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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sadly on 8/30 around 1400EST my first bike, Red 2001 SV650S, died doing its best to protect me. Physically and emotionally I'm a bit crushed.

I was headed south on RT340 with my father (on the blue 2001 SV650S). I was about six car lengths behind a sedan who was six car lengths behind a dump truck of some fashion. Were were about a mile away from RT211 when the dump truck decided it ha to come to a dead stop as fast as possible and slammed on its breaks. The car ahead of me, myself, and my father followed suit. The car managed to out break me by just a bit and I wound up hitting it at what's estimated as around 5mph. This low speed was not too bad but going on the slight downhill and under hard breaking it was apparently enough to flip me and the bike over the front wheel and into oncoming traffic.

Before I managed to hit the ground an oncoming car hit me at around 35mph on my right side. For my trouble I got several injuries to internal organs, a fractured pelvis on the right side (with copious bleeding), a shattered right femur, and my left knees ACL and PCL severed and all other left knee ligaments torn.

While I don't remember the 2seconds or so from hitting the car ahead of me to slamming into the pavement I was fully conscious after that until the flight medics sedated me on the way to UVA medical. Sadly, when we got gas prior to the accident we decided not to turn on the cameras (GoPro Hero 2 on each bike) which would have helped fill that gap in my memory without making my father relive the accident.

At this point I'd like to say that the truck we were following, per state police, was carrying an oversized load without proper markings and with an expired permit; this explained some of the odd ball driving (lane sharing) he was doing. Better yet, the driver had a suspended license so he shouldn't have been driving at all, let alone a CDL vehicle.

Still, if I'd had one extra car length between me and the car, I'd be fine. If I'd stopped breaking to hit the car ahead of me I may not have flipped over the front wheel. If my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle. I've arm chair QB'd this alot and I can think of a few things I could have done better but it doesn't change the fact I won't be walking until next year.

So I've been a bit distracted with healing in the hospital, the sticker shock due to lack of medical insurance (long unrelated story), and getting settled back into home for physical therapy. I figured I ought to type something a bit up here since I'd been convinced to start a blog about my recovery for acquaintances and friends to keep up with. If anyone's interested in that (or pictures of my injuries/bikes death) it's at: http://rashtorecovery.hellafarad.com

Ok, onto the meat of my gear:

Arai Profile helmet: Didn't take much impact, worked well and what impact it did take likely saved me a concussion and the full face saved teeth, no question.
Rev'it Commet gloves: no problems, not much impact prolly saved scrapes and bruises.
Joe Rocket mesh jacket (no idea where to find model): took some side impact, likely helped dampen some of the internal injuries but not by much.
5.11 tactical TDU ripstop pants - held up well, saved me from road rash on the ten foot north bound flight/skid I had made.
Asolo TPS520 boots - godlike, saved my ankles and feet like a camp, no bruising even; great hiking boots which held up like they were meant for riding.

I don't think any pants would have done a better job for my hip and femur as that was a hard brute force injury. I'm not sure if the gash in my left leg would have been better with full race pants as it was also a brute force / pinned injury. I do wonder if my left knee might have done better but it seems like that was caused by rotation and not so much impact, so I'm not sure that would have done any good either. Most pants seem designed for fall off and slide rather than hitting a solid wall at 35mph. Anyone have some thought on if leathers would have stopped the rotation?

The boots did amazingly well and held up great. I'm not about to advocate them over riding boots but I thought the world of them for hiking and mountaineering, this is just another feather in their cap of do everything awesome even if it wasn't designed to.

The helmet did its job. I think that any well fitting approved full face would have done the job just as well since there was only one head hit and it was fairly minor (thanks to the helmet). Any decent jacket and gloves would have done the trick as long as they fit well since most of the injury was blunt force not much to be done in the way of improvement.

Some gear that mattered in the crash:

The levers I got from PainfullySlow here on the forums (http://www.svrider.com/forum/showthread.php?t=153671) survived the crash even though parts of the bike got sheered off. These things felt great on the rides and survive lots of abuse.

Thanks to Blair of SVRacingparts.com for the rear set risers and the race sliders. These really made a huge difference when I impacted the ground. The rear sets worked well with the sliders and kept the bike off the ground allowing me to not be trapped under the bike or get badly crushed by it. I like the feel of the rear sets but they made a difference in the crash.

That's about all I got for this... The pain medications have been fighting with the pain... Doesn't seem to matter which wins, my ability to think loses. I've been unable to sleep well since the accident and the sleep deprivation has been getting to me badly. I tend to think that I've got about 4 hours a day where I'm not too tired, trying to sleep, in too much pain, or drugged out too badly; only four hours to get stuff done and, sadly, lots slips through the cracks. So sorry for the delay in letting you guys know.

PS: I still have another SV which I just bought that one for my father so we could ride together. I do plan on getting another bike when I recover and pay off medical bills; may even get another SV but that's a ways off.
 

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wow man hope the recovery goes well.. i was worried reading the thread that you didnt have gear but i'm sure that saved you some additional injuries.
 

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Holy carp! There are a lot of "what ifs" in there, but I see someone who survived what could have been a dealy crash. What if....you were following closer.....going faster....flipped in front of a car going 60....

It sucks, but I am glad you could type that. Heal up, and Godspeed.
 

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I'm sorry to hear the bad news. Sucks all around and the worse by far are your injuries...but the most important thing is you're still here to tell the tale.

Here's to a quick and complete recovery.
 

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Medivith, I can't believe it. I'm quite saddened to read this.

Having had the pleasure to deal with you on the forums, I can say you're a great SVRider member and a very generous one at that! I wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to your "back on my SV" post when you're healed up!

I've had some close friends go through some serious accidents and I understand your arm chair QB comment all too well. I'd say try not to go there, if you can avoid it. When you can, keep busy, read, learn new things, make art, play music, find a hobby you can do... just keep your mind on a positive track and it WILL help your recovery. Your sounding pretty positive to me as it is! :)

All the best to you friend.
Z
 

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That really sucks man. I hope you recover soon and fully.

I bookmarked your blog already.
 

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Never good to hear a fellow rider going down and having a hospital visit. I hope all heals well and you come back to riding soon.
 

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I'm sorry to hear this but you are here to talk about it which is great. I don't understand how the truck is not responsible for causing this event.
Good luck and you have a long journey ahead but you seem in a good state of mind. Let me know if you need some Moto mags because I'm about to get rid of quite a few. I would be glad to send them to you, no charge.
Take care fellow rider, Laurent.
 

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That is a really cool offer from Laurent. Take him up on it!

Man I'm really sorry to hear about this. I can tell by your writing that this has had a profound impact (no pun) on you.

You'll need a lot of love and strength to get through this. It sounds like you have some good support to lean on, and while I can't think of a way to help you, if you can let me know.

Anthony
 

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Very sad to read this. You seem to have a good attitude and good medical care, which will go a long way toward your recovery.

If you don't already have a good personal injury lawyer on your side, get one. They will come to you if you can't make it to their office. Don't assume anything; get expert advice as to what your rights may be.

Good luck.
 

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Really sorry to hear, we dont know each other but i hope youre doing well.
i just read through your blog and am glad to hear that youre on the right track to recovery, i hope its a quick one :)
 

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Really sorry to hear about your accident. I wish you a quick and full recovery. I have enjoyed reading your blog so far and bookmarked the site to follow updates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Medivith, I can't believe it. I'm quite saddened to read this.

Having had the pleasure to deal with you on the forums, I can say you're a great SVRider member and a very generous one at that! I wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to your "back on my SV" post when you're healed up!

I've had some close friends go through some serious accidents and I understand your arm chair QB comment all too well. I'd say try not to go there, if you can avoid it. When you can, keep busy, read, learn new things, make art, play music, find a hobby you can do... just keep your mind on a positive track and it WILL help your recovery. Your sounding pretty positive to me as it is! :)

All the best to you friend.
Z
Sadly, I'd seen the worse end of it while I was still new at riding. Myself and two of my friends (both SV owners) were headed out to Skyline Drive for a nice relaxing ride in some easy twisties. We got about 5mi or so down the road and there are some folks in the road waving traffic to the overlook. I saw some folks laying in the road and training took over. I pulled over, ditched the gear, and ran down to help.

Long story short, a biker and his passenger had impacted a car. No crazy external injuries but they had the flip down face helmets and were sans some teeth (not sure if that was the cause but scared me away from ever trying them). In spite of the best efforts of those present (including a trauma nurse) neither of them survived. The damage the the car was pretty minimal and the bike (Suzuki Bandit set up for touring) looked like it was mostly slide damage. Still they didn't make it...Looks minor but turned out to be fatal.

So while I've done a lot of after the fact second guessing and rethinking and so on... I realize that I'm pretty lucky to be here to do those things. Whenever I start to fall into that self-pity slide or get negative I just remember that I could just as easily not been here, so i better make the most of it!

That and I'm crazy focused on doing whatever I can to get better. I want to get back to being on my feet and, believe me, I'm itching to get back on a motorcycle. I fell in love with my red head SV and I just might have to honor that memory with another red head in the midst of too many blue bikes. :D




I'm sorry to hear this but you are here to talk about it which is great. I don't understand how the truck is not responsible for causing this event.
Good luck and you have a long journey ahead but you seem in a good state of mind. Let me know if you need some Moto mags because I'm about to get rid of quite a few. I would be glad to send them to you, no charge.
Take care fellow rider, Laurent.
I'm not sure either, I was told (by a layman) that since the car in front of my didn't hit the truck it wasn't at fault. Not sure if that's the case.

I think I'll take you up on the generous offer for the motomags, I'm short of things I'm able to read because of my attention span (thanks pain killers, pain, and/or sleep deprivation). I think I could get into that stuff and I can ride vicariously. PM headed your way!


Very sad to read this. You seem to have a good attitude and good medical care, which will go a long way toward your recovery.

If you don't already have a good personal injury lawyer on your side, get one. They will come to you if you can't make it to their office. Don't assume anything; get expert advice as to what your rights may be.

Good luck.
I do not have one and as previously mentioned I've only gotten advice from laymen. I didn't have medical insurance so I'm pretty well broke for the foreseeable future. I'd need a lawyer to take the case on a percentage of return type basis (retainer?). Though if there was a way to find the truck at fault the company that operated the truck would be liable and that could be decent to pay for medical expenses.

Know of how I would go about finding a lawyer who would be up for this type of case and means of payment?

That is a really cool offer from Laurent. Take him up on it!

Man I'm really sorry to hear about this. I can tell by your writing that this has had a profound impact (no pun) on you.

You'll need a lot of love and strength to get through this. It sounds like you have some good support to lean on, and while I can't think of a way to help you, if you can let me know.

Anthony
It's been a rough one and the impact was pretty profound in all regards. I'm trying to roll with it as best I can (in the wheel chair). The support has been great but there's one problem...

I've got the strength but the love... See, my pelvis was fractured so getting the love is a bit difficult. Also, I kinda got intimate with my tank on the way off and it gave new meaning to "blue balls". ;)

Seriously though, I've been getting lots of love from everyone around me and I appreciate everyone who's replied this far. I'm looking forward to recovery, walking, getting back on an SV and getting back to being a contributing member of the forums.

Thanks again to everyone!
 

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I do not have one and as previously mentioned I've only gotten advice from laymen.
That's what I was afraid of. First thing you need to do is stop talking / writing about the circumstances of your accident, the extent of your injuries, or the prognosis/progress for your recovery. As they say on TV, "Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law."

I didn't have medical insurance so I'm pretty well broke for the foreseeable future.
Understandable. You WILL need a lawyer, either to get compensation from the truck driver / trucking company responsible for your injuries, or to get you out from under a lifetime of debt via bankruptcy.

I'd need a lawyer to take the case on a percentage of return type basis (retainer?). Though if there was a way to find the truck at fault the company that operated the truck would be liable and that could be decent to pay for medical expenses.

Know of how I would go about finding a lawyer who would be up for this type of case and means of payment?
You need a lawyer who specializes in vehicular accident personal injury cases. Experience with representing motorcyclists would be a plus. The good ones use private investigators to track down potential defendants and gather their evidence.

If the driver of the truck was cited by the police, the investigator already will have the leads necessary to identify the defendants. Were there witnesses who may have seen what happened? If you have this information, preserve it. Indeed, preserve anything that you have that may be evidence. Take lots of photographs of your injuries and the damage to your bike and gear. Keep scrupulous records of your medical treatment and the bills. Start keeping a journal of your accident and a daily diary of your pain, limitations, and efforts to overcome them.

Personal injury attorneys typically represent plaintiffs on a contingency fee basis, which means they agree to take your case for a percentage of the potential recovery -- typically, 33%. If you lose the case, you don't owe any attorney's fees. The better ones also agree to advance all costs associated with the case -- filing fee, deposition fees, service fees, travel expenses, postage, photocopying, expert witness fees, etc. Those expenses can add up in a hurry, so you need to make sure that you are represented on "no fee, no cost" basis if you lose. (You also don't want an attorney operating on a shoestring basis, as they may not have the cash to advance costs.) If you win, typically, costs are reimbursed separately, off the top of any recovery, and then the lawyer takes their 1/3 share. Most times, the plaintiff ends up with half of the recovery, or a bit more.

There a lots of good attorneys who work on this basis, and are very successful at it. However, you also want an attorney with trial experience; someone who doesn't just sign up clients and settles their cases. Someone who can only settle cases is usually not going to get you a top-dollar settlement. You need someone who can actually build a convincing case and force a settlement under a credible threat of an embarrassing trial and an adverse jury verdict.

The best way to find such people is still word-of-mouth. Ask around and get referrals from friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers.... In this day and age, everyone knows someone who has had a personal injury lawsuit.

Advertising is another way to get a line on these lawyers. However, be careful, as some are just personal injury "mills" that simply sign 'em up and settle 'em. Some aren't even licensed to practice in your state, and will simply refer your case to another lawyer under a fee sharing agreement with that lawyer. Avoid those guys.

You can also call your state Bar Association and ask for a list of lawyers in your area whose practices are primarily or exclusively personal injury cases.

As with any service that you might hire through advertising or a referral, do your homework. Most every lawyer who practices in the personal injury field offers potential clients a free consultation. Use this to not only get the lawyer's take on your case, but to interview the lawyer as a potential hire. Ask about their education, training, and experience. Ask for and check references; ask to be given written testimonials with contact information; ask for copies of written decisions in cases they have litigated; ask for a list of cases litigated and research how they turned out, particularly cases that went to a jury verdict. Also, ask the Bar Association of your state if if there have ever been any complaints filed against them and how they turned out.

Interview with more than one lawyer, and compare. Even if one or more tell you that they will not take your case, or that you don't have much of a case, don't give up. Some lawyers in this field only want to deal with the low-hanging fruit. Your case is a bit more difficult, but, IMO, not impossible. Proving fault may be complicated, but, given the devastating nature of your injuries, the payoff will be substantial. Besides, what do you have to lose? As a contingency case, the attorney will be taking all of the risk. An attorney who is willing to take on this risk -- to both fight for you and work hard to earn his fee -- is what you're after.

(If this is too much for you now, try to get a trusted friend or family member to help you with your research. However, remember that attorney-client privilege does not extend to any who assist you, so you will have to keep discussions of the details of your case between only you and your lawyer or potential lawyer. However, you need to get started on this now, as time is of the essence.)

I regret that I do not know any personal injury lawyers in the Fairfax, Virginia area, so I cannot make a personal recommendation for you. Perhaps some members here have some recommendations. I would start with asking around for referrals, including via a call to the Virginia Bar Association's lawyer referral service: 1(800) 552-7977 (http://www.vba.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=7). Do you know any lawyers in your area? Even the lawyers who do not do PI work generally know who the good ones are. Use the internet to search for lawyers, too. Most every personal injury law firm has a presence on the web these days.

Good luck.
 
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