Motorcycles are not as stable as cars and are often less visible to drivers. During an accident, motorcycle riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, making them more vulnerable to serious injuries or fatalities.
CALC’s California motorcycle accident attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for our injured clients. If you’re suffering from injuries in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, contact us now, as you may be eligible for compensation.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
A motorcycle does not provide the level of protection a car does to its owner and therefore presents certain risks. According to the NHTSA, motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in accidents than occupants of cars.
The severity of motorcycle accident injuries depends on many factors, some of which include the size and speed of the vehicles involved in the accident. Although motorcycle accidents are more dangerous, one can recover from their injuries. However, it can take weeks or even months in hospitals and rehabilitation following a motorcycle crash.
Let’s look at some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries.
These types of injuries are the ones that occur below the waist. Motorcycle accidents can cause injuries to the legs and the pelvis region, and according to NHTSA, these are the most common types of injuries for a motorcyclist.
During a motorcycle accident, most of the time, the legs hit the road first, which is why lower-extremities injuries are more common among motorcycle riders.
Some of the lower extremity injuries a motorcyclist can suffer following an accident include:
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Hamstring injury
- Bone fractures
- Road rash injuries.
Although many other types of lower extremity injuries can occur following a motorcycle accident, injuries to the legs and pelvis remain more common than others due to the positioning of the motorcyclist on a motorcycle.
A severe lower extremity injury can also result in a disability preventing the victim from walking for a few days, months, or even the rest of their lifetime.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states that upper extremity injuries are the second most common type of motorcycle accident injury.
Some of the upper extremity injuries include:
- Bruises, abrasions, and road rash
- Broken bones and fractures
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries.
After the legs and pelvis, the head, face, neck, and abdomen are the most affected regions. However, depending on the age of the motorcyclist, they may be more likely to suffer one type of injury than others. For example, a motorcyclist over the age of 40 is more likely to experience broken ribs than those younger than him.
The size of the motorcycle plays a role in the type of injury a motorcyclist suffers following an accident. Older people tend to ride larger motorcycles, which cover their lower extremities, but due to their heavy weight, there are risks of accidents resulting in more upper-extremity injuries.
Senior riders are also susceptible to thoracic injuries since larger motorcycles can overturn more easily than smaller-sized motorcycles. Larger motorcycles also take up a lot of space on the road, which makes them more prone to hitting highway structures like railings, causing head or chest injuries.
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents
Due to the nature of the vehicle, motorcycle accidents are statistically more fatal than any other vehicle accident. Motorcycle occupants are far more exposed to the environment, which can cause life-threatening injuries, than car occupants. In some situations, a motorcyclist can suffer from both upper and lower extremity injuries, which can further stretch out the recovery time for a motorcycle accident and even push medical expenses upwards.
If you’re a motorcycle rider, the best way to ensure safety is to observe the traffic rules and road signs while riding with caution. Although you may be following the law, there may be someone negligent in their actions, which could cause injuries to you. You can take a few precautions to reduce the risk of serious injury.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a motorcyclist can reduce the risk of head injuries by 69% if they’re wearing a helmet. In California, motorcyclists must wear a US Department of Transportation (DOT) compliant helmet to legally ride in the state. Besides protecting the head, a helmet also reduces fatalities by 37%.
Road rash injuries are some of the most common injuries among motorcyclists, and they are a type of skin injury caused by abrasion with road surfaces. If not treated properly, road rash injuries can turn into serious or life-threatening infections. Wearing protective clothing such as a jacket, long pants, gloves, and heavy boots can cover up the skin and protect it from any bruises, abrasions, or lacerations.
Most states in the country have helmet laws in place. However, these laws vary depending on the driver’s age. The US DOT is a strong advocate of the adoption of universal helmet laws across the entire United States that require all motorcyclists, regardless of any exceptions, to wear a helmet while traveling on a motorcycle.
Although helmet laws are a great way to minimize the risk of head injuries, they do not protect the brain. An impact to the head can move or shake the brain, and depending on the impact, it can result in a traumatic brain injury.
It is crucial for the victim to head to a medical hospital right after an accident for a medical examination to determine whether they’re suffering from any brain injury or internal damage. Early diagnosis can help improve the recovery period and prevent any serious complications due to delays.
Can I Pursue Legal Action Against Negligent Drivers?
The consequences of a motorcycle accident can be really expensive, especially if the rider suffers from severe injuries. In some cases, an accident can be so severe that it exhausts an insurance policy’s coverage. If you suffer from injuries in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation.
After an accident, the injured motorcycle accident victims need to file a claim against the negligent party’s insurer.
However, motorcycle accident claims are challenging as the insurers are more likely to blame the motorcyclist for the accident as there is a bias that motorcyclists are reckless, even when they’re not. Reaching out to an experienced personal injury attorney can increase your chances of securing compensation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law
Ehline Law is an award-winning personal injury law firm helping downtrodden personal injury victims across California. If you suffered injuries from an accident that was not your fault, contact one of our lawyer members for a free consultation with our legal experts on your personal injury case.
Motorcycle accidents have the tendency to change the victim’s life for the worse. Our California personal injury attorneys are ready to aggressively pursue your personal injury claims against the responsible party and recover compensation for the damages caused.