This month, roughly half a million motorcyclists will travel to Florida for the famous Daytona Bike Week. The event takes place during the first two weeks of March and attracts motorcycle enthusiasts from around the country. Many attendees use the event as an opportunity to take an extended bike trip across the United States, culminating in the 10-day event in Daytona. Other attendees travel from northern states to enjoy Florida’s beaches, coastline, and warm weather.
Tragically, WFTV reports that one man was hit and killed by a motorcycle during the event in Daytona Beach. These incidents serve as painful reminders of how critical it is for motorists and motorcycles to exercise caution at all times, especially during crowded and chaotic events like this.
Accidents involving motorcycles are a common occurrence in Florida, with motorcycle-related events happening regularly throughout the state, including quarterly bike nights held in Fort Myers’ River District and a similar event in Cape Coral. The National Highway Transporation Administration reports that nearly 500 motorcycle riders died as the result of an accident during 2013, making Florida the most dangerous state for motorcyclists in the whole country. This is especially remarkable considering that Texas and California have populations almost doubling that of Florida.
To recover compensation after being involved in a motorcycle accident, the injury victim must show that the defendant failed to exercise due care. On the road, we each owe a duty of care to operate our vehicle or motorcycle with the same reasonable care and skill that a prudent driver would use in a similar situation. This involves not only keeping our eyes on the road, traveling at a safe speed, and avoiding driving distractions like cell phone usage, but obeying basic traffic laws and regulations as well. Motorists have a duty to keep an eye out for motorcyclists, which may be hard to spot at night or on a crowded roadway. All too often, a motorcyclist is injured because a driver simply did not see him or her. Similarly, motorcyclists have a duty to refrain from speeding, engaging in unsafe lane changes, and to yield the right of way when appropriate.
The plaintiff must also demonstrate that the defendant’s breach of the standard of care was the direct cause of his or her injuries. This means that if the defendant can show that the plaintiff would have suffered injuries even had the defendant acted with due care, the plaintiff will not be entitled to recovery. Also, Florida recognizes the doctrine of comparative negligence, which allows the jury to consider whether the plaintiff’s own negligent conduct was partly to blame for his or her injuries. The jury can assign a percentage of fault to the plaintiff and reduce any damages award in the plaintiff’s favor by that amount.
At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, our dedicated team of motorcycle accident lawyers have helped countless injury victims throughout Southwest Florida including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Naples. We offer a free consultation to help you learn about the scope of your legal remedies and will guide you through each step of the legal process. Call us now at 1-800-283-7442 or contact us online to set up your appointment now.