SMIDSY Motorcycle Crash In Lafayette

A Beaux Bridge man died after a serious motorcycle wreck.

The biker, later identified as 34-year-old Tucker Huval, was eastbound on West Willow Street near Staten Street, when a westbound motorist, whose name was not released, made a left turn across traffic and collided into Mr. Huval, whom he apparently did not see. The force of the collision separated Mr. Huval from his bike; he was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.

No charges are pending against the driver at this time, but police say the investigation is ongoing.

Motorcycle Collisions

Wrecks like this one, in which a motorist turns directly into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, are so common in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries that officials call them “smidsy” crashes (for “sorry, mate, I didn’t see you”). This acronym captures the cavalier attitude that many motorists have about bikers, even if the rider is seriously injured in the collision.

This problem is not new. According to the landmark Hurt Report from the 1980s, illegal left turns are among the leading causes of fatal motorcycle-vehicle crashes. The problem is now more serious, because the many large SUVs and pickup trucks that are on today’s roadways make it even more difficult for vehicle operators to see motorcycles.

To improve visibility while riding in the area, especially in traffic, try one or more of the following tips:

  • Avoid lane-splitting, which is illegal in Louisiana anyway,
  • Weave slightly inside your lane,
  • Linger a few moments in a vehicle’s rear-view mirror before passing, and
  • Wear brightly-colored clothes.

There is almost no scientific evidence that these techniques effectively improve visibility, but they cannot hurt.

Motorcycle Crash Injuries

Because they prefer large bikes that tend to roll over and may suffer from diminished physical capacities, riders older than 35 are especially at risk for serious injuries. These injuries commonly include:

  • Biker’s Arm: When falling, it is a natural reaction to use one or both arms for bracing. In a high-speed motorcycle crash, extending one’s arms prior to hard contact with the ground or pavement often causes serious nerve damage in the brachial plexus area; this nerve damage is usually permanent.
  • Broken Bones: Due to the nature of these crashes, leg bones are often snapped in two. These injuries almost always require metal pins or screws, followed by months of painful and expensive physical rehabilitation.
  • Internal Injuries: Because of their concern over external trauma injuries, first responders may overlook internal wounds, and the bleeding may continue for hours thereafter.

Damages in a motorcycle wreck case typically include compensation for both economic losses, like medical bills, and noneconomic losses, like loss of consortium (companionship). Punitive damages are also available, in some cases.

For prompt assistance with a motorcycle wreck claim, contact an experienced Lake Charles personal injury attorney from Hoffhoss Devall. You have a limited amount of time to act.