You’ve always felt safe on your bike. More than that, you’ve always felt free. Free to love the open road, free to revel in the feeling of flying down the highway.
Then, you were in an accident. And your motorcycle accident injuries did more than just harm your body–they took away your peace of mind.
One unlucky accident can change your life forever. If you or a loved one was recently in a motorcycle accident, be on the lookout for these common injuries.
Head injuries, especially traumatic brain injuries, are one of the most common injuries in motorcycle accidents, and the one with the highest risk of fatality or permanent disability.
Your head is arguably the most important part of your entire body. It houses your brain, the powerhouse and motherboard of your whole body, and if you suffer a blow to the head, you could be at risk of a cracked skull, a concussion, brain swelling, brain bleeding, or worse.
These injuries are especially traumatizing for victims because the impact of a brain injury is so far-reaching. It could affect the way you perceive the world, your ability to speak or move your limbs, or any number of subconscious bodily functions.
We don’t tend to spend time thinking of our neck beyond a vessel to carry our head. But a neck can have more serious consequences than many people realize.
A motorcycle struck from behind can create whiplash just as easily as a rear-ended car. And if you’re thrown backward, your neck could be injured even if your head is protected by a helmet, resulting in anything from a broken collarbone to paralysis to death.
Another common motorcycle accident injury is bone fractures–most of all a broken leg.
Since a motorcycle can’t stand on its own (it only has two wheels) and physics is very much in favor of a car, many motorcycle accidents involve the bike falling over in some way. This happens so fast that the rider doesn’t have time to get their legs out of the way, which means that the bike falls on top of the rider’s leg and fractures it.
Legs can also be broken on impact if a car hits a motorcycle from the side. Again, the rider doesn’t have time to get their leg out of the way and their leg could be crushed between the bike and the car.
Unfortunately, arm and wrist fractures are also quite common. Like most people, your instinct is to use your hands to try to break a fall. But when you’re thrown off a motorcycle at high speeds, you’re far more likely to break your arm than break your fall.
The spinal cord is the relay system between your brain and the rest of your body. If it’s damaged or severed, this can affect you for the rest of your life.
There are two forms of spinal cord injuries:
People with partial spinal cord injuries retain some level of motor function and sensation below the point of injury, though there are many degrees of severity. Complete spinal cord injuries involve total severance of the spinal cord and result in a complete loss of sensation and motor control below the injury.
In addition, spinal cord paralysis is categorized as either paraplegia or tetraplegia. Paraplegia is the form most people are familiar with and affects all or part of the legs, trunk, or internal organs below the point of injury. Tetraplegia, also called quadriplegia, affects your arms, legs, hands, feet, and internal organs in the torso.
Depending on the nature of your spinal cord injury, there may be other chronic secondary complications, including respiratory problems, cardiovascular problems, urinary and bowel complications, pain syndromes, pressure ulcers, and osteoporosis.
While many people think that bikers wear leather jackets to look cool, the real reason is much more utilitarian: protection.
Unlike a car, a motorcycle doesn’t have any protection surrounding the bike to hold the rider in or take the impact of an accident. Because of this, motorcyclists are much more likely to be thrown off their bike in an accident.
This is where leather motorcycle gear comes in.
True motorcycle jackets are made with reinforced leather to protect the rider against friction burns if they’re thrown off the bike. Leather is slick and durable, which means that it helps you slide across pavement if you find yourself airborne. While denim might look cool, pavement and high-speed friction will go through it like melted butter.
This is how you can get road rash, a type of friction burn or skin abrasion that results from rubbing your skin against something rough (like, for example, the pavement at 30+ miles an hour).
There are three types of road rash:
Third-degree road rash requires immediate medical attention and may require skin grafts depending on the severity of the wound.
Biker’s arm is an injury that results from a motorcycle falling on the biker’s arm during an accident.
We have a human instinct to draw our arms in and protect our internal organs during a fall. However, this means our arms bear the brunt of impact when we fall. And because the arms and hands are such complicated, fine motor limbs, this can result in any number of issues down the road.
For example, you may have mobility in your arm but none in your fingers. Or, you may have good control of your fingers but limited control of the muscles in your shoulder and elbow. You may not have any sensation at all. It could be one arm, or it could be both.
We use our arms and hands for almost every task in our daily life, from writing to eating to unlocking the front door. Losing mobility or sensation in your arm or hand can have a detrimental effect on your quality of life as you learn how to live without two functioning arms.
Finally, perhaps the biggest injury of all is emotional trauma.
Maybe you were going to work or running to the store or just having a pleasant weekend ride. Then, out of nowhere, you found yourself in an accident that changed the trajectory of your life.
For many riders, it’s hard to feel fully safe on the road again, even after the physical wounds have healed. It’s hard to feel safe bringing loved ones with you on the bike again. And that peace of mind is something no one should have taken away.
Motorcycle accident injuries can be devastating, and not just for those who were injured. Entire families must recover from the pain and heartbreak of a motorcycle accident.
When this happens, you need a great motorcycle accident attorney. Because no family should have to fight through that tragedy alone.
At Giroux Trial Attorneys, we know the unique struggles and prejudices faced by motorcyclists and their loved ones. And that’s why we won’t stop until you get the results you deserve. We recently won a $12 million settlement for a motorcycle accident victim whose accident resulted in severe brain and orthopedic injuries.
No sum can make up for what you’ve lost, but it can help make the healing process easier. Let us fight for you–get in touch today for your free consultation.