A young motorcyclist was unable to avoid a collision with an oncoming car in an Orlando neighborhood.

The wreck occurred near the intersection of Dean Road and Jay Blanchard Trail. Twenty-six-year-old Juan Calvo, of Orlando, was traveling northbound on Dean Road when a Nissan automobile – driven by a 24-year-old woman whose name was not released – pulled away from a stop sign to make a left turn. Mr. Calvo steered to avoid the Nissan, but he was thrown off the bike and into the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Charges are pending against the driver, who was not injured.

Motorcycle Crashes

Wrecks like the one described above, in which the motorist drives straight into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, are called SMIDSY crashes (“sorry, mate, I didn’t see you”) in many Commonwealth countries, like the U.K. and Australia. Another common acronym, TBFTL for “turned but failed to look,” does not have the same élan and does not capture the somewhat cavalier attitude that some drivers have in the wake of these crashes, even if the rider was seriously injured.

Here in the United States, motorcycle crash-related police reports often contain a statement from the driver like “I never even saw him/her” or “He/she came out of nowhere.” These low-visibility crashes are very common in high traffic areas, especially where there are a large number of trucks, SUVs, and other large vehicles on the road. To improve your visibility on your next ride, try some of the following tips:

  • Honk your horn every mile or so,
  • Weave slightly inside your lane,
  • Linger a few moments behind a driver before passing, and
  • Affix reflective tape to your bike or helmet.

Most of these suggestions are completely unscientific and may help very little, but they certainly cannot hurt.

Serious Injury in Florida

Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that most victims may pursue claims against their own insurance companies for economic losses sustained in a car crash. In most cases, the company cannot increase premiums based on such claims.

In many cases, however, victims are entitled to noneconomic damages, for items like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium (companionship), and loss of enjoyment in life. Chapter 627.737 of the Insurance Code defines a serious injury as:

  • Significant and Permanent Loss of an Important Bodily Function: Brain injuries arguably fall into this category, as does the loss of an organ due to massive bleeding.
  • Permanent Injury: A partially paralyzed hand, permanent limp, and partial loss of eyesight are all permanent injuries.
  • Scarring or Disfigurement: The scars or other wounds must be “significant and permanent” to legally qualify as serious injuries.
  • Death: Sometimes victims die almost instantly, while other times they may live for months, years, or even decades after the crash.

Punitive damages, in addition to noneconomic damages, may be available in these cases.

Reach Out to Experienced Attorneys

Motorcycle riders are greatly at risk for injury or death. For a free consultation with an aggressive personal injury lawyer in Orlando, contact Reed & Reed. We do not charge upfront legal fees in motorcycle crash cases.

From our office in Brandon, Reed & Reed helps clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida.