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Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation for many people throughout the United States. The number of registered on-road motorcyclists increased from 4.2 million in 2002 to 8.3 million in 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Despite their popularity, however, motorcycles are dangerous and lead to a significant number of injuries and deaths every year. Common motorcycle injuries can result in serious damage that could affect your life for years to come. Not only is it important to know what these injuries are but how to treat them if you should start to show signs of damage.

Motorcycle Dangers

Motorcycles do not have many of the safety features that cars provide, including seatbelts and airbags. They also lack the protection of an enclosed cab that surrounds the driver. Furthermore, motorcycles are difficult for motorists and truck drivers to spot when changing lanes on busy roads. It is essential that motorcyclists are on constant lookout for cars to avoid a collision. While manufacturers attempt to fit new models with the latest safety equipment, including anti-lock braking systems, the slightest oversight may result in a devastating accident.

Accident Injuries

Motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injuries, long-term damage and death. According to the National Safety Council, there were approximately 5,579 motorcycle fatalities in 2020 alone. Motorcycle rider and passenger deaths increased by 11% from 2019 to 2020. Common accident injuries include lacerations, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, bone fractures, spinal cord injuries and road rash. Each of these injuries has the potential to cause long-term issues for motorcycle accident victims.

Lacerations

During an accident, people may get cut by flying objects, such as steel and glass. Giant lacerations in the flesh create reservoirs for bacteria to grow. Furthermore, some cuts may shred through critical tendons and nerves, creating ongoing pain during the recovery process.

Internal Bleeding

When the body hits a hard surface, such as a wall or pavement, blunt force trauma may cause internal bleeding or organ damage, according to Healthline. As blood pools into the inner cavities, you may notice certain symptoms develop, including the following:

  • Large bluish, purple bruises on the skin
  • Severe abdominal pain that grows in intensity
  • Blood in the stools, urine or vomit
  • Swelling, pain and tightness
  • Dizziness, headaches or shortness of breath
  • Sudden chills and fevers

People who have internal bleeding may cough up blood or have a drop in blood pressure.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Falling off a motorcycle and hitting your head can cause serious brain damage. While the skull cavity provides protection for the soft tissue of the brain, it can also cause damage under the right circumstances. The impact of a fall may cause the brain to smack into the hard bone, resulting in brain inflammation, bleeding, tearing and bruising. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is important to pay attention to the symptoms of brain damage, which include the following:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Tingling in the extremities and muscle weakness
  • Sensory deficiencies, such as trouble hearing, seeing and communicating with others
  • Difficulty remembering, concentrating or organizing thoughts
  • Changes in mood and behavior
  • Difficulty sleeping or constant fatigue

People who suffer from traumatic brain damage may find it hard to return to work or interact with others.

Bone Fractures

According to Johns Hopkins University, serious bone fractures may lead to long-term issues. Whether the fracture causes the bone to break through the skin or is contained within the body, it is important to seek immediate treatment. Broken bones can damage critical vessels, tendons and ligaments, or get infected. Even after the bone is healed, the injured victim may continue to feel recurring pain.

Spinal Cord Injuries/ Paralysis

When an object pierces through the spinal cord, it can cause serious damage, including paralysis. The spinal cord is made up of a bundle of nerves that travels down the back, and out through gaps in the vertebrae. A slipped vertebral disc or broken bone can interfere with the transmission of nerve signals and result in paralysis or severe nerve damage. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of a spinal cord injury include the following:

  • Tingling or numbness in hands, toes or fingers
  • Weakness in the body
  • Extreme neck or back pain or pressure
  • Intense stinging sensation 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control 

You may experience an altered sensation when it comes to feeling heat, cold or touch.

Road Rash

Victims of motorcycle accidents may slide across the road when a cycle falls over and skids for a significant distance. This prolonged contact with the road can cause road rash abrasions. Skin may get scraped off by the surface and debris could become lodged within the skin and open sores. These friction burns can occur anywhere on the body and could result in scarring and infection if not treated properly.

Potential Long-Term Damage

Depending on the specific circumstances of the situation, crash injuries have the potential to cause long-term damage. You may have to undergo several surgeries to reconstruct areas of your body, repair bone fractures and remove road rash debris. The treatment and rehabilitation process may take years.

Not only are there physical repercussions of healing after a serious injury, but there are also psychological and financial consequences. As the medical expenses continue to pile up, you may be unable to work and pay your bills. The trauma could result in ongoing anxiety or depression.

Occupational Issues

Physical and mental injuries obtained from a motorcycle accident may make it difficult for you to return to work. If you are unable to remember, concentrate or plan due to brain trauma or chronic back pain leaves you unable to lift objects, you may not be able to engage in former work activities.

It is hard or even impossible to make ends meet when you do not have a reliable source of income. You may struggle to manage the expense of daily living, including paying medical bills, credit card bills, heat and power and all other costs. Whether you are stuck home from work for a short period of time or you cannot return to work at all, you may receive financial assistance to help with medical expenses and the cost of living.

When Should You Partner With An Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to seek help before confronting the insurance company on your own. You should not have to suffer because of another driver’s negligence. It is important to hold those responsible for the accident accountable for their actions.

An experienced attorney can partner with you and ensure your rights are upheld. You may receive compensation for the following:

  • Personal trauma
  • Surgical procedures
  • Rehabilitation and home care assistance
  • Lost wages from work

During your initial consultation, you can discuss details regarding the accident with a trustworthy attorney and they can help you determine the next steps to take. At Fielding Law, our team of legal professionals will give your case the personalized attention it deserves. We will look at every facet of your case and customize the best route of action that will maximize your compensation. Call our office today to speak with a knowledgeable attorney.

Sources:

https://www.iihs.org/api/datastoredocument/bibliography/2181#:~:text=The%20number%20of%20on%2Droad,in%202018%20(Table%201).

https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-motorcycle-crashes

https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/road-users/motorcycles/

https://www.healthline.com/health/internal-bleeding

https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/pdf/TBI_Report_to_Congress_Epi_and_Rehab-a.pdf

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-cord-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20377890