A fatality was reported in The Ledger following a motorcycle accident in Frostproof, Florida on US98. The report indicates that Michael Pisciotta was riding one of three motorcycles involved in the crash and passed away from injuries sustained.
The accident was reported to have occurred when a pack of 15 motorcycles headed eastbound encountered an animal that darted into the roadway. Some of the motorcycles were able to take evasive action, however, a 2006 Honda Accord driven by Caitlyn Yockey was headed in the opposite direction and lost control of her vehicle.
Injuries and Florida Law
The accident caused injuries to Angel Rios and Carlos Cains in addition to the death of Michael Pisciotta.
Considering that Ms. Yockey lost control of her vehicle, she may be held legally responsible for personal injuries, property damage, and wrongful death arising from this accident. As hard as it might be to accept, you might have no choice but to strike an animal that darts in front of your vehicle, even if that means the end of that animal’s life and damage to your vehicle.
In Florida, many vehicles are insured with a per person and per accident limit. This claim likely involves the payment of the per person policy limit to the estate Mr. Pisciotta and the remaining claimants are left to divide the remaining insurance coverage. How this is accomplished depends on the actual policy limits involved, whether there is UM coverage, and the number of actual injury claims involved. A probate may be required for the wrongful death claim.
Florida’s Helmet Law
Rios and Cains were reported to have been wearing motorcycle helmets. Pisciotta was reported to have not been wearing a helmet.
Florida law does not require adults to wear motorcycle helmets. However, the failure to wear a helmet can be considered comparative fault by a jury (much like failing to wear a seat belt in a car accident). In doing so, the jury must decide whether the failure to wear a helmet was a cause or contributing factor to the injury sustained. In a case such as this one, the plaintiff in a wrongful death action may be able to claim that the injuries were not survivable and, therefore, a helmet would not have changed the outcome.