Motorcycles may be a favorite way to travel for many Floridians, but almost all of them can tell stories about close calls that could have ended their lives or certainly put them into a hospital with severe injuries. Unfortunately, these vehicles do not offer the same protection as cars and other motor vehicles do, so riders generally fare poorly in the typical motorcycle accident.
A case in point is the recent death of a 34-year-old St. Petersburg man in an early morning accident on Interstate 4 near Orlando. The accident occurred around 12:30 a.m. after a 23-year-old Orlando man came up behind the motorcyclist traveling in the fast lane and struck the motorcycle. The motorcycle and rider were knocked into the grassy median strip, where the bike overturned several times. The rider, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown from his vehicle. He was taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center, but, eventually, died.
The accident also sent the 23-year-old driver's car into a guardrail. He did not suffer any injuries. While still under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol, charges could be filed, if police think the driver deliberately struck the motorcycle.
Catastrophic injuries are also common in motorcycle accidents. Riders can suffer broken bones, head injuries and other injuries that could result in permanent disability.
Florida motorcycle victims can hold negligent drivers liable through personal injury lawsuits. Surviving family members can also hold these drivers accountable, if criminal actions or negligence led to a rider's death.
Legal action can be used to recover compensation for accident-related damages. A victim should consult with an experienced personal injury professional who can make sure the amount of the settlement is enough to cover the victim's short- and long-term financial needs given loss of income and ongoing medical treatment.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, "FHP: Fatal crash claims motorcyclist on Interstate 4," Dewayne Bevil, Mar. 16, 2014