A motorcyclist died after a large commercial truck turned left into her path, the Bradenton Herald reported. The victim was eastbound when she approached an intersection at which a westbound truck was waiting to turn left. The truck’s driver made the left in front of the victim, causing a collision that threw her from her motorcycle and killed her instantly. A spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol said he expected the truck’s driver to be cited for failing to yield the right-of-way and making an illegal left turn.
Under the circumstances, those citations are the least that I, as a South Florida motorcycle accident attorney, would expect. The article does not provide many details, but the citations suggest that the truck driver either didn’t look for oncoming traffic or thought he could beat it across the street. Just like all motorists, this truck driver has a legal duty to take reasonable care while driving -- and that includes checking for oncoming traffic before making turns. If a driver fails in this duty and someone is killed, law enforcement has the option of charging the at-fault person with vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony in Florida (first-degree if it was a hit-and-run). The victim’s family also has the right to pursue a Broward County motorcycle accident claim, regardless of whether there’s a criminal case as well.
As I have written on this blog in the past, this is unfortunately one of the most common configurations for serious motorcycle accidents. Research from the University of Southern California shows that roughly three-fourths of all motorcycle accidents are two-vehicle accidents, and two-thirds of those were caused by another motorist who violated the motorcyclist’s right of way. That is, one half of all motorcycle accidents is caused by other people on the road -- usually a driver of a car, pickup or SUV. The study went even further, saying that other motorists’ failure to detect motorcyclists in traffic is the “predominating cause” of motorcycle accidents.
Smart motorcyclists do what they can to reduce this risk, by dressing to be noticed and avoiding unnecessary risks. But nobody can anticipate inattention or bad choices by the drivers around them. If you or someone you love has been in a serious motorcycle accident and you believe it’s the other driver’s fault, my firm, Cohn, Smith & Cohn, would like to help. A Miami-Dade motorcycle accident lawsuit can help victims and their families pay medical bills from the accident; support themselves while a wage-earner is out of work; and compensate them for their losses, pain and suffering. To set up a free consultation to discuss your case, please contact our firm online or call our main Hollywood office at (954) 431-8100.