Operating a motorcycle, especially here among the beautiful scenery of Northern California can provide many benefits, allowing the rider to relax, unwind and enjoy the open air. Unfortunately, being a motorcyclist also carries some serious risks. Negligent or reckless drivers pose a threat to everyone on the roads, but motorcyclists and their passengers face a special danger. A motorcyclist’s accident can often inflict extensive, catastrophic or even fatal injuries.
Your motorcycle accident can harm you in many ways, including a mountain of past and future medical expenses, a long period of time out of work (and missing that income) and a lot of long-lasting pain and suffering. You need to know where to turn to begin the process of obtaining the compensation you deserve, and that process should start with contacting an experienced San Mateo motorcycle accident attorney.
Sacramento’s FOX 40 reported on one accident that highlights this truth in terrible and graphic clarity. D.S., a former cameraman for the cable TV show “Deadliest Catch,” was driving his motorcycle in Placer County with his 10-year-old son on board. A suspected drunk driver reportedly crossed the center line of the road, entered D.S.’s lane and slammed into the motorcycle head-on.
The son was fortunate, comparatively speaking, as he suffered only a broken leg. The father, though, suffered something called an “open book pelvic fracture.” An open-book pelvic fracture is a life-threatening injury where the broken pelvis opens up like a book. This causes the surrounding pelvic ligaments to tear, which can lead to tears in the major arteries that pass near the pelvis. A tear in one of these arteries can lead to major blood loss and even death.
Even if the patient does survive, the complications of this kind of injury are extensive. They commonly include chronic disability but can also include incontinence, impotence, fractures that don’t heal properly and pelvic infections.
A life permanently altered as a result of the accident
In other words, a person who suffers this kind of injury is probably looking at a lifetime of medical care, rehabilitation and physical therapy because of the accident. In even a best-case scenario, a long absence from work would be almost inevitable. For many people, it will be worse than that. The National Institutes of Health reported that more than half of people who suffer pelvic ring fractures never fully return to work. Even those that did reported earning losses of 35% after their injury. And those are the numbers for all pelvic ring fractures, including less-serious ones like “stable” pelvic ring fractures. The prognosis for people with open book fractures is almost certainly even more stark. Almost anyone suffering this kind of accident will have their lives forever changed as a result of the crash.
In D.S.’s case, a gofundme site set up for his care reported that the cameraman had undergone two surgeries to stop internal bleeding, a massive amount of blood loss and pelvic reconstruction. His prognosis included a “risk of blood clots, internal infection and pneumonia,” according to the site.
That’s why it is so important, if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, to take the right steps to protect your legal options. An experienced motorcycle injury attorney can help you deal with the unique insurance issues that motorcycle accidents present. Your attorney can help you take on the other driver and his/her insurer in court and, when necessary, fight your own insurer for payment under your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Your attorney can also help put together the team of experts you’ll need in court to explain to the jury why your accident was so serious, harmful and long-lasting in its effects, and why you are entitled to the amounts of damages you’ve requested.
These are but a few of the many steps that may be involved in getting you the full and fair recovery you deserve. There are many more and you need legal counsel that has “been there before” when it comes to this type of accident. The diligent San Mateo motorcycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos have many years of representing motorcyclists and their passengers, and are ready to discuss with you the best path forward for your unique situation. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.