Dual Fatal Accident on Bayshore Drive
A bicyclist was killed after he was hit by a motorcycle, who subsequently died as well — the two vehicles violently collided in a crosswalk along a scenic stretch of this iconic Tampa Bay roadway.
A local lawyer and father of four was riding his bike across Bayshore in a crosswalk, at the intersection of Bayshore and Rome Avenue. A group of three motorcyclists failed to stop and one of them hit the man at almost full speed. First responders rushed the victim to a nearby hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced dead. The motorcycle rider also died at the scene.
These two fatalities were the fourth and fifth deaths in this area since 2018. In light of these events, an advocacy group urged Tampa Mayor Jane Castor to declare Bayshore off-limits to motorized traffic for the duration of the coronavirus safer-at-home order. But she refused to do so, citing the fear of larger pedestrian crowds.
Other than pedestrians, bicyclists are perhaps the most vulnerable victims on Tampa roadways. It is illegal and hazardous for them to ride on sidewalks, because of the risk of a pedestrian knockdown. It’s also very hazardous for them to ride on streets, because of the risk of a vehicle collision.
Additionally, bicyclists are almost completely unprotected. Thin bicycle helmets, if worn at all, protect riders from fall injuries, but they are little help in a high-speed collision with a motorized vehicle.
Because of these risks and vulnerabilities, the number of serious bicyclist injuries has risen significantly in recent years. Some of these serious injuries include:
- Head Injuries: Frequently, violent motions cause more head injuries than sudden impacts. The brain does not fit snugly inside the skull. So, when bicyclists fall, their brains slam against the insides of their skulls.
- Biker’s Arm: The force of the impact normally throws riders off their bikes. When that happens, they naturally extend their arms to break their falls. When riders hit the ground in this position, they often sever brachial plexus nerves, causing partial paralysis.
- Exsanguination: Blood loss is often the official cause of death in these situations. First responders are understandably concerned with external trauma injuries. So, sometimes internal bleeding often continues unabated.
Damages in a bicycle injury claim should include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Common Issues in Intersection Collisions
When a motorcycle strikes a bicycle in a crosswalk, liability might seem relatively clear cut. But that’s not always the case, which is why an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney should always evaluate your case.
A legal doctrine known as last clear chance sometimes comes into play in these situations. In the above story, if the bicyclist saw the motorcycle approaching the intersection and did nothing to stop the collision, he might be legally responsible for the wreck. In the above tragedy that was obviously not the case as the bicyclist did nothing wrong.
The contributory negligence defense often plays a part in intersection collisions as well, particularly vehicle-on-vehicle wrecks. Frequently, a motorist makes a rolling right turn at a red light, or an unprotected left turn against traffic, and hits another car that had the green light. Arguably, both drivers were partially responsible for this crash.
In these instances, jurors must apportion fault between the two drivers on a percentage basis. Florida is a pure comparative fault state. So, even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the collision, the other driver is still responsible for a proportionate share of damages.
Contact Experienced, Compassionate Lawyers
Non-vehicle occupants, like bicyclists, are at risk for serious injury every day they are on the roadways. For a free consultation with an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer, contact The Matassini Law Firm. Home and hospital visits are available.