Fans of the popular television show NCIS New Orleans may not realize that the actor who plays Patton Plame also uses a wheel chair in real life. Actor Daryl “Chill” Mitchell plays a computer specialist working for the NCIS unit stationed in New Orleans. His character on the show is in a wheel chair but Mitchell does not use the wheel chair only for his character — Mitchell is paralyzed in real life.

Mitchell was injured in a motorcycle accident in South Carolina in the 90s. The injuries he sustained in the motorcycle accident left him paralyzed. After recovering from the accident, Mitchell returned to acting and continued to work with the help of actors, family, and friends. According to Mitchell, he would tell himself “you’re gonna recover the rest of your life, so keep going.”

New Orleans Motorcycle Accidents

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents occur in New Orleans on a regular basis. Just last month, a motorcyclist died after an accident on I-10 and two people had to be pulled from a drainage canal in front of Xavier University after a motorcycle accident on Washington Avenue.  Motorcycle accidents claim the lives of people and injure thousands throughout the United States each year.

During 2013, 4,668 motorcyclists died and another 88,000 riders were injured in motorcycle accidents. Based on the miles traveled, motorcyclists are 26 times more like to die in traffic accidents compared to occupants in passenger vehicles. The reason could be the lack of protection a motorcyclist has during a collision. A motorcycle does not offer the same protection for the rider as a car does for its occupants; therefore, the rider receives the full impact of the collision. In many cases, the rider is thrown from the motorcycle or is crushed by another vehicle.

Keep Your Head On A Swivel When Riding

Motorcyclists may not be able to avoid all collisions; however, driving defensively and always remaining on the lookout for other drivers can reduce the risk of a motorcycle accident. Other safety tips motorcycle riders should follow when riding include:

  • Always have a working headlight and use it during the daytime and at night
  • Always wear a helmet and other protective gear
  • Obey all traffic laws, especially speed limits
  • Avoid riding in a vehicle’s blind spot
  • Put a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you
  • Do not share single lanes with other motorcyclists
  • Never operate a motorcycle after consuming alcohol or drugs
  • Avoid drowsy or fatigued driving
  • Reduce the number of distractions while riding
  • Watch for drivers who are preparing to turn left in front of you when approaching intersections

Individuals who have little experience or no experience riding a motorcycle should take a motorcycle safety course. Even seasoned riders should consider a refresher every now and then.

Do I Need A Special License To Ride A Motorcycle In Louisiana?

Louisiana requires motorcyclists to obtain a motorcycle endorsement to their basic driver’s license. In order to obtain the endorsement, a rider must pay the fee, pass a written knowledge test, and pass an on-cycle driving test. The driving test may be waived upon completion of a Louisiana DPS Motorcycle Safety Course.

Have You Been Injured In A NoLA Motorcycle Accident?

If you have been injured in a New Orleans motorcycle accident, our personal injury attorneys can help. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries if the motorcycle crash was caused by another driver or another party. Contact our office at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free legal consultation.