Most motorcyclists are aware of the risks they take by being the smallest vehicles on the road. However motorcycles are entitled to the respect of other drivers, and when a careless driver causes an accident, the rider is entitled to damages from that driver for the often catastrophic injuries that result. If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, it’s important to know some of the most common serious injuries riders suffer.
Common Motorcycle Injuries
Each year, nearly 5,000 motorcyclists are killed and 90,000 are injured in crashes, according to crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Even when a rider wears a helmet and other protective gear, he can suffer serious injuries when forced to the pavement by a reckless motorist, including:
- Brain injuries. Even when wearing a helmet, bikers can suffer a traumatic brain injury in a crash. When the brain is jostled in the skull, damage can occur that impacts cognitive and motor functioning. Without a helmet, bikers are susceptible to fatal head injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries. High-speed impact with the pavement can fracture vertebrae and damage the spinal cord, causing partial or complete paralysis. Protective clothing is usually ineffective in protecting a rider’s back.
- Biker’s arm. This common condition of numbness and paralysis is caused by damage to the nerves of the arms and shoulders when a rider braces himself in even a minor crash. The injury can result in permanent loss of arm function.
- Broken bones. Just like the vertebrae in the back, other bones can be broken in a crash, including the arm, leg or pelvis. These fractures can be serious and require surgery or result in permanent disability.
- Burn injuries. With an exposed engine and very hot tailpipe, a rider is in constant danger of being burned when he is thrown off balance. These burns can be very serious and require hospitalization and skin grafts.
- Facial injuries. When a rider is not wearing a helmet with a protective face shield, he can suffer lacerations, broken facial bones, dental injuries and traumatic eye injuries from contact with the pavement or flying road debris.
- Limb amputations. Being thrown from the bike or run over by another vehicle in a collision can result in a damaged limb requiring amputation. The loss of a limb can cause a life-long disability.
- Open wounds. Any part of the biker’s body that is exposed when it hits the ground can suffer a break in skin and tissue. An open flesh wound is susceptible to infection and may require multiple stitches.
- Road rash. Ranging in severity from mild to severe, road rash occurs when exposed skin is dragged across concrete, pavement or gravel. Severe road rash is very painful and can require skin grafts.
- Rotator cuff or shoulder injuries. Like biker’s arm, these injuries occur when the biker tries to absorb the impact of a crash by extending his arm. A torn rotator cuff or shoulder dislocation can create life-long issues.
- Wrongful death. If a motorist’s carelessness caused a motorcycle crash and the rider was killed, the driver could be charged with wrongful death, and his survivors could be owed damages for their loss.
You Need an Experienced Motorcycle Attorney
Not all personal injury attorneys take motorcycle accident cases. Bikers face discrimination from insurance adjusters and juries, and you need an attorney who is prepared to deal with them to help ensure the substantial settlement needed to recover from your catastrophic injuries. At Parker Law Firm, our fee never exceeds your recovery, and you don’t pay unless we win. Call for a free consultation today.