I was talking to a new motorcycle accident client this weekend, who was riding a motorcycle, when he was taken out by a negligent cager who turned left in front of him, while he was riding on the street; or at least that is what he has been told. You see, he does not remember what happened to him, he was knocked unconscious in the accident. He was in a coma for a day, suffered a broken nose, and broken teeth among other injuries.
He retained my firm to handle his motorcycle accident case, and I am now his attorney. We have had several lengthy discussions about his case and riding motorcycles in general.
We were discussing the subject of him being entitled to recover for emotional distress in his case, and how motorcycle accident victims usually suffer from post traumatic stress after being involved in a motorcycle accident. He mentioned that because of this accident, he may not want to ride his motorcycle ever again. As a fellow biker and motorcycle rider, I can relate to what he was saying. Unlike some other poser attorneys and lawyers, I ride just like you do. I feel his pain.
In the end, bikers and motorcycle riders unlike people in cars are completely exposed to the elements when they are in a motorcycle accident. They do not have a car to protect them in an accident. All that stands between a biker and motorcycle rider and the pavement is what they are wearing, and maybe a helmet. An accident which might not cause injuries in a car can and sometimes are catastrophic on a motorcycle.
My new client learned this lesson first hand, the hard way. Many of my motorcycle accident clients report that they have serious thoughts of hanging it up and not riding anymore after their motorcycle accidents. I myself have even thought about hanging it up (for about a minute) after my minor motorcycle accidents.
There is an old saying; it is not a matter of whether you are going to go down, it is a matter of when. I myself have been very lucky with only a few minor accidents.
I will be frank; I deal with motorcycle accident cases on a daily basis. In some of these accidents, my client’s are totally messed up. It does kind of wear on me psychologically.
Sometimes while riding, I will think about my clients; it does sometimes make me nervous and more careful. However, luckily that feeling usually goes away after a few minutes in the wind.
I feel that my experience as a motorcycle accident lawyer and attorney, along with my own experiences riding motorcycles for many years make me a better and safer rider.
I myself could never imagine not riding my motorcycle.
However, with that being said, my client is seriously thinking about hanging it up. I have had many motorcycle accident clients decide to not ride motorcycles again, whether it was because of the emotional aspect of realizing that when the meat hits the pavement, the pavement always wins, or that they were physically unable to ride anymore because of their injuries, or that they did not want have to deal with a potential catastrophic injury if they did not have to. They are spooked.
Look, although I can never see myself ever not owing a motorcycle and not riding, my attitude is this; if you mentally feel like you should not be riding motorcycles, then you should not be riding motorcycles. It could happen to me and I will accept it if it does, reluctantly. There are many guys on the road right now that should not be riding motorcycles.
Every human being that has been involved in a motorcycle accident will always feel nervous the first time they get back on the motorcycle. If you say that you have had an accident, and were not nervous or more cautious when you got back on for the first time, you are full of shit.
Hell I had to lay a motorcycle down in Palm Springs, California because some idiot decided to cut right in front of me. It was low speed, but it was fast enough for sparks to come off of my bike and for me to suffer minor road rash on my side and feel a decent amount of pain. All of this happened in front of at least 50 or more riders on motorcycles. I was leading the pack.
I was able to get back on and continue to lead the ride even though I was in pain and injured. In my case, I was embarrassed, and hurt, but since my motorcycle was still rideable, (I had a broken mirror, bent handlebar, broken flood light, broken highway peg, bent crash bar, broken windscreen, etc.) it was a relatively low speed accident. During the ride after the accident, I was nervous as hell. It is kind of like getting back on a bucking bronco after being thrown.
I am no superman; far from it. Everyone is different. Riding a motorcycle is unlike riding a car; a motorcycle rider is connected to his or her motorcycle, not in it like a car. You have to be mentally there to be safe.
If you feel like you should not be riding motorcycles anymore, then you should not be riding. Maybe you should take a break for a while. I guarantee you that the urge to ride will come back to you. Whether you should ride again is another matter.
Your mind will usually tell you what the right thing to do is. Follow your gut, it is usually right. Do not let peer pressure influence your decision.
I will see you all on the road.
By Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009