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Vehicle Accident

The 7 Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcycle Accident injuries

You’ve always felt safe on your bike. Then, you were in an accident. And your motorcycle accident injuries did more than just cause you physical pain–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.

1. Traumatic Brain Injury

close up of a doctor's hand pointing to an MRI image showcasing a traumatic brain injury

Head injuries, especially traumatic brain injuries (TBI), are one of the most common motorcycle accident injuries. TBs also come 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, which is the powerhouse and motherboard of your body. 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.

2. Neck Injuries

Man with neck injury visiting doctor for check-up

We don’t tend to spend time thinking of our neck beyond its purpose of providing support for our head. But an injury to the neck can have more serious consequences than many people realize.

If you were rear-ended in a motorcycle accident, the whiplash from the impact could have damaged your neck. Additionally, if you were thrown backwards, your neck could be injured, even if your head was protected by a helmet.

A neck injury can result in anything from a broken collarbone to paralysis to death. If you are living with a neck injury after a motorcycle accident, it’s imperative that you seek medical care immediately to prevent symptoms from worsening.

3. Bone Fractures

x-ray image showing a fracture shaft of fibula bone in leg

Bone fractures are another common motorcycle accident injury.

Many motorcycle accidents involve the bike falling over in some way. And, this usually happens so fast that the rider doesn’t have time to get their legs out of the way. So, most times the bike falls on top of the rider’s leg, which then 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, you’re far more likely to break your arm than break your fall.

4. Spinal Cord Injuries

doctor pointing with pencil to an x-ray image of a fracture in spine

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:

  1. Partial
  2. Complete

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 it 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.

5. Skin Abrasions & Road Rash

wearing gloves, a nurse wraps a wounded man's arm with gauze

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-plus miles per hour).

There are three types of road rash:

  1. First Degree (skin looks red and feels tender, but is otherwise unharmed)
  2. Second Degree (the skin’s surface is broken, but the inner layers are still intact)
  3. Third Degree (outer layers are stripped off, revealing muscle, tissue, and fat)

Third-degree road rash requires immediate medical attention and may require skin grafts depending on the severity of the wound.

6. Biker’s Arm

a motorcyclist falls on arm after getting into an accident in a busy intersection

Biker’s arm is an injury that results from a motorcycle falling on a 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 that 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.

7. Emotional Trauma

photo of a man sitting down with his face in his hands

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.

Are You Suffering from Motorcycle Accident Injuries?

Motorcycle accident injuries can be devastating. When these accidents happen, you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.

At Giroux Trial Attorneys, we know the unique struggles and prejudices faced by motorcyclists, and that’s why we won’t stop until you get the results you deserve. No sum can make up for what you’ve lost, but it can help make the healing process easier. Let us fight for you–contact our firm today to schedule your free consultation.

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