The number of people killed or injured in motorcycle accidents increased by 11% recently. As thrilling as motorcycles are to ride, the high speed and unprotected nature of these bikes can lead to significant medical injuries. Anyone who rides a motorcycle needs to be aware of the risks.
There are several reasons for this. For one, motorcycles lack the structural protection and safety provisions that are standard in other motor vehicles. In addition to an exterior protective body, motorcycles also lack airbags, seat belts, and other cabin protections.
Motorcyclists are also at risk because drivers can lose sight of them due to blind spots and because they’re smaller vehicles. Mix in things like distracted and aggressive driving, and it’s easy to understand why so many motorcycle accidents occur.
The injuries from these accidents require the skill and expertise of a personal injury lawyer that specializes in these cases. The tips in this article will help you learn how to deal with any motorcycle accident injuries you suffer.
1. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
In 2020, more than 64,000 people suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It’s one of the most common and devastating motorcycle injuries. TBI can lead to long-term or permanent injury, requiring significant care and medical attention.
These injuries occur whenever a motorcycle rider suffers a blow or a jolt to the head. Depending on the impact, a TBI can range from mild to severe.
Mild TBI Symptoms
A personal injury lawyer that specializes in TBI will help you prove your damages. You’ll undergo several medical evaluations following a motorcycle accident. These evaluations may involve Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) technology to diagnose and help treat your injuries.
Sometimes, TBI is so mild that it doesn’t show up on these scans, or the scans don’t denote significant damage. In these cases, motorcycle accident victims report symptoms like nausea and chronic headache.
They may also feel disoriented, fatigued, or deal with light sensitivity, insomnia, memory loss, and mood swings.
Moderate TBI Symptoms
When TBI symptoms are moderate, they often come with symptoms like loss of consciousness and seizures. A person with moderate TBI might lose consciousness for anywhere from a half-hour to a few hours.
The injury is still considered moderate if the period of lost consciousness lasts for less than 24 hours. These symptoms might also come with dilated eyes, loss of balance, pronounced confusion, and chronic vomiting.
People who suffer from moderate TBI might also suffer from sleep-wake disorders. These kinds of disorders disrupt the quality, timing, and amount of sleep an individual may be able to get.
Severe TBI Symptoms
These are the most significant forms of TBI, and the most life-altering. With severe TBI, any combination of TBI symptoms are present but are also accompanied by being unconscious for more than 24 hours.
Permanent brain damage or worse can occur when a person suffers severe TBI. These patients often need long-term care and have a long road to recovery.
2. Road Rash Injuries
Motorcycle safety is so critical because the injuries are potentially quite painful. These injuries occur when a motorcyclist falls off their bike and suffers an abrasion.
The friction and heat from the road can create significant injury, particularly in warm weather areas. People can suffer road rash anywhere on the body, and it typically occurs on the arms or legs.
Motorcyclists should wear some protective equipment to prevent road rash, including:
- Motorcycle pants
- Safety eyewear
Purchase the best motorcycle gear you can find to stay safe when you ride.
3. Internal Bleeding Injuries
Getting a thorough Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan is the first part of knowing what to do after a motorcycle accident, largely because your injuries may not be obvious. Internal bleeding is a common motorcycle accident injury that can also be fatal.
The trauma suffered from a motorcycle accident can cause a puncture, laceration, or other injuries that lead to internal bleeding. These injuries require thorough scans since they’re not easy to see or diagnose.
Motorcyclists suffering from internal bleeding might experience lightheadedness, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of consciousness, low blood pressure, and other issues.
4. Injuries to the Back and Spinal Cord
Upward of a half-million people in the United States suffer spinal cord injuries. Due to the speed and nature of motorcycles, even a minor accident can lead to spinal trauma.
Even when the spinal cord isn’t injured, a motorcycle accident victim can deal with a back injury or chronic pain. This injury can become nagging, particularly if it’s in the lumbar area or if it requires surgery.
Back pain injuries tend to involve a lot of physical therapy to help people regain their range of motion, strength, and fluid use of extremities and muscle groups connected to the back.
5. Shoulder and Neck Injuries
Motorcyclists who get into accidents often also deal with shoulder and neck injuries. Many motorcycle accidents involve sudden stops or changes in direction. This momentum causes the neck to take the brunt of the force.
As a result, accident victims often suffer ligament damage, tears, swelling, strain, and other injuries to the shoulders and neck. When the neck is compromised, the shoulders often also have to compensate and can get injured as a result.
Recovery from these injuries might require surgery and extensive physical therapy to make them strong and to get back to full rotation.
6. Broken Bones and Amputation
Getting knocked from a motorcycle can cause blunt force that leads to broken bones and injuries to limbs. Riders might suffer compound or closed fractures. These injuries might also involve oblique or spiral fractures.
It’s not uncommon for riders to experience disfigurement or loss of a limb in these accidents. The severity and recovery for these injuries can vary greatly, and require extensive care.
The Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The way that you respond after these injuries will dictate your ability to recover. Knowing what to do after a motorcycle accident should always involve hiring a lawyer that specializes in motorcycle accident injuries.
They’ll sit down with you for a consultation and will advise you on the next steps for getting treatment and legal help.