Category Archives: Motorcycle Injury

What Happens If I Leave The Hospital Early?

Motorcyclists generally don’t like medical treatment. That’s probably why we occasionally have clients who leave the hospital against medical advice (AMA), although we’ve heard all sorts of stories!

A few clients left the hospital because they didn’t have health insurance and were worried about paying the bill. One client was taken by ambulance to the hospital with a punctured lung but left because smoking isn’t allowed in the hospital. Another client had third-degree burns to a very large area of his leg and left because he didn’t want antibiotics and wanted to use a natural treatment at home. Another client left the hospital AMA only to be readmitted the next day.

Fortunately, these clients fared well but could have had disastrous results.  It’s not surprising that the University of Chicago Medical Center, stated that studies show patients who leave AMA are much more likely to die or be readmitted within 30 days.

Hospital personnel don’t like patients leaving the hospital AMA because of the danger to the patient and probably because they’re worried about getting sued if something happens. Often, they will threaten that your insurance company won’t pay the hospital bill if you leave AMA but that’s a myth that doctors believe and is not true.

Although you may not have to worry about your insurance company paying the bill, it’s never a good idea either for medical reasons or for your motorcycle accident case to leave the hospital early.

Unlike a car accident, in a motorcycle accident you are entitled to reimbursement for the cost of your medical treatment from the person who negligently caused your injury even if you have medical insurance.

We will seek reimbursement from their insurance company, so you should never leave the hospital early because you’re afraid of the cost. Likewise, never refuse to take an ambulance to the hospital because you’re afraid of the cost.

We’ve also had clients who didn’t take an ambulance to the hospital because they wanted to stay with their motorcycle. This is also a mistake.

Motorcycles are almost always totaled in an accident and refusing to take an ambulance to the hospital will harm your case and could endanger your life because you may have internal injuries you’re not aware of yet. We’ll help you without charge to get the money for your motorcycle.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month & a Left Turn

The most important part of brain injury awareness is understanding that a concussion is a brain injury.

By now, most people are aware of the problem with concussions in football. Concussions are an even bigger problem in soccer. Motorcycle accidents are also a frequent cause of concussions.

A concussion can cause bleeding too small to be seen on a hospital CT scan but can be detected months later with Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI MRI). This type of concussion may cause short-term symptoms which go away or it can cause long-term symptoms which may be considered medically minor but are life altering.

More serious concussions cause bleeding which can be seen on a hospital CT scan. Concussions causing bleeding in the brain will likely result in life altering symptoms such as memory loss, mood swings and many more symptoms, too numerous to mention here but which can be seen at our website BrainInjury911.org.

One of our current clients was on his motorcycle on a straight road on a nice Sunday morning when he struck a car making a left turn out of a shopping center. He was wearing a full helmet but his head hit the road and a CT scan in the hospital showed bleeding in the brain.

Our client has been suffering with memory loss and other symptoms which have not gone away. Unfortunately, he will have lifelong symptoms which may worsen later in life.

We just won a motion for summary judgment which found that the driver was 100% at fault. Because we won summary judgment, the jury will not decide who was at fault. At trial, the jury will only decide how much to award and our client will be entitled to 9% interest on the money he receives.

If you’re involved in an accident, call us immediately 7 days/nights for a free consultation 1-800-487-8911

Brain Injury Month is March and We’re Offering a Free App

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this year 1,275,000 people will sustain a concussion, also called a mild TBI.

Motorcyclists often sustain a concussion injury in a motorcycle accident and never find out about it or even realize they’re suffering with lifelong symptoms. When a motorcyclist is taken to the hospital, the emergency room doctors are concerned with life-threatening injuries and injuries which need immediate treatment.

We have a client who didn’t know he had a brain injury and didn’t understand why he was having difficulties including memory loss until we found that a CT scan of his brain at the hospital showed a drop of blood in the brain.

After the brain bleed was found, it was determined not to be life-threatening and was never fully discussed with the motorcyclist. He went home and forgot about it. He knew he was different after the accident but didn’t understand why until we found the CT scan in his hospital records.

Since it’s Brain Injury Awareness Month, I thought I would announce that we’ve been working for six months to develop a motorcycle injury app for iPhone and android which includes features to identify, track and report concussion and PTSD symptoms.

Injury app-reports screen

When finished in another month, the app will track physical pain for any injury, emotional state and quality of sleep. It has a medication reminder to remind you and track what medication you took and when. It has an area to enter money you spent for medications and treatment. It also has tools to record information at the motorcycle accident scene; and buttons to call 911, find a tow truck, taxi, auto repair shop or hospital. It even has a button to reach me directly by phone at any time no matter where I am.

Symptoms and other information can be emailed to us, your doctor or anyone else you desire. The information reported to us through the app can be used to document the pain and difficulties you experience daily concerning any type of injury and can also alert us to symptoms that are associated with a concussion and PTSD.

The information you send to us from the app will substantially increase the value of your case. The app is free to anyone and will be available on our websites within the next month or two.

A mild traumatic brain injury is a long-term debilitating injury and therefore a very valuable injury which could result in a settlement or award of as much as a million dollars and much more. For more information see DoIHaveMTBI.com

Even if your helmet didn’t sustain any visible damage, there may be unseen damage. Be sure to keep your motorcycle helmet as evidence of head trauma.

Can You Use Your Helmet After A Motorcycle Accident?

Are you using a motorcycle helmet which was scraped or just slightly damaged in an accident? What if you had an accident and hit your helmet on the street but it looks OK or maybe you just dropped your helmet.  Can you reuse your helmet?

You probably value your head so you should never reuse a helmet without having it inspected. Most motorcycle helmet manufacturers will inspect your helmet if you ship it to them.

But don’t bother if your helmet is more than 5 years old. Most motorcycle helmet manufacturers and the Snell Foundation recommend replacing your helmet every 5 years.

Helmet materials degrade over time from body oil, bodily fluids such as sweat, and cosmetics. Additionally, normal wear and tear contributes to helmet degradation. Finally, like everything else, helmet technology continuously improves. A new helmet with 5 years advancement in technology could mean the difference between a mild traumatic brain injury and no head injury.

motorcycle helmet with visor scraped

Can you reuse your helmet or should you replace it?

Should you replace your helmet if you drop it? There, Snell has good news. Snell’s website states, “Generally the answer is probably not”, if it hasn’t been dropped frequently, or dropped from a moving vehicle, and it’s a Snell certified helmet.

However, a helmet which has come in contact with the ground or other object, while being worn (with your head inside), during an accident may have sustained several types of damage to different parts of the helmet. The damage can be difficult to see which is why an inspection by the manufacturer is necessary.

Snell’s website states, “In general, the real damage comes when the helmet contacts an object with a head inside.” “The Foundation recommends that if you suspect your helmet may be compromised, then replace it. If the helmet has been involved in an impact while in use, replace it.”

A good tip from Snell is that you should buy a helmet from a local retailer rather than on-line to insure a good fit which is essential for head protection.  Without trying on the helmet you can’t know if it’s a good fit for your head because people with the same head size may have a different head shape and the same size helmet from different manufacturers or models may fit differently.

A helmet should be snug and comfortable all around your head. A helmet is too big if it starts to slip off when you push the front of the helmet backward with the strap buckled. Snell states that most motorcyclists buy a new motorcycle helmet that is one size too large, so make sure that it’s snug all around your head. If it’s uncomfortably snug after 5-10 minutes of wearing, it’s too small.

The Legal Reason Not To Reuse Your Helmet After A Motorcycle Accident

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and your helmet was damaged or scraped, we advise that you give it to your lawyer for safekeeping as evidence. Your helmet can be used as evidence to prove that your head was impacted and together with medical records showing that you had a concussion, you may have an injury worth well in excess of $1 million!

If you reuse your helmet, it may be damaged again later and may not be possible to use as evidence for the first accident.

If you hit your head in a motorcycle accident, call 1-800-HURT-911 for a free consultation. Often, a motorcyclist who had a concussion is not even aware of that fact. We will examine your situation to see if we think you may have had a concussion which is a mild traumatic brain injury. When appropriate, we will refer you to a doctor for testing. For information about traumatic brain injury and why you should make sure that your helmet fits well, see doyouhaveTBI.com.

FAQ about helmets at Snell

What You Should Know About Motorcycle Helmets – Motorcycle Safety Foundation

Confused about motorcycle helmet standards?  Read this article with a comparison of Snell vs DOT vs ECE R22-05 helmet standards

Watch this video, then click here to see more info and videos showing the Eject® Helmet Removal System

 

Are a Motorcyclist’s Injuries Likely To Be Caused by a Car or Contact With the Road?

Motorcyclists are injured when either directly struck by a vehicle; falling to the road or striking an object after contact with a vehicle or when cut off by a vehicle without contact; or some combination of impacts. Secondary impact with the road or another object poses additional risk for serious injuries.

Besides the obvious possibility of road rash, torn ligaments, or broken bones, non-obvious head injuries can be caused by contact with the vehicle, the road or other object.  While road rash can cause serious scars and torn ligaments and broken bones are usually serious injuries, frequently overlooked are concussions which can be far more serious.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) which can have a serious long-term or permanent impact on a person’s livelihood, daily activities and quality of life.  For a long list of symptoms which may become evident after a concussion, see doyouhaveTBI.com.

A recent study posted at PubMed.gov (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23046694) looked at accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists with head injuries.  Contact with the road was responsible for more injuries (53.65%), while vehicles were responsible for 46.34% of injuries.

However, impact with a vehicle was more often responsible for serious head injuries.  24.87% of impacts with a vehicle were responsible for head injuries while 19.02% of impacts with the road were responsible for head injuries.

While life threatening head injuries are usually diagnosed at the scene or in the hospital, non-life threatening head injuries are often overlooked at the time of accident.  At the time of a motorcycle accident, doctors are concerned about life threatening issues and injuries which must and can be attended to immediately.

Even when a CT scan shows a small amount of blood in the brain, a patient may only be told to watch for life-threatening symptoms when released to go home.  Days later, it is forgotten.  Additionally, symptoms of a concussion may not be immediately noticeable and can take a long time to show up and are usually diagnosed long after the accident or not at all.

If you know that you hit your head or your helmet has any scratches or marks, keep your helmet and give it to us immediately so we can keep it as evidence.  You should never reuse a helmet anyway.  Don’t forget to see doyouhaveTBI.com.

Can I Sue for My Injuries If I Was Drunk?

Were you ever injured in a motorcycle accident because of someone else’s fault while you were driving drunk? Did you think that you couldn’t sue – file a lawsuit or be compensated for your injuries because you were drunk?

If that’s what you thought, you’re not alone. I’ve spoken with people who were hurt while riding drunk and people who were drunk but were passengers who thought they couldn’t sue because they were drunk. I’ve even been told by other lawyers that there is no case.

We have successfully represented several motorcycle accident clients who were drunk at the time of the accident. Following is a case where we represented a drunk passenger who allegedly gave alcohol to the driver and another where we represented a very drunk motorcyclist.

Recently, I settled a case for a drunk passenger. The insurance company tried to offer several reasons not to pay. First, the insurance company argued that the passenger caused the accident by creating a disturbance when he was drunk. Later, they argued that he provided alcohol to the driver got him drunk also. Because the insurance company was not able to prove any of that, they had to pay.

In another case, my client was riding a motorcycle while drunk and was struck by a car in a hit-and-run accident. Approximately 90 minutes after getting on his motorcycle, his blood alcohol concentration was determined by the hospital to be 0.18%.

The insurance company hired a toxicologist who wrote that the hospital records indicate that my client lost control of his vehicle and fell off. He also wrote “0.18% is significantly in excess of New York State statutory limit for intoxication of .08%. In order for a level of 0.18% to be achieved, Mr. X would have had to have consumed a minimum of 9-11 drinks.” The toxicologist stated this is equivalent to 12 (12 ounce) beers which made him markedly impaired and that this caused or significantly contributed to the motorcycle accident.

My argument was that the insurance company could not prove that my client caused the motorcycle accident. If my client, who was drunk, had been traveling through an intersection with a green light and was struck by a car which ran a red light, the car would have been negligent in causing the accident and not my client because he was drunk. I settled this case for $155,000.

Also see Can You Get Money for Injuries If You Were Driving without a License?

Getting assistance to stay in your home after a disabling motorcycle accident

If you suffered a serious motorcycle injury which could cause you to be institutionalized, but you would like to stay at home with assistance, the Americans with Disabilities Act is a useful and vital tool to ensure that you get the help you need to continue a life as normal as possible.

In a Florida case Michele Haddad was injured in a motorcycle accident when she was struck by a drunk driver who caused a spinal cord injury with paralysis and left her a quadriplegic. Michele requested services from the state, but was told that she would first have to be institutionalized for at least 60 days.

The U.S. District Court in Jacksonville ruled in Michele Haddad’s favor, that the state must provide her with services so she can remain in her home and not be institutionalized.

See the Americans with Disabilities Act helps injured motorcycle accident victim.