The most common motorcycle accident injury involves damage to the lower extremities, but injuries to the chest area and the head also frequently occur. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bone fractures in the legs tend to occur frequently when a motorcyclist experiences a collision. The NHTSA also notes that even though these types of injuries were more common, head and chest injuries were usually more severe.
Specific injuries a motorcyclist can suffer in a collision with a passenger vehicle include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal injuries
- Broken ribs
- Broken or amputated limbs
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Facial disfigurement
Finally, in the worst of accidents, fatalities occur.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents present particular risks due to the lack of coverage and protection a motorcycle affords its riders. The NHTSA reports that accident victims on motorcycles are 28 times more likely to die in crashes than passengers in a car.
Several factors can contribute to the severity of injuries, such as the size of the motorcycle, the size of the passenger vehicle, and the speed at which either one was traveling. While some patients do recover from their injuries, they often require immediate hospitalization and rehabilitation for weeks or months following a crash.
Lower-extremity injuries refer to injuries below the waist, usually to the legs and pelvis when they occur in motorcycle accidents. Research from the NHTSA found this type of injury to be the most common for motorcyclists.
When riding a motorcycle, your legs and pelvis are two areas that may withstand more of the impact from a collision due to their position on the motorcycle. A severe lower-extremity injury may even disable a victim from walking, either temporarily or permanently.
The second most common motorcycle accident injury is upper extremity injuries, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Other injuries in motorcycle accidents are to the head, face and neck, thorax, and abdomen. Motorcycle riders over the age of 40 usually experience these types of injuries, specifically broken ribs, more than their younger peers.
A couple of factors can explain why larger motorcycles may lead to more upper-extremity injuries. For one, older riders tend to ride larger, heavier motorcycles, which may offer more coverage for their lower extremities.
Another reason thoracic injuries are so common among this age group is that larger motorcycles can overturn more easily. Since larger motorcycles take up more space on the road, they also create a greater risk of the motorcyclist striking a highway structure, like a railing. Each of these scenarios can lead to head injuries or chest injuries.
Motorcycle accidents can cause severe, life-threatening injuries regardless of where on the body the victim suffers damage. In some cases, motorcycle accident victims suffer from both upper and lower-extremity injuries, which increases their recovery time and medical costs.
One way to prevent motorcycle accidents is to observe the rules of the road and always ride with caution. Still, accidents that are beyond your control may happen, and there are few precautions you can take.
One of the few preventative measures you can take as a motorcyclist is to wear a helmet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a motorcyclist experiencing a head injury by 69%. Additionally, they reduce fatalities by 37%.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the majority of states have enacted helmet laws for motorcyclists, though they vary depending on the age of the driver. They advocate for the adoption of universal helmet laws that require all motorcyclists to wear head coverage regardless of their age or the speed at which they are traveling.
Motorcycle Accidents and Negligent Drivers
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you might qualify to hold the negligent driver responsible for your losses through a personal injury lawsuit.
Motorcycle accidents are often severe enough to exhaust the coverage afforded by an insurance policy. Insurance companies may also deny a claim, as well. If this happens to you, you can seek legal representation to help you pursue fair compensation for your losses. It is best to contact expert motorcycle accident attorneys as soon as possible after the crash. Beyond respecting the statute of limitations for an injury claim or lawsuit, time is of the essence in gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, reconstructing the accident, hiring experts to testify on your behalf, etc. If your insurance company offers you a lowball sum or denies your claim altogether, your lawyer will have a solid ground to begin fierce negotiations.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC
If you are facing extensive medical bills and lost wages after a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you can call Ben Crump Law, PLLC for help with your case. A motorcycle accident can cause severe injuries and temporarily or permanently disable you. You should not have to face the consequences of such an injury alone, without legal recourse.
We work on a contingency fee basis, and we are not afraid to take on tough cases. Call us at 800-959-1444 for your free case evaluation.