I went down on February 23, 2005 on the 580 Freeway in Richmond, CA while escorting a Funeral after being cutoff by a vehicle that merged into my lane (disregarding the Funeral Procession). The driver then slow down to almost a stop. I tried to swerve to avoid running into the back of the car and becoming his/her backseat passenger. I went into a skid with traffic on both sides of me. I laid the bike down. It went to the left and threw me to the right on my back. I tucked my head to my chest, brought my arms into my body and fell backwards. After bouncing on the asphalt a few times, I landed between the 2nd and 1st lane. My head never hit the ground. My helmet was undamaged. The bike sustained minimal damage, as I was only going about 45-50 miles hr. maybe slower, since I was already breaking. I suffered no broken bones, but my pelvic and lower back and kidney took the brunt of the fall. The only laceration I had was a cut on my bottom lip.
I got up, staggered for a few feet and realized that I was still in the middle of the freeway. My adrenaline was pumping and without thinking I bent over and lifted my motorcycle up to a standing position before a gentleman from the funeral procession ran over to assist me. It was not until I had been standing trying to call in the accident to my client and phone for help that I realized I was actually injured. A not so polite, California Highway Patrol Officer arrive and immediately asked me for my driver’s license and insurance. Without any regard for my condition he began to question me.
The paramedics arrived shortly after a good friend came to my aide on the scene. The paramedics immediately started to ask me questions as well, while cutting off the my clothing down to my underwear. Yes, right there on the side of the highway. I was then taken to a nearby Hospital Emergency Room. Now the last thing I was thinking about was collecting my personal items. My helmet and purse were sent with me in the ambulance. My motorcycle and personal belonging were left in the hands of the CHP (motorcycle, gear and uniform). At least that’s what I was told.
After an examination, x-ray and a few doses of Morphine – I was released to go home. The ER doctors and nurses marveled over how I walked away with almost no injuries! They sent me home with a few prescriptions and advised me to consult/follow-up with my personal physician.
The following day, I called in my claim to my insurance company “Foremost Insurance.” To my dismay they had the personality of a blank sheet of paper. My statement was recorded and I was told that I need to provide them with a list of damaged items, along with receipts and descriptions. I informed the claims adjuster that I could not locate some of my clothing and didn’t know the real condition of my motorcycle because I didn’t have the opportunity to examine it before going to the hospital. I had called the various agencies that came to the scene of the accident to find where or what happen to my personal possessions. After numerous phone calls to the hospital, paramedics, Fire Department, and CHP – – I finally gave up on the lost items.
Despite my efforts to locate the lost clothing, and providing a receipt, Foremost Insurance Company denied my claim for my protective gear. Which disproves another old saying, “You get what you pay for!”.