What on Earth is a SMIDSY Crash?

September 01, 2021

This acronym, which stands for Sorry, Mate, I Didn’t See You, usually refers to left turn motorcycle wrecks. Another acronym, TBFTL for Turned But Failed To Look, does not have the same panache. Furthermore, it does not capture the cavalier attitude that drivers often exhibit in the immediate wake of these wrecks.

Usually, a driver who is waiting to make a left turn against traffic does not see an approaching motorcycle. So, the driver turns directly into the rider’s path. A serious accident is almost inevitable at that point.

Many drivers have little respect for motorcycle riders. A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer is different. For the most part, drivers just want to get where they are going as fast as possible. Attorneys are single-minded as well. They only care about fair compensation for motorcycle accident victims.

Motorcycle Wreck Injuries

Left-turn wrecks are usually sudden acceleration wrecks. When most drivers think they see a gap in approaching traffic, they usually gun their engines so they can shoot through the supposed gap. Since the driver is moving at almost full speed at the moment of impact, some rider injuries in SMIDSY crashes usually include:

  • Head Injuries: Helmets sometimes prevent impact-related head injuries. But they offer no protection against motion-related head injuries. When riders fall off their bikes and hit the ground, their brains violently and repeatedly slam against the insides of their skulls.
  • Blood Loss: Exsanguination, usually due to internal bleeding, is often the official cause of death in a fatal motorcycle accident. The vicious motion of a wreck causes internal organs to smash against each other. As a result, they usually bleed profusely.
  • Road Burns: These injuries usually are not fatal, unless they become infected. However, there is no way to effectively treat them. Victims must simply remain immobile until these burns go away. That usually means several weeks or months of immobility.

The average hospital bill in California is almost $4,000 a day. Follow-up care and physical therapy might cost almost as much. Most health insurance companies refuse to cover these costs, and most families cannot hope to pay them out of pocket.

Attorneys normally connect victims with top-notch doctors who charge nothing upfront for their services. So, victims need not worry about medical bills. They can simply focus on getting better.

Liability Issues

Unsafe left turns are illegal. Section 22107 of the California Vehicle Code states that “No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.” 

If officers issue citations, the cited driver could be liable for damages as a matter of law, according to the negligence per se doctrine.

However, officers frequently don’t issue citations in these situations. Many officers believe that car wrecks are complex civil matters. Therefore, they don’t want to write tickets and get tangled up in the affair.

So, even if the driver clearly violated the law, SMIDSY crash victims must often use the ordinary negligence doctrine to obtain compensation. These individuals must prove negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.

Evidence in a SMIDSY crash usually involves some combination of the police accident report, medical bills, and eyewitness accounts.

The evidence presented must be strong enough to blunt some common insurance company defenses. The last clear chance rule is a good example.

Assume Bill is anxiously waiting to make a left turn against traffic. He does not see Ted approaching on his motorcycle, so Bill turns directly into Ted’s path. Legally, Ted could be responsible for this wreck, even though he did nothing wrong. Bill could argue that Ted didn’t take advantage of the last clear chance to avoid the crash. 

But this defense usually doesn’t apply in these situations. Ted must have the last clear chance to avoid the wreck, as opposed to any possible chance. People who ride motorcycles know that they are very hard to maneuver quickly, especially if weather or traffic conditions are less than ideal. A sudden stop or lane chance could easily cause a loss-of-control wreck.

Damages in a motorcycle crash claim, or any other vehicle collision claim, usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Motorcycle crash victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. You have a limited amount of time to act.

Photo Credit: Pedro Pereira on Unsplash

Sharona Hakim

Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.

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