Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

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The conservator of a woman catastrophically injured as a passenger in a motorcycle crash was unsuccessful in a bid to hold accountable a city government for alleged negligent failure to maintain a road, which she claimed was a causal factor in the crash. 

The City of Denver, CO, defendant in this action, argued entitlement to government immunity. Plaintiff countered the facts of this case allowed for exception to governmental immunity because the road was in unreasonably dangerous condition, which posed an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of the public. The trial court disagreed, granting summary judgment to the defense. The appellate court reversed, but then the Supreme Court reinstated the trial court’s summary judgment.

Plaintiff hasn’t walked away completely empty-handed, though. She settled her claim against the other driver without litigation and with the operator of the motorcycle prior to trial. This premises liability claim against the city was the only one still pending.  Continue reading →

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there were 14,129 deaths related to all-terrain vehicle use between 1982 and 2015. Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an estimated 23,000 children and teens are treated in hospital emergency departments for non-fatal off-roading injuries every year – including ATVs, dirt bikes and other similar vehicles.

These incidents may sometimes be linked to negligence by an operator, trail owner or vehicle manufacturer. In some cases, though, a powerful defense of “assumption of risk” can be raised to overcome the “duty” element necessary to prove in negligence lawsuits. 

Although we know there is something of a risk anytime we get into a car and drive on a public road, our injury lawyers in Orlando know the assumption of risk defense is generally not raised in typical car accident cases. The defense involves demonstrating the plaintiff knowingly and voluntarily assumed the risks inherent to a dangerous activity in which he or she was involved at the time of the accident. Often, it involves an express assumption of risk, such as signing a liability waiver. It can, in some circumstances, be implied. Most commonly, it’s invoked when we’re talking about recreational activities that are inherently risky, such as scuba driving, parasailing or rock climbing.

However, this defense was recently raised in an off-road dirt bike accident in California, where a woman sued her ex-fiance for a paralyzing spinal injury she suffered when she was thrown from her bike while riding with him. At issue before the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four, was whether defendant’s “guarantee” of a trail increased the inherent risk of injury to a co-rider on a dirt bike. The court held it was not, and the assumption of risk barred the negligence claim where defendant’s reckless conduct was not totally outside the range of activity involved in riding a dirt bike off-road.  Continue reading →

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Many people enjoy riding motorcycles, and the state of Florida is great place to ride.  The weather is nice most of the year, and there is no shortage of open roads with incredible coastal views and other breathtaking scenery in the Sunshine State.

However, there is also no question that riding a motorcycle is also dangerous.    It is not that there are more motorcycle accidents than there are car accidents, but rather that the level of injury sustained in a motorcycle is often far more severe than what would be suffered, if any, in a car or truck. Continue reading →

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In October 2015, a 30-year-old woman involved in a horrific motorcycle accident on I-95 in Miami lost half her leg. Her friend, another female motorcyclist who was riding alongside, was also seriously injured when the two were struck by a Toyota Corolla whose driver barreled through a gap in the orange pylons.

Now, both women have filed a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Transportation and DBI Services (the contractor that maintains the lanes) as well as the allegedly negligent driver.

The plaintiff whose leg had to be amputated just above her knee also needed hip surgery. Both motorcycles were destroyed. An attorney representing both women alleges FDOT and DBI have a duty to maintain the roadways properly for the safety of all motorists. However, he alleges defendants breached this duty with regard to the express lanes, where this crash occurred, resulting in a situation that is both extremely and unnecessarily dangerous for drivers. In particular, the delineator poles, which are supposed to keep drivers in their respective lanes, are not properly maintained. This means motorists are weaving in and out of lanes of extremely fast-moving traffic. This, plaintiffs allege, was the direct and proximate cause of their injuries.  Continue reading →

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The Ohio Supreme Court in a split decision has ruled that a utility company will not be liable for injuries stemming from a motorcycle accident in which the rider was struck by a deer before being tossed into a utility pole close to the road.

The issue was not so much the presence of the utility pole a where it was located.

In the case of Link v. FirstEnergy Corp., plaintiffs alleged the utility company and its parent corporation should be liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries because the poles were not moved back to a position farther from the road during a previous road-widening project. This failure to move the poles – even at the request of the township that contracted the work – amounted to negligence because the “Clear Zone” roadway design standards set by the Federal Highway Administration weren’t followed, plaintiff alleged. Continue reading →

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Even with Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system, it’s common for those injured in a traffic accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or other responsible parties. This occurs when damages and costs for injuries exceed a certain amount.

Occasionally, it becomes necessary for crash victims to take legal action against close friends, relatives or even spouses.

That whole notion strikes nerve with people, many of whom insist they don’t want to be in a court battle with someone they love. However, what’s important to keep in mind is these actions are truly not personal. Rather, taking this route is sometimes the only way a person who is injured can recover the necessary insurance benefits to which they are entitled. But individuals can’t sue an insurance company directly for an insured’s wrongdoing. Insurers are only added to the action later, once liability has been established. Continue reading →

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Most motorcycle accident lawsuits hinge on the basic duty of care owed by one motorist to another (or the driver to the passenger) to operate the vehicle in a reasonably safe manner.

The recent case of Towe v. Sacagawea, Inc. is different in that it involves premises liability. The reason the standard is different is because of where it occurred – on a private access road, rather than a public thoroughfare.

The lawsuit, recently considered by the Oregon Supreme Court, was the result of a motorcycle accident in which the rider, on site to examine a for-sale property as advertised from the public road, crashed after being tripped by a cable that had been laid about a foot off the ground by one of the property owners.

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Motor vehicle accidents are often the cause of lives lost too young. In another tragic case, a celebrated Miami artist was killed in a motorcycle accident last month. Edward Crowell II was killed on September 25 at an intersection when a car failed to stop. According to local reports, his death sent shock waves through the Miami art scene. The self-taught artist originally hailed from Alabama and paved his way as a painter, creating nearly 20 years of work inspired by the civil rights movement, pop art, and poetry. He was also recognized in the Miami nightclub scene and for his music and poetry. The accident is a reminder for drivers and riders alike, that lives can be lost too soon.

Warm climates make motorcycle riding a popular form of transport in Miami and throughout South Florida. Unfortunately, the high rate of motorcyclists, combined with traffic, negligent drivers, and other risks, put riders at a significant risk of collision or injury. In the event of a collision, riders are also more likely to suffer serious injuries. According to Ride Smart Florida, 17% of road fatalities involve motorcyclists. For those who do survive a motorcycle accident, permanent injuries may significantly reduce quality of life and require extensive around-the-clock care.

Victims of motorcycle accidents and their loved ones should consult with an experienced advocate in the event of an accident that results in injury or death. Our Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident attorneys are experienced in the investigation of accidents and can review evidence, identify responsible parties, and pursue just compensation for victims. Remember that juries are often bias against motorcycle riders and can buy into myths about “reckless motorcycle riders” who speed or bring on injuries themselves. We know that riders are often victims of accidents because of negligent drivers, low visibility, or dangerous road conditions.

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Wrong-way accidents continue to be a threatening and fatal phenomenon in South Florida and nationwide. While some of these accidents are caused by drunk driving or negligence, others are related to improper signage and confusing on or off ramps. Wrong-way accidents pose a significant threat to drivers and other motorists because they often result in fatalities. In another tragic case, a fatal wrong-way accident on I-95 resulted in the death of a motorcycle. A recent report published the 911 calls that came in after the accident. The details of the collision demonstrate the devastation caused by wrong-way collisions and the high-risk of fatalities.

According to witnesses, a 41-year-old motorcyclist was struck head-on by a 20-year-old in an Acura Integra who was driving the wrong-way. The motorcyclist was killed in the accident but the driver survived. Our Fort Lauderdale motorcycle injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and their families. Understanding the trends in highway accidents can help to prevent future collisions and injuries. This case highlights the frequency and danger of wrong-way accidents and is a reminder to all drivers on the road to be wary of signage when entering the freeway.
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March is the biggest month of the year for Florida motorcyclists. March 7 through the 16th is official “Bike Week” in Daytona and nationwide.

With riders are eager to descend upon the city, now is the time to consider safety to prevent accidents and injuries on the road. Whether learning defensive driving techniques, ensuring that your bike is operating safely, or simply remembering the rules of the road, being prepared and aware can help keep you safe through Bike Week and throughout this motorcycle season.

Bike Week 2014 in Daytona Beach had barely officially begun, when a spate of injury accidents were reported.The 10-day event has been profitable for local businesses, but bikers and other motorists should be aware of the danger of accidents during this busy time. Our Palm Beach motorcycle accidents attorneys encourage motorists to give riders a break as they arrive in the area.
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