I have been practicing personal injury law continuously since 2003 and have handled cases involving very minor injury and ranging to catastrophic, life-altering injury. I have great empathy for my clients, and try to approach every client with a fresh look at each injury.
Having said that, the few times that I have witnessed an auto collision, I am vividly reminded at how devastating they all are. The simple trauma of being in a vehicle collision is bad enough even without injury, due to the surprise of the impact and the damage to ones’ personal property. If there is an injury, the scene is confusing and can be grisly, depending on the severity.
Last Tuesday night, I was driving my wife and son back from dinner. As we approached Monaco heading west on Alameda, there was a snarl in traffic. As we slowly moved up, we saw a man lying in the middle of the intersection near his downed motorcycle. He wasn’t wearing a helmet. He was unconscious. An ambulance was arriving to the scene as we were.
This sent a shudder through me. I immediately felt terrible for the man, but I also felt terrible for the elderly woman who appeared to have collided with him. Now, I don’t know if the man was injured. I also have no idea who actually caused the accident. The elderly woman that I saw may have simply been a witness.
But I do know that a motorcycle vs. car collision generally results in serious injuries to the motorcyclist. I don’t personally ride a motorcycle. Once you do this type of work and learn how fragile the body truly is, you develop a healthy fear/respect for the damage a car can do.
If you do ride, wear a helmet. I can’t emphasize that enough. As more information comes out regarding concussions (from the NFL earlier this year, for example) and other head trauma, it is obvious that striking your head even relatively lightly on the pavement can cause a brain injury that may lead to cognitive impairment or other disability. What my high school football coach used to call “getting your bell rung” actually can cause lasting damage that may or may not be immediately noticeable, but can be profound.
Don’t take the risk. If you have to ride, put a helmet on.
If you are in a motorcycle collision, give us a call. We have experience with serious head trauma, as I’ve mentioned. More importantly, we have experience in identifying symptoms of head injury that other attorneys may not appreciate, such as a phenomenon called “visual midline shift“. We have the medical knowledge to recognize the possibility that you may have some symptoms of head injury that many other attorneys may never recognize.
Give myself, John or Joe a call to talk more about it. Head injuries are complex, and we’d be happy to spend some time with you if you’ve been injured in this way.
And be careful!