Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Last week, our West Palm Beach personal injury law firm reported that the National Transportation Safety Board is calling for all states to ban texting and cell phone calls while driving. We also wrote about the upcoming debate among Florida lawmakers regarding whether or not to ban texting in the state.

This week, we’d like to blog about a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey on the distracted driving habits of Americans. Over 6,000 drivers participated. Per the results:

• At any moment, nearly one out of every 100 drivers is e-mailing, texting, surfing the Internet, or doing something else with a hand-held device while operating a motor vehicle.
• Most of those surveyed admitted to answering phone calls while driving.
• Close to two out of every 10 drivers surveyed admitted to e-mailing or texting. Drivers in the 21-24 age group were most likely to text while driving.
• Over 50% of drivers don’t believe that making a call affects their driving performance.
• About 25% said they don’t think that e-mailing or texting impacts their driving.
• 90% of drivers don’t like it if the person driving the car they are riding in is e-mailing or texting • More drivers said they read texts over sending them.
• Two times as many drivers admitted to answering calls over making them while operating a motor vehicle.

As evidenced by the survey results, most drivers think that they can text or talk on the phone safely while driving. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Cell phone conversations and texting takes a motorist’s attention away from the task at hand, which means he/she is not 100% focused on the task at hand. This can make it hard to avoid causing or becoming involved in a South Florida traffic crash. Remember that it takes just a few seconds for a catastrophic Miami motor vehicle accident to happen-those same seconds that a driver’s eyes are off the road in order to read an e-mail or dial the phone.

Over the last couple of years, Federal, state, and local safety officials have made a concerted effort to educate people about the dangers. Yet even when there are laws limiting cell phone use or banning texting, some people can’t seem to stop themselves, which places everyone in danger.

Drivers can no longer say that they didn’t know that distracted driving can kill people. As the victim of a distracted driving accident, you may be able to pursue Palm Beach traffic crash damages from the negligent motorist.

More drivers texting but few think it’s dangerous, survey says, The Denver Post/AP, December 9, 2011
NTSB pushes for nationwide ban on cellphone use for drivers, The Washington Post, December 14, 2011
National Distracted Driving Telephone Survey Finds Most Drivers Answer the Call, Hold the Phone, and Continue to Drive, NHTSA (PFD)


More Blog Posts:

As NTSB Recommends Full Cell Phone While Driving Ban, Florida Again Considers Whether to Make Texting Illegal, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 13, 2011
Coconut Creek Woman Killed in Broward County, Florida Car Crash Involving Lighthouse Point Police Vehicle, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2011
West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Leaves Police Officer with Serious Injuries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, November 26, 2011 Continue reading

In the upcoming legislative session due to start next month, Florida legislators will once again consider whether texting should be banned in the state. Right now, Florida is one of 15 US states that haven’t made texting while driving illegal. Florida is also among the few states without any type of restriction on cell phone use while driving. Our Miami personal injury law firm is familiar with the types of catastrophic South Florida car crashes that can occur because someone was distracted driving.

This time around, however, lawmakers who favor a statewide texting ban may be coming into the debate with the extra support they need following today’s recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board that use of cell phone and text messaging devices while driving be made illegal throughout the US-unless, of course, there is an emergency situation. Although the NTSB cannot impose state laws, its recommendations are taken seriously by lawmakers.

The federal safety board called is calling for the ban because it says distracted drivers are threatening public safety. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey, distracted driving was a factor in at least 3,092 US traffic crashes last year and at any moment during daylight hours, close to 1 out of 100 drivers is using handheld phones. NTSB member Robert Sumwalt even went so far as to call distracted driving the “new DUI.”

When explaining the need for a nationwide ban, the NTSB cited the tragic multi-vehicle Missouri traffic pileup in August 2010 involving a tractor-trailer, a pickup truck, and two buses. More than 30 people were injured and two people killed, including the 19-year-old driver of the pickup, who, within 11 minutes, sent or received 11 text messages. The other victim that died was a 15-year-old that was riding the school bus.

Texting, emailing, and talking on the cell phone are dangerous activities when done while driving. You want to work with a Palm Beach car crash law firm that knows how to prove that the other party’s negligence caused your injuries or a loved one’s death. Just because these driving habits are still legal in Florida does not mean you cannot recover damages.

Cellphone ban while driving? The tragedies behind the issue, Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2011
NTSB recommends full ban on use of cell phones while driving, CNN, December 13, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Coconut Creek Woman Killed in Broward County, Florida Car Crash Involving Lighthouse Point Police Vehicle, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2011
West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Leaves Police Officer with Serious Injuries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, November 26, 2011
Miami-Dade Car Accident Lawsuit Filed in Florida Wrongful Death Case Against Coral Gables Teenager, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 7, 2011 Continue reading

Keith Gorski, a West Palm Beach police officer, is expected to survive the serious injuries he sustained in a Palm Beach County motorcycle crash on Wednesday. Gorski suffered multiple injuries, including several broken bones, when a car struck his bike.

According to police, Gorski was trying to stop a speeding car when he was hit by another vehicle. Rescuers had to perform CPR d on him before he was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center.

If you were injured in a West Palm Beach motor vehicle crash while doing your job, you likely cannot obtain Palm Beach County personal injury damages from your employer. However, if there were other parties or persons whose negligence caused your South Florida traffic crash, you may be entitled to damages from them.

According to the state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there has been a 4.6% drop in the number of Florida traffic deaths. Compared to 2009, when there were Florida 2,565 motor vehicle fatalities, there were 2,444 Florida traffic deaths reported in 2010. That’s a nearly 31% drop since 2005. County wise, the number of traffic fatalities also went down in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties last year.

2010 figures also show, however, that the number of Florida pedestrian deaths have gone up by 3.5%. There were 482 pedestrian fatalities in 2009 and 499 Florida pedestrian deaths in 2010.

Other 2010 Florida Traffic Facts:

A widow whose husband died in a Palm City motorcycle accident last year is suing Port St. Lucie Police Sergeant John K. Holman for his Martin County, Florida wrongful death. John Garcia died when his motorcycle and the 2002 Jeep Wrangler by Holman collided at the intersection of Mapp Road and Catalina Street early on June 16, 2010. Holman was off-duty at the time.

Florida Highway Patrol cited Holman with failure to yield, but the citation was thrown out when the FHP officer who investigated the crash did not show up at the hearing. Now, however, Alice Garcia and her son Derek Garcia, have filed a Palm City, Florida wrongful death lawsuit against Holman seeking over $1 million. Their personal injury attorney also wants to know why a Florida traffic crash that ended in a vehicular homicide only resulted in a failure to yield citation.

Florida Traffic Crash Deaths

A jury has awarded the family of Brian R. Heikkila $2.8 million for his Florida motorcycle death. Heikkila, a Palm Coast resident, died on May 30, 2007 in a Daytona Beach traffic crash.

Per the family’s Florida wrongful death complaint, driver Michael T. Hemphill, who was in a Ford Mustang, failed to yield the right of way and struck Heikkila’s motorcycle. The plaintiffs accused Hemphill of negligence and sought damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering.

The Florida jury awarded the family $798,000 in economic damages and funeral costs. They also awarded $1 million to Heikkila’s 5-year-old daughter Ryleigh and $500,000 to each of his parents. The verdict for Heikkila’s daughter is double of what the plaintiffs requested.

South Florida Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists are at greater risk of dying in a traffic crash than are motor vehicle occupants. As a matter of fact, the federal government said in 2007 that there are 37 times more motorcycle rider deaths than there are car accident fatalities. Miami motorcycle accident injuries can include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, burn injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, severed limbs, and other serious injuries.

In sunny Florida, where so many riders take to the roads on their motorcyclists year round, it is important that both they and motor vehicle drivers exercise caution around each other so as to avoid becoming involved in a Palm Beach motorcycle crash.

Jury awards $2.8 million to biker’s family, The Daytona Beach News Journal, March 30, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Motorcycles, Institutional Institute for Highway Safety
Motorcycle Safety Foundation, US Department of Transportation

More Blog Posts:
$5.3M Naples Wrongful Death Verdict Awarded to Family of Motorcyclist, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, January 21, 2011
Motorcyclist Dies in Hiahleah Gardens Car Accident, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, January 14, 2011
$8.4M Palm Beach County Motorcycle Accident Verdict Awarded In Florida Wrongful Death, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 14, 2010 Continue reading

It is no longer a secret that texting and surfing the Internet while driving can be dangerous. Yet people continue to get hurt and die because someone was looking at the phone, checking email, sending texts, or surfing the Web rather than paying attention to the road. As our Palm Beach personal injury law firm has mentioned in the past, the US Department of Transportation reported 5,474 distracted driving crashes in 2009 alone. Not only that, but 11 teens a year are killed because of texting while driving. Also, the National Safety Council reports that 28% of traffic crashes that occur involved drivers talking on the phone or texting.

At Palm Beach Atlantic University yesterday, participants were given the opportunity to experience virtually how catastrophic texting while driving can become when they tried texting while on a virtual course. The simulated program, run by PEER Awareness road manager Robert Tower, travels to different schools to help educate teenagers about the dangers of texting combined with driving. The program also includes news footage of interviews with families who lost loved ones in distracted driving accidents involving drivers who were text messaging.

Hopefully, education and awareness will discourage teens and adults from texting or doing anything that keeps them from watching the road. Recently, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against a woman accused of updating her Facebook while driving. The pedestrian who died was a 70-year-old man. Also, another man accidentally drove his car through a bridge guardrail and into a river because he was texting.

Unlike in a number of US states, in Florida there is still no ban on texting while driving even though 17 bills have been introduced pushing for this. That said, this does not mean that texting while driving is not negligent driving when injury or death occurs as a result.

Program exposes the dangers of texting and driving, Sun-Sentinel, February 21, 2011
Ban on Texting while Driving Urged for Florida, First Coast News, February 9, 2011
Representative says texting while driving ban could fail in FL, WZVN, February 21, 2011
Suit: Woman in fatal crash was updating Facebook, Chicago Tribune, February 15, 2011
Man who was texting behind wheel drives off Danvers bridge and into river, police say, Boston.com, February 22, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Distracted Driving, National Safety Council
Distraction.gov, US Department of Transportation
Distracted Driving, Peer Awareness Continue reading

A jury has awarded the family of Andrew C. Corsini, Jr. $5.3 million for his Naples wrongful death. The 49-year-old Islamorada man died on May 17, 2009 after he was struck head-on by another vehicle in a Collier County motorcycle accident. The 1996 Jeep that hit Andrew, a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, had driven into oncoming traffic on US 41.

The impact of the Naples motorcycle accident pushed Andrew motorbike into his wife’s motorcycle. Melissa Dawn Corsini sustained serious injuries, including torn ligaments, broken bones, a concussion, and other injuries. Meantime, according to the family’s wrongful death lawyer, Andrew’s organs were “pulpified” and “his aorta was ripped out from his heart” during the crash.

Also injured in the Naples car accident were the Jeep’s driver, 77-year-old driver Carlos Riol, who sustained minor injuries, and his 73-year-old passenger, Maria Gomez, who suffered serious injuries. Riol received a ticket for failing to maintain a single lane. A police trooper told a county judge that the elderly motorist might have fallen asleep while driving. Riol’s license was suspended for a year and he was fined $20,000.

A motorcyclist is dead and two others were seriously injured in a Miami-Dade County car accident involving a Chevrolet Tahoe SUV, a motorcycle, and a Honda Civic on the Palmetto Expressway. The Hialeah Gardens multi-vehicle accident took place at around 1am this morning.

The Florida Highway Patrol says that motorcyclist Adrian Cespedes Kelly died after he was ejected from his bike that had just rear-ended the SUV. At the time, the Tahoe was stopped in the middle of the road because its driver was helping the Civic’s driver, who was just involved in another collision. The motorcycle also struck the Civic. Both the SUV’s driver, Juancarlos Alvarez, and the Civic’s driver, Edward Crouch, were admitted to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

In other recent South Florida car accident news, another motorcyclist, 56-year-old Confessor Ramirez, died in a West Palm Beach motorcycle crash on Wednesday afternoon. Ramirez was thrown from his Harley and into a 1999 Chevrolet Blazer that struck his bike while making a left turn. Ramirez was later pronounced dead at Delray Medical Center.

Also, the 12 students who were injured in Tuesday’s Palm Beach school bus accident are expected to make a full recovery. The Miami Herald reported 16 injuries from when a car crashed into a turning bus. The student with the most serious injuries, a boy, sustained facial lacerations and injured his leg. Our Palm Beach personal injury law firm reported on this news earlier this week in another blog post.

Florida Traffic Accidents
Getting hurt or losing someone you love in a Palm Beach motor vehicle crash can be catastrophic and life-changing. The financial costs that result may be far greater than what your insurance can cover. Medical bills, recovery expenses, funeral costs, lost income, lost benefits, and lost future wages can take a financial toll unless you can hold the responsible parties liable for causing your Miami-Dade car accident.

Motorcyclist killed on Palmetto, Miami Herald, January 14, 2011
Motorcyclist dies in crash near West Palm Beach, Orlando Sentinel, January 13, 2011
Palm Beach Central students hurt in crash expected to make full recovery, Palm Beach Post, January 12, 2011
Recent Palm Beach County Car Crashes Pedestrian Accidents, and Bicycle Collision Cause Deaths and Injuries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, January 12, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Florida DMV

What to do after a car accident, MSN Continue reading

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.