A Hummer driver who failed to stop and yield right of way to a motorcycle rider at a Florida (FL) intersection in 2006 has been ordered to pay the motorcyclist’s family $8.4 million for causing the biker’s death. According to a report in the December 11, 2010 Palm Beach Post, the man behind of the wheel of the SUV drove through a flashing red light and struck and killed the man on the motorcycle, who had a flashing yellow light.
That fatal traffic accident was similar to one that occurred last week in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). An 81-year-old woman proceeded into an intersection after coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, only to be crashed into by another vehicle. The woman survived the wreck but died from her injuries after several days.
About 900 fatalities occur each year in the United States because a driver runs a red light. A few of these deadly accidents may occur because drivers forget that all flashing traffic lights equal a stop sign, while a flashing red light means stop and yield to vehicles on your right and do not enter the intersection until the way is completely clear.
More likely, though, is that the at-fault driver was negligent — either failing to see or choosing to ignore the stop signal. Motorcyclists are at particular risk for suffering injuries or losing their lives in accidents at intersections because drivers in trucks, SUVs and vans can have trouble seeing approaching bikers. Also, a motorcycle offers no protection during a wreck.
When motorcycle riders get hurt or killed because other drivers ignore or flout traffic laws, they and their families deserve compensation. I’m glad that fellow personal attorney Sean Domnick ensured that justice was done in the Florida case.