TV story says repeal will put many motorcyclists in the ER with severe traumatic brain injuries
I was quoted last week in a Channel 4 news story about the repercussions of the proposal to repeal Michigan’s helmet requirement. I was interviewed by Dr. Frank McGeorge and asked to give my view as a Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer about whether Michigan should repeal it’s mandatory helmet law.
Dr. McGeorge got it right. As he said in the beginning of the story, the change in Michigan’s motorcycle helmet law has the potential to put lots of people in the ER with severe head injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
A Beaumont trauma surgeon, who is also an experienced motorcycle rider spelled it out too: You are more likely to sustain severe injuries and to die in a motorcycle accident if you do not wear a helmet.
This is what I’ve been saying to other accident lawyers and politicians all along.
Dr. McGeorge reported both sides of the story, but there were definitely some serious holes in the perspective from Michigan ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education). This is a motorcyclist group that lobbies for the motorcycle helmet repeal.
According to the story, Michigan ABATE spokesperson Jim Rhoades contends that motorcycle helmets “do nothing to stop closed-head injuries” based on an opinion from the Oakland County Medical Examiner L.J. Dragovic. Yet Dragovic said that ABATE took his opinion out of context and the group’s interpretation was inappropriately misleading.
I told McGeorge about the financial consequences of this bill for Michigan taxpayers, as the motorcycle repeal will shift the burden to taxpayers for caring for motorcyclists with lifetime catastrophic medical injuries.
So, given information from a trauma surgeon (who is also an avid biker), the Oakland County medical examiner, motorcycle lawyers who have helped injured bikers and a respected television news medical reporter (who is also an ER doctor) that that all conclude motorcycle helmets will save lives… what’s the reason we are repealing our helmet law again?
There is NO reason to do this. Groups like ABATE are single-issue voters who are putting a lot of pressure on politicians to repeal our helmet law, because they want the individual freedom to ride without a helmet. But freedom ends when everyone else is asked to foot the bill when these catastrophically injured motorcycle riders get shifted onto Medicaid.
This is certain: more people will die, more people will be seriously injured, and the taxpayers will be asked to pay, as otherwise preventable injuries incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in lifetime medical care.
- Steven M. Gursten is partner of Michigan Auto Law and is recognized as one of the nation’s top motorcycle accident lawyers. He received the highest motorcycle settlement in the state last year, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Steve has spoken at trial seminars on motorcycle lawsuits and is available for comment.
Related information to protect yourself:
Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our Michigan motorcycle lawyers.