A serious accident involving a motorcycle was reported in The Ledger on September 27, 2019 that closed the southbound lanes of S. Florida Ave. in Lakeland, Florida. The Ledger indicates that the accident took the life of Jarrod Naberhouse and also indicates that a Toyota Highlander driven by Kristina Giordano executed a left hand turn in front of Naberhouse’s motorcycle from a center turn lane.
Wrongful Death Claims in Florida
Considering that both northbound and southbound lanes of Florida Avenue had green lights, Florida law would have required any vehicle making a left hand turn to yield to oncoming traffic before executing the turn. Section 316.122, Fla. Stat. states:
Vehicle turning left.—The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction, or vehicles lawfully passing on the left of the turning vehicle, which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
This legal liability creates the basis for a wrongful death claim under Florida law. Wrongful death claims may be collected against the driver who caused the accident, the owner of the vehicle that caused the accident, and any uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage that applies under Florida law.
Advice Regarding Florida Motorcycle Accident Cases
It is important to remember some things about Florida law that can be applied to a lot of accidents.
- First, the police report itself is not evidence in the case. This means that you are free to disagree with the police investigation and their version of the events leading up to the crash. The same goes for traffic citations as they are not allowed into evidence.
- Second, statements made by the drivers involved in an accident are privileged and are not admissible in court. This means that even if you made an admission to the police, that admission does not come into evidence at trial and the police report cannot be used to impeach you during testimony despite some limitations.
- Third, many accidents in Florida involve some degree of comparative fault. This means that there is a percentage of responsibility attributed to both drivers. Each driver is able to collect according to the percentage of fault assigned. You do not have be 100 percent free of responsibility to collect in a lawsuit.