Driving or riding on a motorcycle is incredibly exciting and fun.
A trip on a motorcycle can make even the most routine drive seem fresh and new. Motorcycle driving is not only an enjoyable pastime, but it can be economical too. Motorcycles cost far less to fill up. And with today’s fuel prices, that can be a blessing. Even better, today’s motorcycles are far more safe to drive than the bikes of the past. Motorcycles have well-placed, numerous mirrors so you always know what’s beside you and behind you. Bikes also come equipped with plenty of reflectors, incredibly powerful brakes, and strong and grippy tires.
But unfortunately, accidents happen. The fact of the matter is that motorcycles have to share American roadways with much larger passenger vehicles, semi trucks, and trailers. These types of vehicles have a lot of blind spots, and drivers can easily fail to see a much smaller motorcycle driving close to them. Motorcycle accidents can be incredibly deadly. There is very little protection for the driver of a bike.
While 20% of all reported vehicle crashes are fatal, up to 80% of all motorcycle crashes involve a fatality. Of those remaining 20% who don’t die from a motorcycle crash, they will experience serious, sometimes life-changing injuries. A reported 12% of all motorcycle crash victims go on to develop a disability. Below, we’ll cover the most common motorcycle crash injuries and why it’s crucial to have an attorney’s help if you’ve been injured.
1. Road Rash
When people hear ‘road rash,’ they will often mistakenly equate it to rug burn, or a simple cut, scrape, or bruise. But road rash is an incredibly painful and serious condition. Without proper treatment, road rash can lead to severe infections and scarring. An untreated infection can be fatal. There are three different types of road rash:
- Avulsion, the most common type of road rash happens when the skin is scraped away and lower layers of muscle, fat, and sometimes bone are left exposed.
- Open wounds always require stitches. If it is particularly severe, the victim may require a skin graft to treat the road rash.
- Compression road rash happens when part of the body is caught between two objects, usually the motorcycle and the road. Compression road rash causes bruising, muscle damage, and sometimes broken bones.
To treat road rash, the wounds must be surgically cleaned of all debris. Sometimes, victims need to undergo a skin graft or extensive plastic surgery. Top-of-the-line treatment for road rash can still lead to permanent scarring. The best way to protect yourself from a road rash injury is to always wear protective gear before you go out on the road.
- Jackets made of durable material
- Pants made of durable material
- Heavy boots
- Heavy gloves
Protective clothing that’s made of durable, thick material such as leather is the best method of protection from road rash. Never go for a ride without covering yourself first.
2. Broken Bones
Broken bones are the second most common motorcycle crash injury, and they always require medical treatment. Broken bones can cause disfigurement, permanent nerve damage, and sometimes disability. Depending on what bones you’ve broken will determine how long it takes for the injury to heal and if you’ll experience life-long pain from the break. A broken sternum will take longer to heal than a broken rib, and compression spinal fractures can cause lifelong nerve pain long after the bones have healed.
3. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A TBI is the third leading motorcycle crash injury, and is incredibly severe and distressing. Head trauma is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. Those who are lucky enough to survive will develop a TBI. And 10% of all TBI sufferers will have trouble living independent lives.
A TBI is disabling and painful, leading to neurological changes and complications that interfere with signals between the brain and the spinal cord. There a several symptoms involved in a TBI, and it can take doctors a long time and many tests before they can pinpoint that a TBI is the culprit. Simple, common symptoms like nausea and dizziness can indicate a TBI or spinal trauma, and swift medical attention is imperative. Without quick and adequate treatment, a TBI can lead to more severe, debilitating symptoms and permanent disability.
Even a well-treated TBI can lead to mental health changes that can take months or years to develop. It’s crucial that after a motorcycle accident you contact an experienced attorney for help.
Why do you need an attorney after a motorcycle crash?
While most injuries can take weeks, months, or sometimes years to heal completely, they can also take a long time to manifest. After an accident, even if you don’t think you’re injured or your injuries aren’t severe, you need to go to the hospital. Initial injuries can be deceiving. By going to the hospital, not only will you be adequately treated, you’ll also have an official records regarding the accident. You need these records during a personal injury case.
Motorcycle injuries are usually more severe and longer-lasting than injuries from a vehicle crash. Car insurance companies will often fail to take responsibility and pay for your medical bills. Your own insurance company might even give you a hard time settling your medical bills. Your job after getting injured is to heal, not police the insurance companies. An attorney will look out for your best interests and keep your medical bills from going to collections. They’ll also know how to work with the insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve had the misfortune of being involved in a motorcycle crash, you’ve already beat the odds by surviving. It’s critical to your future well-being to rest and heal from your injuries, not worry about medical debt and the stress of dealing with an insurance company. Your attorney works for you, and will do their absolute best to get the insurance company to take responsibility for your injuries. If you’re suffering as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.