SMIDSY Wreck in Louisville

by | Sep 23, 2022 | Car Accidents

Investigators believe excessive speed contributed to a left-turn motorcycle wreck that killed a 20-year-old motorcycle rider.

According to LMPD investigators, a motorist was southbound on Preston and turned left onto Oaklawn. In doing so, the driver turned directly into the path of a northbound motorcycle on Preston.

The rider was declared dead at the scene.

What is a SMIDSY Wreck?

This acronym stands for “Sorry, Mate, I Didn’t See You.” TBFTL (turned but failed to look), a more official designation, doesn’t have the same flair. It also doesn’t capture the uncaring attitude motorists often have after these wrecks. 

A typical SMIDSY wreck is a left-turn wreck. A tortfeasor (negligent driver) makes a left turn against traffic. S/he doesn’t see an approaching motorcycle. There might or might not be a good reason for this failure to maintain a proper lookout. But the duty of care, which requires motorists to avoid accidents and drive defensively, applies no matter what.

Today’s motor vehicles have advanced airbags, seatbelts, and other safety features. But today’s motorcycles and motorcycle helmets haven’t changed much. So, in SMIDSY and other crashes, riders usually sustain much more serious injuries than four-wheel vehicle occupants. Common injuries include:

  • Head Injuries: Motorcycle helmets provide some protection against trauma head injuries to the skull. But they don’t protect the forehead and cervical spine. They also do not prevent motion-related head injuries.
  • Spine Injuries: A hard landing after a fall off a motorcycle usually knocks the spine out of alignment. Additionally, in many cases, the force of a wreck fractures the bones or severs the nerves. The lifetime medical bills in such cases often exceed $5 million.
  • Leg Fractures: The rider’s leg usually bears the full force of a collision with a vehicle. Doctors and physical therapists do their best to reconstruct shattered bones and help victims regain lost function. But at least some permanent loss of use is almost inevitable.

In fact, the motorcycle rider fatality rate is about thirty times higher than the vehicle occupant fatality rate. 

What Causes SMIDSY Wrecks?

At the risk of being blunt, selfishness causes most SMIDSY wrecks, and other wrecks as well. Some drivers are in such a hurry to get where they’re going that they disregard the safety of other motorists. Specific causes include:

  • Impaired Driving: Substances like alcohol and drugs are usually legal, or at least quasi-legal, to take. But it’s always illegal and dangerous to drive under their influence. This influence usually begins with the first sip, puff, or pill. Other kinds of impairment include fatigue, distraction, and medical issues.
  • Aggressive Driving: Excessive speed, which was a factor in the above story, is the most common, and most dangerous, form of aggressive driving. Velocity increases the risk of a wreck as well as the force in a collision. Other kinds of aggressive driving include failure to maintain a proper lookout. This failure is especially common in motorcycle crashes.

Damages in a motorcycle accident claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

These damages are available if a Lexington personal injury lawyer proves negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.

How Do I Prove My Case?

A preponderance of the evidence is one of the lowest standards of proof in Kentucky law. However, as is often the case in life, minimum effort, or in this case minimum evidence, usually produces minimum results.

To obtain maximum compensation, a Lexington personal injury lawyer typically uses three kinds of evidence. One or two won’t cut it.

Especially if multiple agencies investigated the wreck, the police accident report contains important details about the events leading up to the crash, as well as the crash itself. The preceding events help convince jurors that the wreck was negligent as opposed to accidental.

Medical bills contain more information than clinical cost, diagnosis, and treatment data. A skilled lawyer knows how to read between the lines and learn things like the victim’s pain level and the possibility of future medical expenses.

Witness statements are usually vital in motorcycle wrecks. Generally, the victims are so badly injured that they cannot testify in court. 

Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. We routinely handle matters in Fayette County and nearby jurisdictions.