$8.4M Palm Beach County Motorcycle Accident Verdict Awarded In Florida Wrongful Death

A South Florida jury has awarded an $8.4 million Palm Beach County wrongful death verdict to the family of motorcyclist John Potts. The 51-year-old was killed in 2006 when he was involved in a traffic crash with a Hummer.

The Palm Beach motorcycle accident occurred when Potts, who was driving through a flashing yellow light on the Beeline Highway, was hit by driver James Harvey, who first slowed then accelerated through a flashing red light. Harvey was supposed to yield when the red light was flashing. Potts, who was not wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the South Florida accident site.

Evidence in the Palm Beach wrongful death case included testimony from two witnesses who say that Harvey’s Hummer “T-boned” Potts’ motorcycle. The South Florida motorcycle accident verdict awards $4 million to Potts’ widow Tracey and $2 million to each of his two daughters. $840,000 in estimated lost income was also awarded.

Palm Beach Motorcycle Accidents
In Florida, motorcyclists age 21 and over and with proof of insurance do not have to wear helmets. However, that doesn’t mean that the other party that caused a catastrophic motorcycle crash cannot be held liable for Florida personal injury or wrongful death.

While there are instances when a motorcyclist was at fault, there are many motorcycle accidents that occur because a party other than the rider was careless or reckless. Common causes of crashes involving a motorcyclist and a potentially liable vehicle driver:

• Failure to obey traffic signs or traffic laws
• Failure to see the motorcyclist when overtaking vehicles or changing lanes
• Driver distraction or inattention
• Drunk driving
• Speeding

Motorcycle accidents have also been known to occur because of defects to a bike or its tires or other parts. A Florida products liability lawsuit can be filed against a negligent motorcycle manufacturer.
Jury awards $8.5 million to family of biker hit by Hummer, Sun-Sentinel, December 9, 2010
Palm Beach Gardens woman, daughters win $8.4 million verdict, The Palm Beach Post, December 10, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Motorcycles, NHTSA
US Motorcycle and Bicycle Helmet Laws, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety