Port St. Lucie Crash Seriously Injures Motorcycle Rider
Emergency responders airlifted an injured rider, who was not wearing a helmet, to a local trauma center following a crash on Veterans Memorial Parkway.
Apparently, a southbound driver brushed against the southbound motorcyclist, causing the rider to lose control of his bike. However, no details were immediately available.
Motorcycle Crash Injuries in Port St. Lucie
Overall, motorcycle rider fatalities are about twenty-five times higher than vehicle occupant fatalities. Riders have almost no protection against oncoming cars. So, they often sustain serious and life-threatening injuries such as:
- Head Injuries: Motorcycle helmets often protect riders from trauma-related head injuries. But they offer no protection against motion-related injuries. The force of a collision usually throws the rider off the bike. When that happens, the brain repeatedly slams against the inside of the skull.
- Exsanguination: Blood loss is usually the official cause of death in fatal motorcycle accidents, especially in semi-rural areas. By the time emergency responders arrive, many victims have already lost up to a third of their blood, so they are already on the edge of hypovolemic shock.
- Biker’s Arm: This injury is usually not life-threatening, but it is very serious. When riders fall off their bikes, they naturally extend their arms to break their falls. As a result, they often injure the brachial plexus nerve bundle under the arm. This nerve damage is usually permanent.
Compensation for these injuries usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, as well as noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Generally, a Port St. Lucie personal injury attorney can obtain this compensation if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) violated the duty of reasonable care. That violation could be a lack of ordinary prudence, such as driving while fatigued, or the violation of a statute, such as driving while intoxicated. In some cases, negligence per se, which is the violation of a statute, is only a presumption of negligence in Florida.
The “Helmet Defense” in Florida
Florida, Georgia, and a few other jurisdictions allow insurance companies to present the seat belt defense. State laws reduce the victim’s damages if the victim was not wearing a seat belt. The same general principle applies with regard to motorcycle helmet use, but there are some limitations.
The Sunshine State does not have a universal helmet law. Most riders over 21 are exempt. Unless a mandatory helmet law applies, like the mandatory seat belt law, the motorcycle helmet defense may be unavailable.
Additionally, to prove the defense in court, insurance company lawyers must do more than cite safety statistics about helmet use and motorcycle injury. Generally, a doctor must testify that failure to use a helmet caused or contributed to the victim’s injuries and using a helmet would have either eliminated those injuries or reduced them by X percent.
So, if you were injured in a motorcycle crash and you were not wearing a helmet, full compensation may still be available.
Juror Prejudice Against Motorcycle Riders in St. Lucie County
One final note. Many jurors believe motorcycle riders are reckless thugs. Therefore, they hesitate to award fair compensation.
The motorcycle prejudice is real, but it is not nearly as bad today as it was in the 1970s. So, an experienced Port St. Lucie personal injury attorney can usually overcome it, mostly by calling character witnesses.
Contact an Aggressive Lawyer
Even if they were not wearing a helmet, motorcycle crash victims may be entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Port St. Lucie car accident attorney, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. Home and hospital visits are available.