View Full Version : Question for the Traffic LEOs

10-11-2006, 02:50 AM
I was in a motorcycle wreck a couple of weeks ago and I'm having a problem accepting the police report/accident write-up that I got.

Here goes:

I was south-bound on a town street doing 25-30 mph in a 25 zone, when someone who was northbound turned left in front of me no more than 40 feet away. In an attempt to not hit the other vehicle(Ford Ranger), I applied the brakes. However, there was gravel dust all over the road from the parking lots and I lost traction and was thrown from the bike (H-D 883 Sportster).

No contact was made between my bike and the Ranger, I slid down the road and the bike went into the ditch. The driver of the Ranger stopped and helped, calling emergency services in.

Here's the part that aggrivates me :mad: : The finished report was written up as a one-vehicle accident, in which I was at fault. The reporting officer said that the other driver didn't get "failure to yield" because no contact was made, therefore making the incident a one-vehicle accident. :confused: He told me that I would've been better off, insurance-wise, just hitting the truck and taking my licks. :eek:

I was wondering if that line of thinking was SOP everywhere or just in my backwoods town. This officer is well-known for sticking it to the younger person in any incident(I'm 22 and the other driver was 47)

The damage incured wasn't too severe, and I'm doing alright too. :D

I was just wanting another opinion before I think about getting a lawyer, because I'm looking to incur a bit of medical bills between the ambulance ride and emergency room x-rays(darn low premium, high deductible insurance) plus a $500 deductible on the bike.

I'd appreciate any input at all, just trying to understand the logic behind the report.

Medula Oblongata
10-11-2006, 02:59 AM
I'm not going to offer legal advise, but IMHO the Officer is correct. You did not make contact with the other vehicle, so it was in fact a 1 vehicle accident where you were ultimately responsible, nobody made you fall from your bike. The gravel dust is also not taken into account as the other driver did not put it on the street. Its an envorinmental hazard and you cannot expect another driver to take responsibility for you slipping and falling off. Now the question is that if the gravel wasn't there,could you have avoided him. If you could, you definately have no case against him. You could theoretically sue the city for maintaing the road in a hazardous state, but those suits are hard to win if there aren't lots of other complaintants..

You can't challenge the report with the department, whats written is the report, it would be illegal to change it. The only time that would come into play is if you have to sue your insurance company if they charge you for a preventable accident. They you would have to impeach the report. But it would not ever be changed. It is possible to have a supervisor write a seperate report that further explains the incident, though.

Anyway, I'm sorry you got hurt, but where I'm at, I would have written the same report.

10-11-2006, 03:40 AM
Nuts :(

Thanks for your input, as much as I didn't want the confirmation. That's what I've been hearing from some of my friends, just wanted to know how other officers would've written it up.

Although, I am quite certain that if I hadn't lost control trying to stop, I would have hit the truck. But, in all likelyhood, the bike and I would've been in worse condition had that occured. I just wouldn't be paying for it.

To sum it up, I thank the Lord that I was wearing my leather jacket that day, otherwise I would be in really bad shape. My souvenirs have healed over mostly, just have a sprained wrist and ankle to get better. As it stands, my next motorcycle purchase is going to be riding chaps.

Asphalt + Blue Jeans = road rash :rolleyes:

Here's links to the photos of my wounds, all of them but one were taken here at home a few hours after the accident. The other one was taken at the hospital with a phone camera. I warn ya! They're gnarly looking! :eek:

The phone camera picture of the Left Knee (http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m103/shanegill02/graphic%20motorcycle%20wreck%20photos/Left_Knee_2.jpg)

The Left Knee. (http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m103/shanegill02/graphic%20motorcycle%20wreck%20photos/Left_Knee.jpg)

The Right Knee. (http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m103/shanegill02/graphic%20motorcycle%20wreck%20photos/Right_Knee.jpg)

My Left Hand (http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m103/shanegill02/graphic%20motorcycle%20wreck%20photos/Left_Hand.jpg)

My Right Hand (http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m103/shanegill02/graphic%20motorcycle%20wreck%20photos/Right_Hand.jpg)

Medula Oblongata
10-11-2006, 07:22 AM
Your wounds look a little painful, but not severe. You should count yourself lucky!

10-11-2006, 08:44 AM
I do count myself blessed. I could've hit the idiot's truck and gone over the handlebars, or followed my bike into the rough concrete ditch or a number of other things. As far as motorcycle wrecks are concerned, it was relatively minor.

That doesn't keep it from sucking to rival the vacuum of outer space, considering that if the idiot didn't have his head stuck where the sun doesn't shine, he would've seen my motorcycle approaching and not initiated his left-hand turn.

The weird thing is, I'm not even angry at him. I had always expected to have anger-control problems in a situation like that, but I didn't. I sat up in the middle of the road and my first thought wasn't swearing vengeance or channeling the burning fury of 1,000 suns, it was, "WHOA, that was crazy!" I usually get ticked off at bad drivers, but I wasn't even peeved. I think it had something to do with not being dead or seriously maimed, or the fact that I did 2 or 3 donuts as I slid down the road. Although, I am still of the opinion that he owes me some sort of monetary compensation for the incident. Pay my motorcycle repair deductable or something. All he's done is purposely drive by my house once(that I know of.)

On the visibility front, I'm getting a headlight modulator that flashes the high beam 240 times a minute during the day. I checked, it is street legal. There is a Federal Statute allowing it's use that cannot be negated by state or local law. :rulez Hopefully that will get the attention of all those brain-dead cagers out there. :D

Medula Oblongata
10-11-2006, 09:16 AM
he's driven by your HOUSE?!?

That seems kinda weird.

But it wouldn't hurt to send him a registered letter with your opinion that he was the root cause of the accident and that you would like him to pay for the damages. Make the letter nice and polite, and you never know.

If he's a jerk you can always threaten to sue and "let a jury decide." I don't think you would have trouble finding a personal injury attorney to handle this at all. They live for cases of this nature, it equals $$$ when a motorcyclist is injured when having to lay his bike down because of someone else's inattention...

When really bad things happen to me I am rarely angry. Shocked, suprised, thankful I'm not seriously hurt, but not angry. In fact when I really get hurt the only thing I think is "THIS SUCKS!"

Best of luck!

black campbell
10-11-2006, 01:39 PM
Almost exactly the same thing happened to me my first three months riding, save no gravel. I miscalculated the stopping power on my bike (Buell Blast...who'da thought?) My fault, since I did avoid the guy. My jeans held up, but the bike hit and broke my shoulder and tore my rotator cuff. So I feel your pain...

Not much you can do but suck up the insurance deductible.

10-11-2006, 01:46 PM
ouch, that does look painful

10-11-2006, 03:39 PM
Almost exactly the same thing happened to me my first three months riding, save no gravel. I miscalculated the stopping power on my bike (Buell Blast...who'da thought?) My fault, since I did avoid the guy. My jeans held up, but the bike hit and broke my shoulder and tore my rotator cuff. So I feel your pain...

Not much you can do but suck up the insurance deductible.
yea...i pulled a stoppie on my blast, not knowing how well the front brakes worked. bike landed on me.

glad you're alive.

10-12-2006, 08:03 AM
Why do you reckon he passed by your house?
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; When the
government fears the people, there is liberty."- Thomas Jefferson

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will
look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." --
Mahatma Gandhi

10-12-2006, 06:54 PM
Not sure. Maybe he wanted to see if I was up and about. I happened to be getting out of my truck when he drove by, so maybe thats all he wanted. :confused: I'm thinking about driving by his house this weekend just for the hell of it, it's out in the boonies on a gravel road.

Just got the rough repair estimate, $3100 for parts and Labor! :eek: Apparently the shop doesn't do paint jobs, just orders pre-painted new sheetmetal.

Hooray for the $500 deductible! :MM