For a motorcyclist, nothing compares with the exhilaration of a long ride on a beautiful Michigan day. In addition to providing a sense of freedom, riding can increase concentration, improve cognitive functioning and reduce stress, according to a study published in the International Journal of Automotive Engineering. What’s more, motorcycling burns up to 300 calories an hour and helps strengthen core muscles.
Based on these and other benefits, it’s hard to imagine a downside to this popular pastime. However, when a motorcycle accident occurs, a rider is 29 times more likely to be killed than a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA). In fact, more than 80% of motorcycle accidents result in serious injury or death for the motorcyclist compared to 20% of crashes involving cars or trucks.
Here is an overview of the most common injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents.
This is the most common type of serious motorcycle accident injury, often resulting from a head-on collision with another vehicle or fixed object such as a tree. Traumatic brain injuries also occur when a rider is ejected from the motorcycle onto the pavement or other hard surface. Head injuries, which also include concussions and skull fractures, can cause brain damage ranging from temporary to permanent, in addition to spinal paralysis or neurological damage that may result in lifelong disability. While a helmeted rider may still sustain a serious head injury, helmets are proven to save lives and prevent many severe outcomes.
These injuries can cause paralysis (paraplegia or quadriplegia) and other catastrophic consequences that may result in permanent disability. Some victims are able to retain some sensation and motor function while others may require lifetime care.
These are some of the most common injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes. Leg injuries occur more frequently, including knee damage, broken bones and soft tissue injuries. Victims often require surgery, physical therapy and other long-term treatment in order to recover. In addition, some lower-extremity injuries when the skin is penetrated and cut by broken glass or other sharp objects.
The impact of a motorcycle crash can cause internal bleeding and damage vital internal organs. Treatment and recovery prognosis vary according to which organs are injured and the severity of the damage.
Two-wheeled vehicles such as motorcycles are likely to fall over in a crash. And, because accidents happen in seconds, a rider’s leg may be pinned under the bike when it lands, causing bones in the leg, knee or foot to fracture. Additionally, extending the arms in an attempt to break a fall can cause the rider’s wrists, arms or shoulders to fracture. While broken bones are often considered minor injuries, they can cause permanent nerve damage, disfigurement and other disabling conditions.
Road rash refers to the skin abrasions that occur when a biker hits the pavement during a crash. Many people underestimate the severity of this condition, equating it with a skinned knee. However, road rash can be quite serious. If the victim does not receive prompt and proper medical attention immediately, infections, surface nerve damage and permanent scarring may result.
Recommended reading: How to Check Your Motorcycle for Damage After a Crash
After an accident, including a car or motorcycle crash or a serious fall, victims experience a certain degree of shock. As a result, you may not feel pain or have an accurate sense of your physical well-being. Therefore, you should go to an emergency room or urgent care facility immediately after a crash and then follow up with your doctor. Many serious injuries do not show up for days, weeks or even months after a trauma, so subsequent medical evaluations are important.
Furthermore, victims should call an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible and refrain from signing any insurance papers or talking with an agent or claims adjuster. If you accept a hasty settlement or sign papers prematurely, you forfeit your right to sue the at-fault driver if your injuries prove to be more severe. A knowledgeable lawyer will help you avoid costly mistakes and receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Recommended reading: What Every Biker Should Know: A Basic Guide to Michigan Motorcycle Laws
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, we can help. Because many of our lawyers ride, we understand the pleasures and pitfalls of biking. We know what it takes to win your case, and we will put our collective legal expertise and extensive resources to work for you. Once we start your case, we won’t stop until we win the compensation you and your family deserve.
Motorcycle accident law is complicated, but finding the right motorcycle accident lawyer is simple.
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