Recovering from any injury accident can be a challenge, especially if it was severe, such as a passenger car or trucking-related traffic accident. Therefore, it goes without saying that most individuals who receive serious injuries due to a bicycle-related traffic accident might have an even harder time recovering from such a collision. This goes not only for the initial medical treatment, but also for the inevitable rehabilitation period needed to get oneself back to a relatively normal level; that of one’s pre-crash health, if that is even possible.
Never mind the sometimes incredible cost of medical care and rehab expenses, a person injured as a result of a car-bicycle collision can suffer from extreme bodily distress, including compound fractures of the arms or legs, spinal cord damage, internal injuries and, many times worst of all, closed-head trauma (also known as traumatic brain injury).
As Maryland personal injury attorneys representing individuals injured or killed as a result of another person’s negligence, I and my staff know the pain and discomfort that comes in the wake of a devastating car, truck or motorcycle crash. Pedestrians and bicycle riders are not immune to such incidents, since they also share the road from time to time with other, larger motor vehicles.
No one can say for certain whether the road to recovery for any one person will be easy or hard, but what is generally understood is that the more serious or life-threatening an injury, the longer the recovery period. We were reminded of this simple fact upon reading a story about a Maryland school principal who only returned to his job in mid-December following a bad traffic accident last summer.
According to reports, Frank Vetter — previous principle of Urbana Middle School and now principle of Middletown Middle School in Frederick County, MD — was injured while riding his bike back on July 17, 2011. The accident occurred, according to police reports, at the intersection of Maryland Rte 85 and Lilypons Rd.
Although his memories of the incident that day are far from complete, Vetter did say that he recalled seeing a car coming at him and his face hitting the vehicle’s windshield. Based on news article, Vetter was apparently thrown more than 25 feet from the point of the impact with the automobile. Following the car crash, as he slid in and out of consciousness at the roadside, Vetter recalls that someone said he would need to be medevaced to a hospital.
Once emergency responders arrived on the scene, the injured cyclist was choppered to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Following a couple of surgeries, Vetter ended up staying in the hospital for almost a week; then returning home for physical therapy that was to continue into the new year.
The man’s apparently excellent physical condition — due to his training for triathlons and other physical events — played a positive role in his recovery. All the same, he was knocked out of commission for the better part of five months following the accident; just an example of the severity of such a collision and the time needed to get back to health.
Although Vetter is a former triathlon competitor and runner, he has stated that he may not be in too much of a hurry to get back on his bike. “I physically can ride,” he told reporters, “and mentally…technically I can get on the bike.” But, he adds, “My family worries about me on the bike.”
Familiar face back at helm of Middletown Middle School, Gazette.net, December 15, 2011