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Motorcycle Accidents

Tragic Florida Wrongful Death Crash Highlights Difficulty In Computing Future Wage Loss

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014 in Motorcycle Accidents, Types of Accidents, Uncategorized, Wrongful Death Claims

Tragic Florida Wrongful Death Crash Highlights Difficulty In Computing Future Wage Loss

I was so saddened to read in the Orlando Sentinel about a devastating head-on crash that occurred on Interstate 275 in Tampa last weekend. Apparently the driver of a white Ford SUV was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed in the wrong direction on I-275 near the Busch Boulevard exit, which is in the vicinity of the University of South Florida.  Traveling in the correct direction on the highway was a 2010 Hyundai which contained four students from USF, including the driver, Freedom High School graduate and Orlando native, Jobin Kuriakose. The students were all members of the Sigma Beta Rho fraternity at USF, where Mr. Kuriakose was apparently referred to as “Brother Ambition.” My first thought after reading about this crash is, obviously, how tragic this is.  I am the parent of a high school senior who is about to go away to college, and the thought of losing him at such a young age, before his life has really begun, is horrifying. Professionally, as an Orlando accident attorney, a case like this one reminds me how difficult the issue of future wage loss often is in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. For example, under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, Mr. Kuriakose’s surviving family members would be entitled to recover the lost net accumulations and/or loss of support and services that Mr. Kuriakose would have likely generated in the future. The difficulty arises in trying to determine this loss when someone Mr. Kuriakose’s age perishes in an accident. After all, he is a college student, and likely has little earnings history. Therefore, expert testimony is often required to analyze and attempt to predict what the decedent would have earned if not prematurely killed. Insurance companies often hire expert to say that this is merely speculative.  Oftentimes, this issue is left for a jury to decide, which is inherently unpredictable. Plainly, this issue is very difficult for families. If you should have any questions regarding a Florida Wrongful Death case, or the issue of future lost wages as they pertain to a personal injury or wrongful death case, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901. Consultations are always...

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Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeals Lead To Higher Medical Costs Overall

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeals Lead To Higher Medical Costs Overall

Over the past several years, state legislatures all over the United States have set out to repeal motorcycle helmet laws in the name of “freedom of choice.”  However, the “freedom of choice” enjoyed by motorcyclists in Florida may be costing all Floridians more money when those bikers are involved in Florida motorcycle accidents. The Insurance Journal website ran in interesting piece that reviewed a study recently conducted in Michigan on the impact of that state’s recent repeal of mandatory helmet laws.  Under Michigan law as it exists today, only riders under 21 years of age much wear a helmet.  According to a study completed by the Highway Loss Data Institute, the average medical claim associated with a Michigan motorcycle accident has risen approximately 22 percent since the helmet law was killed. The chief research officer of the study attributes one aspect of the increase to an increase in brain injuries reported in motorcyclists who have been involved in crashes without helmets.  According to the piece, there is also research showing an increase in fatalities or motorcycle accident deaths in those states who do not require helmets for all bikers.  Of course, many of the folks injured in these accident have no insurance, so much of their medical care is paid by the rest of us in terms of Medicaid, or simply higher medical bills overall. Motorcycle industry spokesmen are quoted in the story as attributing the increase medical expenses to life becoming more expensive, and a decrease in the number of motorcyclists taking safety courses. What do you think?  As a Florida motorcycle accident attorney, it seems to me that we see more motorcyclists with significant head injuries than we used to.  However, in truth most of the motorcyclists we have seen in our office after accidents have usually been horribly injured by any measure, whether in a helmet or not, and are lucky to be alive. Judging by the tenor of today’s Florida Legislature, I would be surprised if helmets are ever again required in my lifetime, although perhaps the increased carnage on the roadways from motorcycle accidents will change someone’s mind someday.  Until then, it looks like we should all be prepared to open our wallets and dig a little bit deeper. If you have any questions following an Orlando motorcycle accident, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901.  ...

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Motorcycle UM Coverage Just As Important (Or More) Than Automobile UM

Posted by on Mar 12, 2013 in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle UM Coverage Just As Important (Or More) Than Automobile UM

It almost goes without saying that when we get involved in Florida motorcycle accident cases, the injuries to the rider are almost always life-changing.  More often than we would like, the injuries are life-ending. This is why I was particularly struck by a story that I saw on WESH.com involving a hit-and-run motorcycle crash on Interstate 4 in Lake Mary.  Apparently, Keenan Huff, of Brightwood, Virginia, was riding his motorcycle westbound toward Daytona Beach when he was hit by a Saturn automobile, causing him to be ejected and tragically killed. According to the report, the Saturn stopped momentarily, then fled the scene.  The vehicle was later found by law enforcement abandoned.  The owner is apparently from Seffner, Florida, but authorities do not know for sure who was driving at the time of the accident. Based upon my experience handling hundreds of Florida car accident cases where negligent drivers have fled the scene, I am going to predict that there will be no insurance available for the driver or owner Saturn (whoever they are).  If my prediction is accurate, this means that Mr. Huff’s family’s only hope of receiving any kind of damages for the loss of his life will be through Uninsured Motorist insurance coverage. I am very hopeful that Mr. Huff elected to carry motorcycle Uninsured Motorist coverage on his bike.  If he owned cars as well, it would be interesting to determine whether Virginia automobile insurance policies extend Uninsured Motorist coverage to motorcycles.  Either way, the Huff family would likely benefit from speaking with experienced personal injury attorneys in Florida and/or Virginia. If you have any questions following a Florida car accident involving an uninsured motorist, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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