Another day on South Florida roadways results in the death of yet another Motorcyclist On September 25, Edward Crowell II, a celebrated Miami artist, passed away in a motorcycle accident, when a car failed to stop at an intersection. His death was a huge shock to the Miami art scene, as well as his family. Unfortunately, in Miami, similar stories are told with depressing regularity. Motorcycle accidents can lead to devastating injuries and financial ruin. Motorcyclists are killed each year in disproportionate numbers when compared with than other motorists. It is important to know your rights and how to avoid becoming a statistic.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
While the most recent data show the number of motorcycle fatalities in Florida has decreased over time, those statistics are misleading. Ride Smart Florida shows that between 2008-2011, fatalities dropped about 3%, though this trend is not continuing. Approximately 17% of all road fatalities are motorcyclists, which is out of proportion when compared to the total numbers on the road.
If one examines the data, one can also see that while the actual number of crashes dropped sharply during that same time period, the number of injuries did not. One of the obvious reasons for this is that motorcyclists ,like Mr. Crowell , are not as well protected as occupants of cars. Thus, their head and bodies are exposed and more susceptible to injuries. A tap that may cause bruises in a car may send a motorcyclist flying.
Florida currently has a helmet law enacted for those over age 20. People who are 21 and older and hold a minimum medical insurance policy of $10,000 may bypass the helmet law, and many do, often to their detriment.
Beware Of Juror Bias
If you are injured in an accident and bring your case to trial, you should be aware of an unfortunate reality: many jurors buy into myths about motorcyclists and may be less inclined to award you an acceptable verdict. They may think all motorcyclists speed and take chances, and thus are not entitled to a big award, because they brought the injury on themselves.
In Florida, the general rule on cases involving juror bias is that “matters that inhere in the verdict are not grounds for setting aside the verdict.” In other words, if a juror’s bias is not the thing that creates fundamental change in the verdict, it is immaterial. For example, if a juror expressed a distaste for African-Americans, but the rest of the jury votes to award the African-American plaintiff their requested compensation, the biased juror has not affected the verdict. If the biased juror was able to convince the rest of the jury to find in favor of the defendant, then the plaintiff would likely have grounds for appeal.
A Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you have been in an accident, it is in your best interests to consult with an attorney who can help you secure due compensation. Contact our offices today for a free consultation. We have a history of success in these cases, and will do our best for you.