Michigan Motorcyclist Loses Leg, Seriously Injured by Distracted Driver
An awful wreck occurred on July 7th between a motorcycle and motor vehicle in Michigan’s upper peninsula and the driver has recently been charged with a misdemeanor violation causing serious impairment of a body function. Michigan State Police report the driver, a 28-year-old Calumet man, was distracted by his phone when he struck a motorcycle head-on and seriously injured its two riders on U.S. 41 in Osceola Township.
According to the Calumet police news release, the motor vehicle driver “was distracted with his cell phone and did not see a vehicle stopped in front of him in time to brake. Instead, he swerved into the northbound lane in an attempt to avoid the vehicle ahead of him and crashed into the motorcycle.”
The impact, speed, and angle in which the motorcycle was hit resulted in life-threatening and serious injuries to one of the riders who received emergency services via airlift and a left leg amputation and surgery on the right ankle upon arrival to the nearest hospital.
The motor vehicle injury attorneys at the Offices of Lee Steinberg absolutely hate to have to say this again, but everyone on the road needs to put their phones away and watch out for other drivers, especially motorcyclists. This preventable distracted driving epidemic is out of control.
People Are Still Driving Distracted by Their Phone
AAA research shows that nearly 95 percent Michigan residents say texting while driving is their number one distracted driving concern even though more than a third of those drivers admit to reading text messages while operating a motor vehicle. While it may only take a driver’s eyes off the roadway for a couple of seconds, simply sending a quick message response or reading a text at 55 mph, is comparable to driving down the length of a football field blindfolded. AAA identified these additional distracted driving concerns by Michigan motorists.
- Drowsy driving or operating a motor vehicle when tired
- Grooming and primping
- Talking on a hand-held cell phone
These distracted driving issues are similar in most states across the U.S. and show cause for the text messaging ban in place for all drivers in 47 states, Michigan included. Under Michigan’s anti-texting law (sec. 257.602.b) a driver shall not “read, manually type, or send a text message on a wireless 2-way communication device that is located in the person’s hand or in the person’s lap, including a wireless telephone used in cellular telephone service or personal communication service, while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a highway or street in this state.”
Motorcyclists Are at Risk of Dangerous Hip and Leg Injuries
Serious injuries to the hip or leg are common for motorcycle operators and their passengers when involved in any type of roadway accident and in the case of the Michigan UP accident, can be life threatening. The injured accident victim highlighted in this post received multiple injuries to their network of leg nerves, connective tissue, and joints, which normally work together for a person to remain functional, flexible and pain-free. When these dangerous injuries occur, they will require an immediate diagnosis, surgery and sometimes an amputation to reduce further complications. An exhaustive, painful, and expensive recovery is expected.
Serious leg injuries are often accompanied by other related injuries, such as:
- shattered pelvis
- broken feet
- internal injuries to the abdomen
- knee dislocations
- traumatic brain injuries
- soft tissue injuries
- muscle and ligament tear
In some cases, traumatic leg injuries can signal a serious spinal injury in which spinal fluid may leak and put pressure on nerves. Most traumatic leg injuries that result from a motor vehicle wreck leave little chance for 100 percent mobility to ever return and permanent nerve damage is likely.
Symptoms of Less Serious Leg Injuries May Present Soon After
Strains and sprains are common for anyone after a motor vehicle accident but inevitable for motorcycle operators and other riders who have limbs exposed. While these injuries are far less severe than a dislocation or fracture, medical attention is still required. Pain, swelling, inflammation, and decreased range of motion are all common symptoms that, when left untreated, can lead to a life full of chronic pain and discomfort.
Some of these less serious motorcycle accident leg injuries may present themselves after a rider has left the scene. In addition, adrenaline can cause an injured victim’s pain to present differently after an accident. Once the rush subsides, pain will increase, and injuries seem to pop up within a couple of hours to even weeks later. Some of these injuries may prevent the human body from healing correctly, resulting in recurring pain and inflammation. Once some of these symptoms identified by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons are recognized, a person should seek help and be assessed by a professional.
- increased pain when you use the muscle
- limited range of motion
- muscle weakness
- none or limited feeling in the foot or ankle area
- difficulty walking or even standing
Immediate care will reduce the chance of complications and provide the proper documentation needed to make a case for the incident. Having a proper diagnosis can also prevent any long-term conditions such as arthritis or create further health issues throughout life. In addition, if medical care is not sought right away after an accident, insurance adjusters may deny compensation.
Michigan Motorcycle Crash Insurance Rules
In Michigan, motorcycle owners must maintain proper insurance on their bike. Failure to do so results in that person not being entitled to any Michigan no-fault benefits, which include lost wages, the payment of medical expenses, replacement services and other benefits. But even if bike insurance is missing, injured riders can make a claim for pain and suffering compensation so long as the other vehicle was negligent for causing the accident.
Hold Reckless Drivers Accountable for Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries
If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver and hip and leg injuries or other harm has occurred, you or your family may be entitled to compensation to help with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Before speaking with the insurance company seek out the qualified advice of a car accident attorney. Call the Lee Steinberg Law Firm today for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced Michigan auto accident attorneys: 1-800-LEE-FREE or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form. And remember, you pay nothing until we settle your motorcycle accident case.