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Deadly Motorcycle Crash in Land O’ Lakes


21-year-old Marc McCorkle, of Land O’Lakes, was pronounced dead at the scene of a motorcycle-on-vehicle wreck.

The wreck occurred near the intersection of State Highway 54 and Foggy Ridge Parkway. According to Florida Highway Patrol troopers, McCorkle was westbound on S.H. 54 when 48-year-old Randall West tried to turn left from the westbound side. West apparently did not see McCorkle. The motorcycle slammed into the passenger side of West’s SUV.

West was not injured in the collision.

Left Turn Motorcycle Wrecks in Hillsborough County

These collisions account for about a third of the motorcycle wrecks in Florida. After many left-turn crashes, tortfeasors (negligent drivers) say something like “You came out of nowhere” or “I never saw you.” Generally, the tortfeasor did not see the victim because the tortfeasor was not maintaining a proper lookout.

Many motorists drive large vehicles, like pickup trucks and SUVs. It is very difficult for motorists to see around these vehicles, especially at a busy intersection. But that is no excuse for negligence.

Left-turn crash injuries are usually quite serious, mostly because of the tortfeasor’s speed. When most motorists make left turns against traffic, they suddenly accelerate to take advantage of a perceived traffic gap. So, when the tortfeasor hits the motorcycle, the impact is extremely violent. Some common injuries include:

  • Head Wounds: Even if the victim was wearing a helmet, head injuries are quite common, The sudden, violent motion causes the brain to slam against the insides of the skull. Head injuries like these are always permanent. Surgery and therapy may address the symptoms, but is impossible to reverse the damage.
  • Broken Bones: Since the tortfeasor accelerates suddenly, the impact usually knocks the rider off the bike. When riders land, their bones may be shattered instead of simply broken. Wounds like these usually require advanced surgical techniques, like metal pins, followed by months of physical therapy.
  • Exsanguination: Blood loss is often the official cause of death in these cases. Between external and internal trauma injuries, many victims are on the edge of hypovolemic shock before they reach the hospital.

Damages in a motorcycle crash claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Your Claim for Damages

In Florida, an illegal turn creates a presumption of negligence. That’s what the victim/plaintiff must prove to obtain the aforementioned damages.

Additional evidence in these cases often comes from the tortfeasor’s Event Data Recorder. The EDR measures things like engine RPM and vehicle speed. So, an attorney has bulletproof evidence on these points. Conclusive evidence of sudden acceleration is usually sufficient to prove negligence.

In civil court, victim/plaintiffs must establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). If the scales of justice tip slightly in the right direction, the tortfeasor is legally responsible for damages.

Connect with Tenacious Lawyers

Left turn crashes often involve complex factual and legal issues. For a free consultation with an experienced Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer, contact The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. You have a limited amount of time to act.

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