I was disappointed, as a Hollywood motorcycle accident attorney, to see that a woman suffered serious injuries in a bike crash on the Christmas Toys in the Sun Run. As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Dec. 6, Lidieth Gil, 33, suffered serious injuries after she was thrown from the bike on which she was riding. Gil was a passenger on a bike belonging to Edward Contreras Jr., who suffered minor injuries. Also suffering minor injuries were the people on the bike that rear-ended Gil and Contreras, Antonio and Janice Martins of Plantation. All four were expected to survive their injuries, but none were wearing motorcycle helmets. The roads were already closed for the annual event, and the collision apparently did not stop the parade.
The Christmas Toys in the Sun Run is a yearly motorcycle parade that is also raises money and gifts for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Starting at Seminole Coconut Creek Casino, the riders end at Markham Park in Sunrise, where an outdoor fair is held. Financial and toy donations serve as admission. Interstate 95 is closed in one direction for the event. The riders were on that highway, just past the overpass for Racetrack Road in Pompano Beach, when traffic ahead slowed down. Contreras slowed for the traffic, but Antonio Martins apparently did not, and ran into the back of the bike containing Contreras and Gil. The resulting collision knocked both motorcycles over, and Gil suffered unspecified serious injuries. She was taken to North Broward Medical Center in Pompano Beach. An observer caught the accident on video from an overpass.
As a motorcyclist and a Margate motorcycle crash lawyer, most of the accidents I hear about are accidents involving motorcyclists and cars. This accident involves zero cars, but all of the same legal relationships and theories are involved. Just like drivers, motorcyclists have a legal duty to take reasonable care on the road, and that means paying enough attention to slow down when traffic ahead is slowing. Failing to do that can have tragic results, as the video shows. If Gil and Contreras are interested in pursuing a lawsuit, they will be able to recover compensation for their medical costs, pain and injuries. The biggest difference is that when a bike hits another bike, all of the parties are likely to be hurt — whereas a car’s occupants would likely be unharmed. In fact, as a rider, Martins should be very aware of the importance of paying attention.
Cohn, Smith & Cohn has a special focus on motorcycle accident clients because I am a motorcyclist myself. That gives me a special perspective on motorcycle crashes and their causes, in my work as a Boca Raton motorcycle accident attorney. When cars and motorcycles collide, the rider is almost always more badly hurt than the driver — even though statistics say the driver is at fault in the majority of cases. To make matters worse, insurance companies eager to avoid paying what they owe will sometimes exploit anti-motorcycle prejudice on juries to make specious arguments — for example, that the injuries were the rider’s own fault because he failed to wear a helmet. I vigorously fight this kind of intellectual dishonesty, always with the goal of making sure injured riders are fairly and fully compensated by the people who harmed them.
If you or someone you love was hit by a negligent motorist while riding, Cohn, Smith & Cohn can help. To set up a free consultation, send us a message through our website or call (954) 431-8100 today.