Most of my work as a Pompano Beach motorcycle accident attorney focuses on two-vehicle motorcycle crashes, caused by a careless driver who didn’t look for a motorcycle or didn’t use good judgment. So it was surprising to see an article in Florida Today Sept. 12 about a motorcyclist who was killed in a different type of accident — a one-vehicle crash the Florida Highway Patrol says was caused by debris in the road. Robert Toupin, 48, of Rockledge, was headed north on Interstate 95 in Melbourne at around 10 p.m. Sept. 11. According to the FHP, he hit a large piece of tire tread that was lying in the road, causing him to lose control and veer off the highway and overturn several times.
It’s unusual for any traffic accident to be caused by debris in the road. Accident statistics show that the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents are caused by the bad decisions of one or more of the motorists involved, including driving drunk and simply not paying enough attention to the road. However, accidents caused or worsened by flaws in the roadway do happen, and as this story shows, they can be deadly. According to the definitive study of motorcycle accidents, the Hurt Report, roadway defects caused about 2% of motorcycle accidents in the study. Those defects could include debris in the road as well as potholes and cracks; plant growth obscuring signs and signals; poor visibility around corners and curves; or a lack of traffic signals in places where they’re needed.
Like victims of accidents caused by driver negligence, victims of roadway design or maintenance accidents may sue anyone whose carelessness caused their injuries. However, because almost all roads in Florida are designed and maintained by the state, federal or local governments, these victims must sue a government agency. And because governments don’t like to be sued, this is more complicated than suing a private individual or business. Typically, injured people must give prior notice of their claims in writing to multiple agencies, within a specified period of time. It’s only after these conditions are met and the agency denies the claim that victims can sue in a court of law. This complicated process is one reason why experts recommend hiring a South Florida motorcycle accident lawyer to handle claims against a government.
At Cohn, Smith & Cohn, we are proud to help people with claims against a government agency for defective roadways, poor maintenance or other causes of a serious motorcycle crash. Our Davie motorcycle crash attorneys guide victims and their families through every step of the process, from making sure they don’t miss the deadline to sue to negotiating a fair settlement or winning a favorable judgment in court. Motorcycle crash victims frequently sustain very serious injuries, which can leave them dead or disabled for life. In a lawsuit, victims and their families can claim all of the financial costs of these terrible injuries, including lost income from time away from work as well as the cost of past and future medical treatments made necessary by the injuries. They can also claim compensation for their losses, pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt in a motorcycle crash in Florida, whether it was caused by poor maintenance or poor driving, you have a right to hold the wrongdoer legally liable. To learn more at a free consultation, please contact us through our Web site or call (954) 431-8100 today.