists.
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Most weren’t riding helmets as they zoomed by at speeds in excess of 100 mph. Some were even operating on the wrong side of the road, performing stunts and blocking roads. Other drivers called authorities to complain members of the group weren’t stopping for red lights.

Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol arrested one man and cited two others recently as one large group raced northbound along I-95. Not long after, there was unsurprisingly a crash with injuries involving one of the riders from the group.

In recent weeks, reporters noted there has been a flurry of activity on sites like Twitter, where one South Florida rapper with 3 million followers has been promoting “Miami Bike Life” stunts and rides.

Law enforcement insists it is monitoring these groups, and the greatest concern has been the fact they sometimes put other motorists at risk.

While these kinds of incidents rightly stir debate and generate a fair amount of web traffic for news sites, they aren’t indicative of the typical motorcycle rider. Further, the crashes involved aren’t indicative of the typical motorcycle accident in Southwest Florida.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the overall number of motorcycle fatalities occurring in 2012 (the latest year for which statistics are available) increased 7 percent compared to the prior year. The number of motorcycle injuries climbed 15 percent in that same time frame.

Florida had more motorcyclists killed that year than in any other state – 456 – followed by Texas and California.

Of those involved in fatal crashes, four out of five did not have any prior speeding convictions and most did not have any prior recorded suspensions or revocations. Only 4 percent had prior DUI convictions and 12 percent had any recorded prior crashes.

What that tells us is the vast majority of motorcycle operators are responsible and law-abiding. Most of the time, crashes occur because drivers of other vehicles aren’t keeping a proper lookout, and end up causing a collision. In fact, federal statistics show the top cause of motorcycle accidents is a motorist who fails to yield and turns into the path of an oncoming rider.

Motorcyclists inherently lack the same kind of protection as those in motor vehicles, and therefore sustain more frequent and more serious injuries.

It as recently reported troopers in Fort Myers are looking for a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a 45-year-old husband and father of two on a motorcycle on I-75 earlier this month. Friends say he was always cautious on his motorcycle, had taken safety courses and always wore a helmet.

In another recent case, a 25-year-old motorcyclist was killed in South Fort Myers on U.S. 41 when a 53-year-old pickup driver reportedly crossed into the path of the motorcyclist and struck him while trying to turn left. The motorcyclist died at the scene.

Those injured in motorcycle accidents should contact an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer to protect their rights.
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