The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the death of a 23-year-old man in a two-vehicle motorcycle accident in Seminole, the St. Petersburg Times reported June 5. Ryan Craig Palmisano was killed late on June 4, when his motorcycle hit an SUV turning left from the oncoming lane. Driver Jason David Wells was uninjured, but Palmisano was pronounced dead at the hospital. Coincidentally, his ambulance was involved in a minor accident on the way to the hospital, with a driver who was cited for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.
An eyewitness said Palmisano, who was wearing a helmet, took off “like a rocket” after the light at Starkey Road and Bryan Dairy Road turned green. He rode south on Starkey toward 109th Ave. N, where Wells was making a left across Starkey to get on 109th. The front of Palmisano’s 2007 Honda motorcycle hit the side of the Lincoln Navigator Wells was driving. An eyewitness said the light at Bryan Dairy Road was red when Wells began his turn, but that Palmisano could have swerved into the inside lane if he had had the time to react.
Speeding doesn’t get as much attention as traffic crimes like DUI, but that doesn’t mean it’s free of risks. Even if I am the safest driver in the world — a task that becomes more difficult at high speeds — I must rely on other people to also drive safely. As a Hollywood motorcycle accident lawyer and a motorcyclist, I know from experience that that’s not a safe bet. Too many drivers out there aren’t looking for motorcycles at normal speeds, never mind those traveling at high speeds.
That isn’t to say that Palmisano is necessarily at fault here. It’s entirely possible that the FHP will conclude that both motorists were somewhat at fault. In my practice as a Hialeah motorcycle crash attorney, I’ve handled many cases where both motorists were somewhat at fault. Florida law allows motorcyclists and other motorists to sue when they are partly responsible for their own accidents — even as much as 99% responsible. However, the money they could win will be reduced by the proportion of fault they bear, which means a rider who is 99% at fault can only collect 1% of the money he or she wins — making those cases not worth anyone’s time.
If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt in a motorcycle crash, my firm, Cohn, Smith & Cohn, would like to help. With years of experience riding a motorcycle on Florida roads and more than two decades of legal experience, I understand Florida motorcycle cases. Our Boca Raton motorcycle accident attorneys can protect you from dirty tricks by insurance companies, make sure your injuries are properly valued and treated and win you a fair and complete settlement that covers all of your accident-related costs. That includes the cost of time off work as well as compensation for pain and suffering, injuries and any disability or wrongful death. To learn more about your rights and your legal options at a free, confidential consultation, please contact us online or call our main office in Pembroke Pines at (954) 431-8100.