Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents and How to Claim Compensation

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motor vehicle accidents

Motorcycle accidents are among the most dangerous and devastating types of traffic accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are 24 times more likely to die and 4 times more likely to be injured than passenger vehicle occupants. In 2020, more than 5,500 motorcyclists died and more than 180,000 were treated in emergency departments for motorcycle injuries. The economic costs of these injuries and deaths are also significant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in 2010, fatal and non-fatal bike accidents resulted in productivity losses and lifetime medical costs of $10 billion. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be wondering about common motorcycle accident injuries and how you can claim compensation for your damages. 

Motorcycle Accident Victims: Common Injuries They Suffer

Head injuries and head trauma

Motorcycle accident victims may suffer severe injuries to different parts of the body. Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries are:

Head and neck injuries

Brain injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents, and include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), skull fractures, facial fractures, and dental injuries. Head injuries can result from direct impact with another vehicle, the road surface, or an object. A traumatic brain injury can cause cognitive impairment, memory loss, personality changes, seizures, coma, or death. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 69% and save lives. Neck injuries, like whiplash, can affect the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and spinal cord of the neck, causing pain, stiffness, numbness, weakness, paralysis, or even death.

Spinal cord injuries

Damage to the spinal cord or the nerves that branch out from it is a very serious injury. Spinal injuries can result from excessive force, twisting, or compression of the spine. They can cause paralysis, loss of sensation, loss of bladder and bowel control, chronic pain, or respiratory problems. Spinal cord injuries are often permanent and require lifelong care and rehabilitation.

Chest and abdominal injuries

These include fractures of the ribs, sternum, or spine; internal bleeding; organ damage; or punctured lungs. Chest injuries can result from blunt force trauma or penetrating objects. They can cause difficulty breathing, shock, infection, or death. Chest and abdominal injuries are especially common and damaging to older riders.

Lower extremity injuries

These include fractures, dislocations, sprains, strains, lacerations, or amputations of the feet, ankles, legs, knees, or hips. Lower extremity injuries can result from direct impact with another vehicle or the road surface; being crushed under the motorcycle; or being thrown off the motorcycle. They can cause mobility impairment, disability, deformity, or infection. Leg injuries can affect a rider’s mobility. 

Upper extremity injuries

Your upper extremity includes your shoulder, arms, elbows, wrists, and hands. Upper extremity injuries are very common in motorcycle accidents, as riders often use their arms to brace themselves or shield their bodies from impact. Common injuries include fractures, rotator cuff injuries, dislocated shoulder, torn tendons, and thoracic injuries.

Road rash

This friction wound that occurs when skin scrapes against a rough surface like pavement. Road rash can range from mild to severe depending on the speed of the motorcycle, the type of clothing worn by the rider, and the distance traveled on the ground. Road rash can cause pain, bleeding, scarring, nerve damage, or infection.

Broken bones

Injured motorcyclists are likely to suffer from broken bones, including broken ribs, legs, arms, and wrists. While simple fractures may only require rest and the use of a case, compound fractures usually necessitate surgery. Any type of bone fracture can cause pain, disability, and complications such as infection or nerve damage.

Internal organ injuries

Internal organ injuries are less common in motorcycle crashes, but they can be very serious. These injuries can include lacerations to the liver, spleen, or kidneys. Internal organ injuries can be life-threatening and may require surgery.

How to Claim Compensation for Motorcycle Accidents

Reported motorcycle crashes result

If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash that was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses. To claim compensation, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party or parties who caused your accident.

The process of filing a lawsuit can be complex and challenging. You will need to prove that:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care.
  • The defendant breached that duty by acting negligently or recklessly.
  • The defendant’s breach caused your accident and injuries.
  • You suffered damages as a result of the accident.

You will also need to gather evidence to support your claim such as:

  • Official police report
  • Medical records
  • Photos and videos of the accident scene
  • Witness statements
  • Expert opinions

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to settle your claim out of court with the defendant’s insurance company. However, if the insurance company denies your claim or offers you an unfair amount, you may need to take your case to trial. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who understands these tough situations can help you. 

When Should You Hire a Lawyer?

Lawyer for motorcycle injuries

If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible after your accident. The right motorcycle accident attorney can help you investigate your accident and collect evidence, calculate your damages and demand fair compensation, negotiate with the insurance company or the defendant, and file a lawsuit if a fair settlement cannot be reached.

The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including motorcycle crashes, is typically two years from the date of the accident. If you fail to file a claim within this time frame, you may lose your right to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. 

Speak to a Rancho Cucamonga Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Common injuries suffered for motorcycle operators

Motorcycle accidents can cause serious and life-changing injuries that can affect your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Our qualified and compassionate motorcycle accident lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact Sierra Accident Lawyers at (909) 942-7632 or fill out this form

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