SUV Turns in Front of Motorcyclist Causing Wrongful Death

Motorcycle Accidents

James Redner-Gilmartin died as a result of a motorcycle accident near the intersection of 66th Street and 30th Avenue North in St. Petersburg, Florida on December 5, 2016.  The accident happened when an SUV driven by Patricia Stevenson failed to see Redner’s motorcycle and executed a left hand turn into him at approximately 11:30 p.m.  The motorcycle struck the front of the Jeep.  Redner was 19 years old and was not wearing a helmet.

Turning in Front of Another Driver is Negligence

It is unfortunate that Ms. Stephenson did not see Redner’s motorcycle.  The only possible explanation for this is negligence in failing to pay attention or distracted driving.  There is no indication reported that Redner’s motorcycle headlight was not working.  Therefore, Redner’s death should be considered a wrongful death under Florida law and is actionable by any survivors that he has.  Unless he has a child, his survivors are most likely his parents under Florida’s wrongful death statute.  Under section 768.21(4), Fla. Stat.,  “each parent of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.”

Failure to Comply With Helmet Law is Not a Defense in This Case

Redner should have been wearing a motorcycle helmet under Florida.  Section 316.211(3)(b), Fla. Stat. requires that a person under 21 years of age to wear protective headgear.  After reaching age 21, a motorcyclist can choose not to wear a helmet if they carry at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries that occur as a result of riding the motorcycle.  However, the argument exists that Redner would have likely died of trauma regardless of his lack of helmet use.  At best, in a case such as this one, the failure to wear a helmet would be an issue of comparative fault for a jury to determine.  Again, my read on the likely outcome is that it would not have mattered unless the actual cause of death was head trauma without a significant spinal cord injury.  My motorcycle accident page addresses this issue in more detail.

Contact a Central Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Legal Help Today

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in the Central Florida area, please contact a Central Florida motorcycle accident attorney for a free case evaluation.  We can examine the benefits available, including sources that may not be obvious, and help establish a probate in order to formally accept a settlement from the insurance company.  Insurance companies do not always come forward with the benefits that they are contractually obligated to pay.  Let us help you with your case.