My Motorcycle Accident

I was involved in a motorcycle accident this morning. It hurt. But I’m alive. That’s the important part.

I was going south on Front Street in Harrisburg, PA traveling in the left lane and about to get on I83 South. Traffic was flowing through the traffic light at Front Street and Paxton Street. As I approached the intersection an SUV from the center lane turned left in front of me. He was less than a car length in front of me when he was in the center lane. He did not use a turn signal. As he came into my lane I immediately tried to turn left but he was turning sharper and sharper giving me less room to maneuver. I applied my brakes but it wasn’t going to be enough. I collided with the side of the SUV then found myself tumbling and rolling down the street. I watched my bike slide as I was thrashed around. I was trying to get a glimpse behind me and prayed that there were no vehicles behind me as I slide down the road.

I ended up in a standing position and walked off the side of the street. I looked around myself for a second. Arms were where they should be. Legs were in one piece. Hands were there. Ouch, my knee hurts. I’m alive! Fuck, I hurt. Fuck, I was just in an accident. A guy appeared on the sidewalk beside me. He asked if I was ok. I told him I thought so. I’m alive right? That is good. He said he saw everything. I asked where the hell was the guy in the truck! Then the guy from the SUV appeared with his wife. He was an older man. He said “Taking a wide turn?” like he was insinuating I did something wrong. I said “Why the fuck did you turn in front of me?!” He looked like a deer in headlights. I repeated my question. No response. Then the cop was there to calm me down. I wanted to pummel this guy into a bleeding pulp on the side walk as his wife looked on. But I didn’t. But I wanted to!

I calmed down and sat down on the sidewalk. Took my helmet off. My knee hurt and I was afraid the padding in my motorcycle pants may have slid allowing my knee to come in contact with the road. I unzipped the side of my Olympia pants and rolled up my pants. Knee was in one piece. The impact of my knee with the pad was enough to scrape the skin a little bit. My ribs on the right side hurt and my lower right back hurt. I told them to call an ambulance. I wasn’t taking any chances.

The ambulance came and I was strapped up with a collar and loaded in to the ambulance. Even though I was just a few blocks from Harrisburg Hospital they informed me that they needed to take me to Hershey Medical Center because Harrisburg Hospital doesn’t have a trauma unit. As I was being loaded into the ambulance and was looking straight up at the sky, listening to the sounds of what was going on around me and seeing the doors close behind me I couldn’t help but think of my friends and family. The thought of my parents getting “the phone call” brought tears to my eyes. I did not want them to experience that. It really broke my heart with those thoughts going through my mind.

I arrived at Hershey Medical Center and was taken in for a CAT scan. They injected iodine into my IV to look for internal bleeding and to see how my ribs looked. After what seems forever waiting they came back and said they don’t seem to see any breaks or fractures. But they said that’s not 100% accurate and there’s always a chance they missed something. That’s reassuring. The doctor said my liver is behind my ribs where I said it hurt and they wanted to make sure it was ok. They released me and told me to take 400mg of Ibuprofin for the pain.

I teared up again when I had to give the lady my dad’s phone number so that he could be contacted. For some reason I felt guilty of putting him through that experience.

Now Erie Insurance has been calling me all day. One guy said that I would need it towed to a dealership and that I have a $500 deductible. I told him it wasn’t my fault! He said I would still need to pay the deductible and that if the other person’s insurance covered it, they would reimburse me. Screw that! I don’t want to pay for anything! He hit me! Then I received a call from another lady from Erie who informed me that they would not cover any of my medical expenses because I was on a motorcycle. I told her I should be covered under my auto policy. She informed me that in the state of Pennsylvania, insurance companies will not cover motorcyclists for any medical treatment and that it would need to be covered by my health insurance. Thank you Pennsylvania for being such a fucked up state! Why should I have to max out my medical benefits because this idiot breaks the law and causes me to go to the hospital?!

Aside from that, I decided I needed to contact an attorney. Apparently my insurance company has no info on this other person. All of that info is with the Harrisburg City police. I called them to ask about a police report and they simply told me I would need to go downtown to the second floor and request the report. What?! I pay my taxes, was involved in an accident and can’t get the report faxed to my insurance company or something? Nope. Ok, F you insurance, F you Pennsylvania, F you stupid drivers, and F you Harrisburg police!

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I will call Velocity Cycle in the morning and see if they can tow the bike to their shop. Someone from Erie should be there to look at it on Wednesday. Also going to schedule an appointment with my family doctor so she can look me over. I also want to photograph my lower back somehow to document that rash. Not sure if my jacket slid up a bit to allow that to happen or if I landed on something. There is a gray scuff mark across my wind shield that looks as thought it may be from my jacket eve though I don’t remember being in front of my bike at any point. It was a blur.

There’s a lot going through my mind right now. Thought of how bad it could have been. Thankfulness that my gear did it’s job. Thankful that SOMEONE was looking out for me today. Worry that I was so close to death. I’m pondering riding and what it means to me. I enjoy it. It feels good to ride through the cool air and just be out there in the environment. All of the wonderful people I’ve met through riding and all of the amazing places I’ve seen by motorcycle mean a lot to me. It’s all just a part of my life experiences. It’s too soon for me to say whether I’ll ride again or not.

Damn, now my pinky hurts too. Sigh…

8 Comments

  1. Reply
    Scott September 1, 2009

    First of all, I am glad you are okay.

    I feel your pain with insurance companies and it can be just as bad in a car. Julie and I were in two accidents in two years, one in which we were not even moving. In both cases the police ruled the other driver at fault. We were never reimbursed for our deductibles, never. We called several times and were always told the cases were still being fought. After two years we gave up. Both our accidents were documented on my blog if you are interested.

    Quite seriously, insurance is required by law and in just about every case when you really need them they try to weasel out of paying. This applies to all insurances, happily collecting money while things are okay, then not being there when you need them. All the time they are always trying to get you to buy more coverage.

    Again, I am glad to hear you are okay and hopefully you have some luck with the insurance companies.

  2. Reply
    frances September 1, 2009

    I’m sorry you have to deal with all of this — we’re still dealing with all the insurance challenges from my husband’s car accident six months ago, and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel yet. And my husband has been an insurance adjuster most of his life, so of all people he should know how to navigate through the system. The attorney idea is a good one (you can go after the assets of an uninsured driver, for example)

    I hope you’re feeling better physically, and soon. As for the riding part…that will take some time. I gave up riding almost 20 years ago after a near-disaster involving a deer got to me (switched to convertibles: no hat hair, but it’s just not the same…)

  3. Reply
    Andrew Justice September 1, 2009

    I am glad you are ok and believe you should not have to pay for crap.

  4. Reply
    Sara September 1, 2009

    I’m so glad to hear that you’re alive and otherwise healthy. Motorcycles scare the bejeezus out of me, and it really hits home when someone I know is in an accident like this. Especially because I know you’re not a reckless individual.
    Glad you’re being proactive with the insurance and attorney. I wish you luck in getting this remedied. It sucks when the system sucks.

  5. Reply
    Vicki September 2, 2009

    Glad you’re okay! I’ve spent most of my adult life working for personal injury attorneys (not that I’m proud of that fact HA!) but I’m still friends with a few of them. So if you need any help in that area, let me know.

  6. Reply
    gene September 3, 2009

    Hey man God’s speed in healing.

  7. Reply
    Keith September 3, 2009

    glad you are ok, I would be changing insurance companies if I were you. I have been in several accidents with mine, one of whic was pretty bad and I never had to question anything they handled it all.

  8. Reply
    barb shirley September 18, 2009

    i was in a cycle crash myself. We hit a deer on the interstte 3 months ago. I flew off the back of the bike going 70 mph. No helmet no protective gear. I fractured my skull, had a brain hemmorage and was life flighted to a larger hospital. I seperated my shoulder broke my t1 and t2 in my neck crushed my hand broke my ribs and blew out my knee. Had road rash on half my body that was a nightmare. Then i get out of the hospital and im now dealing with insurance nightmares. My freinds insurance doesnt cover me b/c it was a no fault accident. So im dealing with my health insurance. Im glad you are o.k. and hope everything works out.

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