4 Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

common motorcycle injuries

1. Broken Bones

Bones can be fractured, crushed, or broken from blunt force trauma or being run over by another vehicle. You could also lose a foot or hand if it is damaged enough to require amputation. Broken ribs may puncture internal organs or blood vessels, leading to life-threatening injuries that require immediate hospitalization.

2. Head, Brain, and Spinal Cord Injuries

Perhaps the most common injury motorcycle riders suffer in a crash is damage to their head, especially the brain. Helmets can keep you somewhat safer from the worst injuries, but you may still end up with facial lacerations, skull fractures, a concussion, or a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These can lead to cognitive, physical, and behavioral impairments.

You may have an injury to your eyes, ears, or mouth. Dental damage may require multiple surgeries to replace teeth or reposition your jaw. Damage to the spinal cord can leave you paralyzed or in chronic pain for months or years after the motorcycle accident. You may also experience torn ligaments, herniated discs, and nerve damage.

3. Puncture Wounds

Even with sturdy motorcycle leathers, riders can suffer punctures to their limbs or torso from an impact with a vehicle or other object. The forces involved in a crash are devastating to the human body, and shards of metal or glass can carry dirt that leads to infection. Riders are also at risk of bleeding out if they experience deep punctures that cut arteries or veins.

4. Road Rash and Rider’s Arm

Dropping a bike or being thrown from it during an accident can result in two common conditions: road rash and the rider’s arm. Road rash refers to the scraping against the pavement that usually results in something similar to carpet burn, although it can be much more severe. The skin may simply be red and bleed slightly, or it can be removed completely across a large part of the body. When riders don’t wear proper safety gear, road rash is a much greater risk.

Rider’s arm occurs when the full weight of the rider lands on their upper arm. You may suffer paralysis or nerve damage in that area, in addition to the risk of a broken bone. Rider’s arm can result in temporary or permanent loss of sensation and function, limiting your ability to ride again. It can also affect your ability to work and return to your regular life.

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

While every vehicle on the roadways can be subject to accidents, motorcycle riders usually suffer the worst injuries. Cars, trucks, and SUVs provide greater protection to their drivers, but those on motorcycles can only rely on their gear and quick reflexes to avoid a crash.

Motorists in other vehicles often fail to understand how these devastating accidents occur and how catastrophic they can be to bikers. There are many common causes for these kinds of crashes that lead to many common motorcycle injuries. With their smaller size, greater speed, and trickier handling, motorcycles present a challenge to automobile drivers who are unaccustomed to their presence on the roads. When drivers overlook motorcycles or fail to share the road with them, many collisions can result from causes such as:

  • Distracted driving: Distraction behind the wheel means more than just texting while driving. It includes eating, smoking, adjusting the radio, or having emotional conversations with passengers.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: The loss of focus and control means that impaired car drivers are more likely to ignore motorcycles until it’s too late.
  • Failure to yield: Drivers may think they don’t have to yield to motorcyclists, leading to collisions or causing the rider to lose control as they take evasive action.
  • Lane switching: Failing to check blind spots or look for upcoming motorcycles can result in a car cutting off or hitting a bike rider.
  • Left turns: Drivers often fail to see an oncoming bike in intersections or turning into traffic from side roads.
  • Road and weather conditions: Uneven road surfaces, ice, heavy rain, and debris can cause a rider to lose control. The resulting injuries can range from minor road rash to fatalities.
  • Speeding: When drivers exceed the speed limit, it puts everyone at risk of an accident.

Without the protection of an enclosed automobile, motorcyclists can be impacted directly by other vehicles or debris in a crash. They can be thrown from their bikes onto the road, against a guardrail, or onto an automobile, resulting in significant injury or death. There has been a five-year increasing trend in local motorcycle crashes, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Additionally, the Insurance Information Institute reports that in 2020, 5,579 motorcyclists died in crashes, and 83,000 suffered injuries.

Some of the most common types of motorcycle injuries include:

You Deserve Financial Compensation for Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries

You can claim many kinds of damages related to your crash, including both economic and non-economic.

After a motorcycle crash, you must first focus on healing. Once you are out of danger, you and your family should turn to a qualified motorcycle accident attorney to help you understand your options for potential compensation. If someone else is responsible for your collision, you will need guidance on assessing liability and holding them accountable. You can claim many kinds of damages related to your crash, including both economic and non-economic, which are more subjective. The massive effect of a motorcycle accident also includes a mental and emotional toll, which must be included in your estimate of losses. Your request for financial compensation must take into account the following:

  • Emotional distress, mental anguish, anxiety, and depression
  • Fear, pain, and isolation resulting from scarring, disfigurement, and paralysis
  • Home expenses you incur while you recover, including childcare, home maintenance, and / or renovations to your living quarters to accommodate a disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities
  • Past, present, and future medical bills, including hospitalization, ICU, and ER charges
  • PTSD
  • Repayment for a damaged or totaled motorcycle
  • Replacement costs for other property, such as riding gear, cell phone, or other items
  • The income you will lose when you cannot work
  • The severity and extent of your injuries, along with a lengthy recovery
  • Your future earnings if you are disabled and cannot work

Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, meaning that your own insurance will be the first place you turn to pay for your medical costs. However, most people only carry the minimum required insurance (just $15,000 for bodily injury), which is rarely enough to cover the bills. In addition, non-economic losses are hard to recover through an insurance claim.

Since motorcycle injuries often cost hundreds of thousands, your next alternative is to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. This option allows you to seek every penny of compensation from the person and / or entity who hurt you.

When to Hire a Pittsburgh Motorcycle Accident Attorney

When a motorcycle accident is caused by the negligence of another party or parties, those responsible can and should be held legally liable. The best way to do this and secure financial relief for your motorcycle injuries is to hire a Pittsburgh motorcycle accident attorney.

There are a lot of factors involved in demonstrating negligence to seek compensation, including understanding how the law applies to motorcycle accidents. You may be severely injured and do not need to add the stress and confusion of filing insurance claims or a lawsuit yourself.

The experienced personal injury lawyers of SMT Legal offer free consultations, handle all the necessary paperwork, and manage negotiations on your behalf. We research and analyze the evidence, obtain witness and expert testimony, and develop a strong case supporting your liability and damage claims. You can rest easy while we tackle the legal hurdles on your behalf.

Speak With Our Pittsburgh Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today

Motorcycle injuries can be devastating and even life-altering. In these highly stressful situations, victims and their families may not know what to do to obtain the financial compensation they need to recover financially, emotionally, and physically.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident resulting in injury or death, contact the trial attorneys at SMT Legal to set up a free consultation to discuss your needs.

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