Fatal Motorcycle Crash in Martin County
A Stuart man, who was 88 years old, died when a van rear-ended his motorcycle on the Kanner Highway.
Investigators state that the motorcycle rider was eastbound on Kanner Highway/State Road 76 when the wreck occurred. First responders rushed the motorcycle rider to a nearby hospital, where he was subsequently declared dead.
The victim was wearing a helmet when the wreck occurred.
Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Head injuries are usually the most common type of motorcycle crash wounds. That’s true even if the victim was wearing a helmet. Motorcycle crashes combine all three major head injury causes:
- Trauma: Helmets usually leave foreheads completely exposed to danger. The same is true for the face and neck regions. If victims experience trauma in these areas, the wounds usually bleed profusely.
- Motion: Generally, the force of the collision throws riders off their bikes. When they land, their brains slam against the insides of their skulls. The effect is like shaking an egg and scrambling it without breaking the shell.
- Noise: Most witnesses say that vehicle collisions sound like explosions. These sudden loud noises produce shock waves which disrupt brain functions.
Brain injuries are permanent. When brain cells die, they never regenerate. However, extensive physical therapy can help avoid serious symptoms like personality changes, dementia, and early death.
Internal bleeding is very common as well. The same forces that propel riders off their bikes cause these organs to bump and grind against each other. Because they have no protective skin layer, these organs usually bleed profusely. Internal hemorrhaging is difficult to detect and also difficult to stop.
Because of injuries like these, motorcycle-on-vehicle crashes are about twenty-five times more fatal than vehicle-on-vehicle collisions.
Legal Issues in Rear-End Wrecks
Lack of visibility causes many motorcycle crashes, especially rear-end wrecks. Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) simply do not keep a proper lookout for motorcycle riders. Motorcyclists sometimes do things to improve their visibility, such as wearing bright clothes. But there is little or no evidence that these tricks are effective.
Legally, the last clear chance doctrine often comes up in rear-end collision claims. If Driver A has a reasonable chance to avoid a crash, perhaps by changing lanes, Driver A is legally responsible for the wreck, even if Driver B was the rear-end motorist and received a ticket at the scene.
However, there is a big difference between the last clear chance and any possible chance. That’s especially true if Driver A was a motorcyclist. Bikes are not easy to maneuver in emergencies. Frequently, the rider might lose control and cause an even more serious wreck. That’s particularly accurate if environmental conditions were less than perfect.
Rear-end crashes may also involve the contributory negligence defense. This legal doctrine shifts blame for the accident from the tortfeasor to the victim. If fault was divided, perhaps one person was speeding and the other one made an illegal lane change, jurors must split responsibility on a percentage basis.
Florida is a pure comparative fault state. Even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the wreck, the tortfeasor is responsible for a proportionate share of damages.
Team Up with a Hard-Hitting Lawyer
Motorcycle crash victims may be entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Port St. Lucie personal injury lawyer, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. After-hours visits are available.