When a motorcycle crashes, the rider is thrown from the seat and thrown to the ground. If he or she survives, it’s likely that the injuries will be severe. An unfortunate fact is that motorcyclists are more likely to die in a crash than car drivers.
The shape of the helmet and the make of the motorcycle can influence the severity of injuries to riders. In some instances, a head injury is fatal; in others, the only thing damaged is a finger or an arm. Still, other people survive with severe head trauma and severe facial injuries but relatively minor leg or hip damage. It’s possible for someone in that situation to live a normal life without needing any long-term care or treatment at all, but if his or her brain is damaged, he or she may need intensive rehabilitation.
In addition to being injured during the crash, motorcyclists are also at risk of being seriously hurt after they’re ejected from their bikes. This type of injury — commonly called “delayed traumatic brain injury” — can be devastating, especially if it occurs after surviving the initial impact with a vehicle.
Types of Motorcycle Injuries
Every year in the United States over 2,000 motorcyclists are injured and 5,000 are killed in motorcycle crashes. Motorcycle fatalities make up 13% of all fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes. Although not all injuries are serious — most of them are preventable if the rider takes simple precautions and wears safety gear.
Below are some common injuries riders encounter after getting into an accident.
Fracture: Fractures are the most common type of injury suffered by motorcyclists, with about half of all riders suffering them at least once in their lives. Although most fractures heal quickly, some can be life-threatening if they’re not treated right away. If you have a fracture, you should seek prompt medical attention and follow your doctor’s advice regarding rest, activity and lifestyle changes.
Lacerations: A cut on your body or head can be very painful, but it’s also a serious medical emergency that could result in infection or other complications. If you have a laceration, contact your doctor immediately for treatment.
Open wounds: Open wounds can develop germs that can cause infections and other health problems. They need immediate medical attention.
Spinal cord injury: A spinal cord injury occurs when the central nervous system is damaged. The spinal cord is a long bundle of nerves that runs from the brain to the tailbone. It allows communication between the brain and the body’s muscles. Spinal cord injuries can occur from an accident involving a motorcycle or other vehicle, but they can also be caused by an incident involving an ATV, snowmobile, or other similar recreational vehicles. Spinal cord often results in lifelong suffering like limited movement and decreased quality of life. Make sure you are compensated, work with your Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer.
Neurological injuries: Damage to the brain itself can result in neurological injuries. These include concussions, skull fractures, strokes, and seizures. Injuries resulting from trauma to the head or neck have a high risk of lasting damage because they can affect brain function in multiple ways.
Facial injuries: Facial injuries are among the most painful and potentially devastating types of injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. They include broken bones, lacerations, and cuts to the face, mouth, and nose.
Injuries can be deceiving so don’t take anything for granted.
Motorcycle accidents can leave riders with some nasty injuries, but they can also be deceiving. Just because your injuries aren’t immediately visible doesn’t mean they’re not there. Some aren’t visible until weeks or months later.
You can get away with ignoring some injuries, like sore shoulders after a hard run or tight hamstrings after a long ride. But if you ignore a torn MCL or a broken bone, you may let the damage get worse before you realize it’s time for surgery.
Here are some things to watch out for:
The first sign of an injury is pain. You won’t feel pain right away after an accident, but if you feel pain for a few days after the incident and it’s getting worse, it’s a sign that something’s wrong.
Swelling. Swelling from a motorcycle crash tends to show up in one of two ways — as a hard knot or flat area of skin loss. A hard knot usually indicates a fracture, while the flat area usually means a laceration. If you have swelling, it’s possible to break a bone without having any pain at all.
Herniated discs. The scapula is the part of the shoulder blade that raises and lowers the arm on the side opposite the damaged disc and moves it out of the way when you raise your arm. If you have symptoms like numbness and tingling in your arm after an accident, that could be a sign of a herniated disc, which is likely to cause weakness in that arm.
Call an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, in Atlanta there’s no reason to wait before getting help from an experienced lawyer. An Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer can negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf and get the compensation that you need to cover medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages.
When someone is hurt in a motorcycle accident, it may seem like time is on their side. The law does not allow for a claim to be filed until at least two years have passed since the date of the incident. This means that as long as you have not yet reached two years past the date of injury, you are not entitled to legal action against the other driver. Unfortunately, this can be misleading because most people do not remember exactly where they were when they received serious injuries.
Jason M. Ferguson, the founder of Ferguson Law Group, started his career working for an automobile insurance company as a trial attorney before owning his injury law firm for over 20 years. Attorney Ferguson has a unique experience, having tried cases on both sides of the court system in personal injury trials, unlike many other lawyers. Mr. Ferguson also served over 14 years as an Army Reserve officer and the Georgia Air National Guard. The Albany Herald recognized him as one of southwest Georgia’s “40 under 40” in 2010.