As a Pembroke Pines motorcycle accident lawyer, I was pleased to see a large jury award for the widow and children of a man killed in a crash with an at-fault driver. The Naples News reported Jan. 19 that a Collier County jury awarded $5.3 million in damages in the death of Andrew Corsini, 49, and injuries to his wife, Melissa Corsini. They were on separate motorcycles on May 17, 2009, when driver Carlos Riol, 77, swerved into oncoming traffic and hit Andrew Corsini’s motorcycle. The jury award included compensation for her injuries and his death; thousands in medical bills; and the loss of Andrew Corsini’s income as the deputy special agent in charge of ICE’s Miami office. Damages also went to the couple’s four children, ages 16 to 25, and one three-year-old grandson.
Right after the crash, Riol went to traffic court for a ticket for failure to maintain his lane. In that court, an FHP trooper testified be believed Riol had fallen asleep. A witness at the Corsinis’ trial testified at trial that Riol moved into oncoming traffic without braking, causing Corsini to swerve suddenly. Unfortunately, Corsini was not able to avoid hitting Riol’s Jeep, and he was thrown from his bike. The Jeep overturned on the shoulder of the road and Corsini’s motorcycle went into his wife’s motorcycle’s path. Andrew Corsini suffered severe internal injuries; Melissa Corsini suffered a concussion, broken bones and other injuries that limit her physical activity. The jury award includes compensation for those limits, pain and suffering and medical bills, as well as the loss of Andrew Corsini’s companionship, support, services and income.
As a Coral Springs motorcycle accident attorney, I’d like to note that the article briefly addresses the issue of whether Andrew Corsini was wearing a helmet. He was not, but Melissa Corsini was. However, that doesn’t mean a helmet would necessarily have saved his life. According to the article, the medical examiner for Collier County found that wearing a helmet wouldn’t have helped because Corsini’s internal organs were very badly damaged in the accident, including a rip to the aorta, a major blood vessel leading to the heart. In my experience, insurance companies for at-fault drivers like to argue that riders who aren’t at fault for the accident itself are to blame for their injuries because they chose to not wear a helmet. Sometimes, they make this argument even when the injuries weren’t head injuries. Nonetheless, choosing not to wear a helmet is legal in Florida, and juries can and often do see through these “blame the victim” arguments.
At Cohn, Smith & Cohn, we work hard to make sure that juries get the whole story in motorcycle accident cases. Our firm is especially well suited to do that because in addition to being an experienced attorney, I am also a motorcyclist. That means I understand the local roads, drivers and conditions as well as the law. I am also well versed in the tricks that some insurance companies use to get out of paying what they owe to our clients. Our Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyers work hard to present the full story to the jury, using physical evidence and police reports to show when another driver’s carelessness caused the crash. Our goal is to win clients all the compensation they need after a serious injury to pay their medical bills, make ends meet while they recover and be fully compensated for a serious personal loss.
If you’ve lost a loved one or suffered permanent disability in a motorcycle accident you didn’t cause, Cohn, Smith & Cohn can help. To learn more about us or set up a free, confidential case evaluation, call us today at (954) 431-8100 or send us a message online.