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Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

06/10/2021

Only a motorcyclist can understand the joys and thrills of riding. However, as exciting as it is, the fatality rate among riders is quite alarming. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has comprehensive traffic safety facts on the subject. According to the administration's report, 5,014 motorcyclists died in 2019.

Regarding vehicle miles traveled in the same year, the NHTSA has more disturbing news. Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists were 29 times more at risk of death than four-wheel vehicles. Most motorcycle crashes cause severe injuries and property damage for their victims — you'd learn more about them in this article. You'd also understand why contacting a personal injury attorney for your motorcycle crash is the way to go.

Top Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

A motorcycle rides down a Denver highway

There is a wide range of motorcycle crash injuries witnesses experience on the roads. From extremity injuries to fatal/non-fatal motorcycle injuries. These injuries, when severe, can cause permanent damage to a motorcyclist's body and significantly reduce the quality of life. We've taken out time to discuss some of the most common ones below. 

Road Rash

One of the most common injuries that motorcycle riders experience is road rash.  A road rash is an external skin injury that happens when a hard or rough surface peels your skin. An excellent example of this motorcycle injury is when a motorcyclist flies over the handlebars due to a collision. The effects of road rash are worse when the rider wears thin clothing or no protective gear.

Many times, this type of injury is minor and responds to home treatment plans. However, some riders have extreme road rash that causes permanent nerve damage,  skin irritations, and infections. Again, road rashes can cause permanent scarring and, in some cases, may require skin grafts. Skin grafting is a surgical procedure that transplants skin from one part of the body to another.

Head and Neck Injuries

A head injury is any injury that affects a person's brain, skull, or scalp. It isn't something to take lightly, and it can quickly become a catastrophic injury. One of the most common types of head injuries is TBI(Traumatic Brain Injury). Traumatic brain injuries happen when the rider's head or body violently crashes on hard surfaces, resulting in head trauma.

Other head injuries include concussions, hematoma, hemorrhage, edema, diffuse anoxic injury, etc. Head traumas can be mild or moderate. They can also be severe and lead to devastating complications and even death.

Neck traumas are also common types of motorcycle-related injuries. They affect the neck joints, bones, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and muscles. Neck injuries will cause a lot of pain to the injured rider. They may also cause whiplash — a type of neck injury due to soft tissue damage.

Arm Injuries 

Many motorcycle collisions cause some types of injury to the rider's arm. Many arm injuries are minor, and some motorcyclists can get them due to daily wear and tear or overuse. Severe arm injuries can cause chronic pain to the injured motorcyclists and are usually due to accidental falls from speeding motorcyclists. While minor injuries can heal without medical attention, complicated arm injuries require urgent medical care.

An arm injury affects the arms, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. The different types of this injury include sprains, dislocations, and strains. Common symptoms include severe pain in the arm region, a bent wrist, swelling and bruising. Many injured motorcyclists wouldn't be able to move their arms from up to down and vice-versa.

Spinal Cord Injuries

According to Mayo Clinic, auto and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. They amount to nearly half of the yearly fresh spinal cord injuries. It's important to note that a spinal cord injury is different from a spinal injury. While spinal injuries target any part of the spine, spinal cord injuries specifically affect the spinal cord.

Spinal cord injuries are severe and can cause permanent adverse changes to the injured motorcyclist's everyday life. They usually affect every aspect of the victim's lives, causing physical, mental, and emotional traumas. Common symptoms of spinal cord injuries include loss of sensation, immobility, headache, back or neck pain, bowel problems, etc. Treatment options usually depend on the severity of the spinal cord damage.

Lower-Extremity Injuries 

Motorcycle accidents affect the lower extremities and cause trauma to them. Leg injuries are common types of lower-extremity injuries. They also affect the knees, ankles, thighs, hips, ankles, toes, and feet. In summary, any injury between your hips and toes is a lower-extremity injury. The U.S Department of Transportation stated that a vast majority of injuries in motorcycle accidents involve lower-extremity injuries.

A motorcyclist is more susceptible to injuries in their lower extremity than in their upper body. The symptoms of lower-extremity injuries are deformities in the lower-body regions, restricted motion range, numbness, swelling, bruising, and pain.

Internal Injuries 

A motorcycle speeds down a Denver highway

One significant sign of an internal injury is internal bleeding caused by penetration trauma or blunt-force trauma. Penetration trauma occurs when a sharp object (e.g., a broken glass) cuts through the skin. In blunt-force trauma, nothing pierces the skin. Instead, the skin hits an object so that it affects the internal body without causing external injuries.

A person with blunt-force trauma may not realize it because there are no visible signs of injuries. However, this type of internal injury is dangerous and can get complicated with time. That's why motorcyclists need to seek medical attention after a crash regardless of how they feel.

Fractures 

Fractures are also one of the most typical motorcycle accident injuries that riders have. That's because motorcycles aren't so stable, and they can crash quickly on rough terrains. If the motorcyclist's legs are under the bike as the collision occurs, they can easily fracture. Depending on how they fall, they can break their wrists and ankles or suffer nerve damages.

The most common types of broken bone injury include displaced and non-displaced fractures and open and closed bone injuries. While non-displaced broken bones don't shift away from their original positions, displaced fractures do. Open bone injuries happen when your bones break into two and pierce through your flesh to become visible. Fast bone breaks, unlike open bone fractures, don't become externally noticeable.

Muscle Damage

Muscle strains happen when you overstretch your muscles so that they tear. Most motorcyclists have acute muscle strains that occur when they strain their muscles unexpectedly during a crash. This can lead to severe trauma. 

While a road rash can scrape multiple layers of skin, it can also pull lots of muscle layers. Again, motorcyclists with fractures can also experience muscle damage due to the same collision that caused the broken bones. Swelling, stiffness, soreness, fatigue, muscle spasms are common symptoms of muscle damage.

How Do I Prevent Motorcycle Accident Injuries? 

A 2019  report shows that only 3% of all registered vehicles are motorcycles. The same year, motorcyclists made up 14% of all motor vehicle accident injuries. This indicates that motorcycles are more susceptible to accidents than many other types of motor vehicles. As such, riders must take adequate precautions on the roads to avoid crashes.

They can prevent falling into such dangerous conditions by following these motorcycle safety rules :

  • Wear Helmets and Safety Gears: A study reveals that helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% and the risk of head injury by 69%. That's why the first piece of advice motorcyclists receive is to wear safety helmets and protective gear. In summary, helmeted riders are less likely to have fatal crashes than unhelmeted riders. For better protection, it's best to have the proper safety helmets that meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's standard.
  • Practice Safe Riding: It's essential to obey all traffic regulations and avoid speeding as you ride. When you speed, you lessen your reaction time in emergencies where you need to make an urgent stop. Also, drunk riding or driving under the influence of drugs is hazardous.
  • Inspect Motorcycles Before Riding: Ensure that your motorcycle is road-worthy before starting a ride. If there are any faults, be sure to fix them before riding.
  • Wear Thick Clothing: The thicker your clothing, the less severe body injuries you'd sustain in a crash.

What To Do When You Sustain Motorcycle Crash Injuries

First of all, you must seek medical attention after any motorcycle crash, whether you suspect injuries or not. Even mild accidents can make you susceptible to more severe potential injuries. The earlier you receive medical care, the better your chances of preventing injury complications or death.

If you weren't at fault in the accident, you should contact your motorcycle accident attorneys immediately you feel better. Your legal team will access your case and advise you on the subsequent steps to take to protect your interests. An experienced team of attorneys will ensure that you receive adequate damages that cover your medical bills, emotional trauma, etc. They will also prepare the necessary papers to facilitate your claims and represent you in court when necessary.

When it comes to motorcycle accidents, the type of attorney that presents you matters. That's why you must only contact our motorcycle accident lawyers at Firouzbakht Law firm. We understand your peculiar situation, and so, we'd help you get maximum compensation while you focus on your recovery process.

A motorcycle speeds down a Denver road

Thousand of clients have counted on us in previous times to help them in their dangerous conditions. We delivered on our promises to their satisfaction, and we're extending the same offer to you. Contact us now, and let's set the ball rolling; you deserve all the compensation you can get for your pain.

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