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Injuries that Riders Suffer in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles offer riders little protection in a crash. As a result, riders often suffer a wide range of severe and potentially life-threatening injuries. Some of the common injuries suffered by riders in motorcycle accidents include:

Road Rash

This injury occurs when a motorcyclist is thrown from their bike and slides or skids across the pavement. The friction between the skin and the road surface can result in painful abrasions that range in severity. Mild cases, known as first-degree road rash, may only damage the outer layer of skin. More severe cases, like third-degree road rash, can reach the fat, muscle, or even bone. The latter can lead to severe complications such as infections, skin irritations, surface nerve damage, and permanent scarring. Immediate medical treatment is critical to prevent these complications and promote proper healing.

Broken/Fractured Bones

Because they are more exposed than occupants in passenger vehicles, motorcycle riders, and passengers can easily break or fracture bones in an accident. These injuries often involve the legs, arms, pelvis, and collarbone – bones that absorb the impact when a person is thrown from a bike. Treatment can range from casts and braces for simple fractures to surgery for more complex breaks. Healing times vary widely and depend on the severity of the injury, the specific bone involved, and the individual’s overall health.

Foot, Leg, Hand, and Arm Injuries

A person’s extremities are particularly vulnerable to injury in a motorcycle accident. Riders can experience dislocated joints, ligament sprains or tears, and muscle or tendon strains or tears. Traumatic amputation or limb loss can also occur in more severe cases. These injuries can dramatically affect a person’s ability to work and perform daily tasks and often require significant rehabilitation and potentially prosthetics in the case of amputations.

Head and Neck Injuries

While helmets significantly reduce the risk of severe head and neck injuries, they are not foolproof. Riders can still suffer from facial trauma, including fractures, lacerations, or dental injuries. Whiplash, a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth neck movement, can also occur. The resultant soft-tissue damage can lead to prolonged pain and limited mobility.

Spinal Injuries

Spinal injuries frequently occur due to motorcycle accidents, including herniated discs and spinal cord injuries. These injuries can be life-altering, often leading to chronic pain, limited mobility, and, in severe cases, paralysis. Recovery is often a long, difficult process involving intensive physical therapy and, in some cases, surgery.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Even if they are wearing a helmet, a rider could still suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) if involved in a severe accident. TBIs can range from mild concussions to more severe forms such as contusions or diffuse axonal injuries. These injuries can have serious long-term effects, including cognitive difficulties, sensory problems, and emotional changes.

Fatal Injuries/Wrongful Death

Tragically, many accidents prove to be fatal for motorcyclists. When they happen, they are a terrible tragedy for the families involved. Depending on the circumstances, surviving family members could file a wrongful death claim against the party at fault for the crash. A wrongful death claim could seek compensation for the family’s loss of companionship, emotional distress, loss of the deceased person’s income, funeral expenses, and other related costs. It’s essential to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to help seek the compensation they deserve.

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