Fatal Motorcycle Crash In Port St. Lucie
Fault seems clear in a recent Treasure Coast wrong-way motorcycle wreck. But appearances like this can be deceiving.
This wreck occurred in the 3500 block of Southeast South Bend Boulevard. According to witnesses and the Florida Highway Patrol, an 18-year-old motorcycle rider was northbound on South Bend. When he tried to pass a slower-moving vehicle, he collided with a southbound vehicle head-on. The rider died at the scene.
He was wearing a helmet at the time, according to investigators.
Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Car crashes seriously injure millions of Americans each more. Yet hundreds of millions complete their trips safely even when they are in minor wrecks. Today’s cars are much more crash worthy than the ones which rolled off assembly lines forty years ago.
But motorcycle safety has basically not advanced at all. The bikes that people ride around Port St. Lucie today are almost exactly like the ones that dotted the roadways in the 1970s. Then as now, motorcycle riders have essentially no protection in crashes. So, there is usually no such thing as a “minor” motorcycle collision. These wrecks almost always involve serious injuries like:
- Road Burns: Most impacts throw most victims off their bikes. When they land, they often suffer serious abrasions to their legs and thighs. Nothing but time heals these wounds. While this process takes place, the painful road burns severely limit mobility.
- Head Injuries: Even if the victim wears a helmet, head injuries are still very common in motorcycle crash cases. Most helmets do not protect the neck. Additionally, the motion by itself is enough to cause a head injury. It’s possible to scramble the brain without breaking the skull, just like it’s possible to scramble an egg without breaking the shell.
- Internal Injuries: These same forces wreak havoc on internal organs. Since they have no skin for protecting, any bump or grind usually causes massive blood loss. Sometimes, this bleeding continues unchecked for quite a long time.
Because of the serious and long-term nature of these and other injuries, motorcycle crash victims may be entitled to significant compensation. This compensation generally includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Legal Issues in Head-On Wrecks
In cases like the above story, first responders nearly always fault the wrong way driver. But that may not be the case in a St. Lucie County courtroom.
The last clear chance doctrine often flips liability in these cases. If one driver had a chance to avoid the collision, perhaps by swerving to the right, but did not do so, that driver is legally responsible for the crash. The last clear chance defense is especially prevalent in motorcycle-on-vehicle collisions. It’s rather easy for a vehicle operator to veer slightly and avoid an oncoming motorcycle.
At the very least, the contributory negligence doctrine may apply here. So, even if the motorcycle rider was mostly at fault, his family may still be entitled to damages in a negligence claim against the other driver.
Connect with Aggressive Lawyers
Motorcycle crashes cause serious injuries and involve complex questions. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. We routinely handle matters all along the Treasure Coast.