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Young motorcyclist in serious condition after accident

A recent accident on U.S. Highway 41 in Manatee County has left one motorcyclist seriously injured and a car driver facing a charge of violating the motorcyclist's right of way.

The Florida Highway Patrol reports that a van driven by a 48-year-old Bradenton man attempted to make a left turn from a parking lot in the 6900 block but did not yield the right of way to a motorcyclist. The biker attempted to turn left to avoid a collision but was unsuccessful and was hit by the van. He was thrown from his bike, which slid into a pickup truck across the highway in a driveway.

The motorcyclist, 18-years-old and also from Bradenton, was taken to a nearby trauma center, where he was listed in serious condition. Fortunately, he had been wearing a helmet.

State laws are meant to ensure that motorcycles can be more safely ridden. Unfortunately, many drivers of automobiles and trucks do not notice motorcyclists and fail to take precautions to avoid hitting them.

Motorcyclists generally do not fare well in collisions with other motor vehicles because they lack the protection afforded by a large external frame. Very often they are thrown into traffic and are vulnerable to being struck by other vehicles. This typically leads to catastrophic injuries or death. Brain injuries and permanent disabilities are common, which is why Florida mandates helmet use unless a rider is 21 years of age or older and can show proof of insurance that provides coverage of at least $10,000.

Fortunately, Florida's legal system allows victims and their families the chance to seek financial compensation from those who injure others through acts of negligence. The compensation can cover medical treatment and long-term therapy as well as lost income.

Source: Herald-Tribune, "Motorcyclist seriously injured in Manatee crash," June 29, 2013

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