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Old 03-12-2015, 12:46 PM   #1
Unicorn Power
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AMA #: 1075923
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco
Motorcycles: require repairs
Name: Mr. Hough
Dr. Collisionstory Or: How I Learned About the U.S. Medical & Legal Systems



Now this is the story all about how my body was flipped thrown upside down. And I’d like to take a minute — just sit right there — I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called #BROKENFEMURWRECKEDMOTORBIKEDEPRESSIONAIR.


This is not a crash analysis. I’ve analyzed the collision countless times, and if you really care about the details, we can talk about it.

TL;DR - On August 31, at 10PM, I impacted a silver Ford Mustang that made an illegal left turn — sans signal — when I had green light and right-of-way. I was three blocks from my home, sober, coming back from dinner. The driver stopped, knowing s/he had impacted some thing, and then took off tires screeching. A P.I. was hired, no one was found: hit-and-run driver.

I was fully conscious before/during/after impact. I distinctly remember flying over the car and thinking, in mid-air, “my girlfriend is going to kill me." Upon impact with the asphalt, my left femur broke right in the middle. Compound fracture. I knew I wasn’t in good shape when I could not rouse myself off the ground, and when the SFFD paramedics showed up and were making the face.

Fast forward through trauma surgery, two transfusions, and a SF General seven-day-stay, which if you haven’t heard stories, is as colorful and all true as they say, I’m now the proud owner of a titanium screw that runs the entire length of my femur.



For those interested (order of operations): Morphine, Dilaudid, Oxycontin, blood thinners, stool softeners, Cannabis, Alcohol, Ibuprofen

Two-and-a-half months in a wheelchair. Massive depression - I wanted to shoot my Face/Off just about every day. From there to walker, to crutches, to cane, to hobbling, to walking — within the span of approx. six months.


Whatever, man, what’s the point of this thread?


To elucidate my perspective on this entire experience. I’ve never been through the police, medical, legal, insurance wringer all in one go like this before. And to say I learned a lot, would be an understatement.

So bear with me, please, while I try to cover all the bases.
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:54 PM   #2
Unicorn Power
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AMA #: 1075923
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco
Motorcycles: require repairs
Name: Mr. Hough
Medical

I'm covered by CA Blue Shield through my employer. All told, I was not at work for approximately three months while recovering.

Office visits, PT, and pills aside, I paid $450 out of pocket for my entire hospital stay without any liens. Not terrible.

I was so very fortunate to have a fantastic support system that visited, and took me to appointments, and made me not want to kill myself with pills and alcohol.

Anna, Chess, Aaron, Mandy, Heidi, Kyle, Nanda, Karen, Henry, Adam, Dan(s) -- and many others, you have my eternal gratitude.

Lessons Learned
  1. Get handicap placard from your doctor STAT
  2. Sign up for Paratransit STAT
  3. Borrow handicap equipment from friends/B.A.R.F.
  4. Do not be afraid to ask for help
  5. Do not kill yourself, it will get better
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:00 PM   #3
Unicorn Power
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AMA #: 1075923
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco
Motorcycles: require repairs
Name: Mr. Hough
Legal

I was fortunate enough to be referred to a very efficient and friendly law practice, that also happens to be a B.A.R.F. sponsor, and who have also employed one of B.A.R.F.'s very own moderators, and has seen many a rider through their legal battles.

Choulos Choulos & Wyle are perhaps the most experienced law firm in the state, and perhaps country, when it comes to dealing with Motorcycle related cases.

In my case, Claude, my attorney, saw to it that:
  1. A private eye was hired
  2. Hospital liens and medical bills were addressed
  3. Other parties' insurance was handled - injured pedestrian
  4. My insurance settlement was handled

I cannot recommend Claude Wyle enough, and I know that other BARFers here, would also highly recommend his partner Mr. Choulos.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:05 PM   #4
Unicorn Power
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AMA #: 1075923
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco
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Name: Mr. Hough
Collision & Motorcycle Restoration

Thankfully, I've worked in the motorcycle industry, and had a pretty good grasp on how the collision insurance process works.

In summation:
  1. A shop provided my damage estimate
  2. I paid them to get the non-running bike running
  3. I had my insurance company write the checks to me
  4. I used this money to buy all the parts and farkles
  5. I am doing my own restoration with help from friends
  6. ^ In regards to both my body and the motorbike

To wit, the motorcycle will be an entirely new machine in just about every possible way minus the original frame. If I get off my ass, I'll collate all my photos and document a restoration/build thread one of these days.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:07 PM   #5
Unicorn Power
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Cool brory, sto?

Just remember, you'll get better, don't off yourself, you can always buy a new bike but you can't buy a new body (unless your surname is Koch). Invest in yourself, buy the best possible gear you can EVERY TIME. It will be cheaper than a hospital stay -- yes, in both money and pain, and if the shit breaks your insurance will cover it.

NOW WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE BUY THE DAMN BIKE IN MY SIG BECAUSE I'M TOO BROKEN TO RIDE IT?
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:12 PM   #6
Hybridchemistry
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Outer Richmond
Motorcycles: '05 DRZ440SM; '96? KLX; '97 KLR; another KLX & another KLR
Name: Maxwell
Any idea what happened to said Mustang? PI turn up with anything?
Shit like that makes me mad, and also reminds me to charge my helmet cam...

Glad to hear you're still with us

PS, love the title and intro
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:14 PM   #7
Unicorn Power
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Driver was never found. And, yes, if I still decide to commute I will be running a dash cam every time.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:17 PM   #8
9integra2
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You have a gap in your story. In post 1 you said a PI was hired but no one was found: hit and run. And then Your follow up posts says the other partys insurance was handled: injured pedestrian. What does that mean?

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Old 03-12-2015, 01:22 PM   #9
Unicorn Power
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1) The hit-and-run driver was never found. To this day.

2) A pedestrian was injured by shrapnel from my motorcycle. I didn't need to pay them money afterall.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:40 PM   #10
etxxz
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SSF
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Name: Luis
how about a post on your current physical condition and financial impact (cost of medical care, you told us you were out of work for 3mo).

My single biggest worry with all my hobbies is getting hurt and not recovering fully. I nearly blew out a knee last summer wakeboarding and it took me 6mo to get back to 90% (pain in some movements). I'm at nearly 100% almost 9mo later! A few broken bones along the road. How are you now after all this. Your knees OK?

I've been in 2 hit-and-runs in the bay area myself. One didn't knock me off but sprained my right foot. The other flipped me head over heels over my handlebars. Same thoughts went through me head - "my wife is going to kill me". She was also 38weeks pregnant and almost succeeded.

Good stuff bra
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:49 PM   #11
Unicorn Power
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AMA #: 1075923
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Name: Mr. Hough
Thanks for the kind words.

Like I said, I was extremely fortunate that my out-of-pocket medical bills for the hospital stay was only $450. Furthermore, I was very, very lucky that my employer kept my paychecks coming while I was recovering at home.

I work in a field where I am capable of working from home, but that being said, my head was not in a place to be remotely productive for around two months, at least.

As far as my physical condition today, I'd say I'm around 83%. I can't sprint, but I can probably hobble-run to save my life. I used to have full 100%-yoga-kneeling capability. Now, I think my knee range is probably, like 88% -- not bad, but not what it was.
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:50 PM   #12
danate
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Location: East East Bay
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Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you actually made out pretty well considering. Your advice will be golden to anyone who has just had this type of thing happen as you made all the correct moves.

Good luck with your recovery! I'd buy your bike, but I have no money.
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Old 03-12-2015, 03:53 PM   #13
etxxz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn Power View Post
As far as my physical condition today....
Sounds like you'll make a full recovery then. As you've probably learned by now, its all a matter of time. Good stuff man. Hang in there. Finding out who hit you is not nearly as important as making a full recovery. Its a year of our lives we have to dedicate to recovery. I no longer get mad thinking back at the people who've hit me. For a time I would have strangled the perpetrator if found right there and then... that passes too
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Old 03-12-2015, 04:12 PM   #14
Unicorn Power
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Yes, I agree. At this point, if the person came to me and claimed full responsibility and was amenable to settling, I think I'd be able to talk to them without getting arrested for assault.

However, if I came across them bleeding out on the street and completely unapologetic, I'd step on their face until their teeth were mostly broken, and then make an anonymous 911 call. But, hey, that's better than they left me. 33% JK.
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Old 03-12-2015, 04:47 PM   #15
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I'm really sorry to hear about your accident. It sounds like a really awful thing to go through. I'm glad your getting better.
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