Motorcyclists often sustain devastating injuries in the event of an accident. Tragically, many motorcycle accidents prove fatal, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting that motorcycle riders are 29 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries than the occupants of passenger vehicles.
Due to the exposed nature of motorcycle riding, certain types of injuries are particularly common. Even wearing full safety gear at the time of the crash won’t necessarily protect a rider from serious or deadly injuries in the event of a collision.
10 of the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
You may be entitled to significant compensation if you suffer serious injury while riding your motorcycle. A Raleigh motorcycle accident lawyer can review your case and help you pursue the damages you are owed.
The first step is evaluating your injuries from the accident. Some of the most common injuries riders sustain in motorcycle accidents include:
1. Broken Bones
Broken bones are extremely common injuries in motorcycle accidents. When riders go down, they risk suffering fractures in all parts of the body, from fingers and toes to the ribs and clavicle.
Some broken bones will heal with stabilization and rest. However, others may require surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Even with these measures, there is unfortunately no guarantee that the injured rider will not suffer permanent complications.
Burn injuries from gas fires, contact with hot motorcycle components, and contact with dangerous chemicals are also common motorcycle accident injuries. Depending on the severity of a motorcycle rider’s burns, treatment needs can range from topical ointments and sterile bandages to extensive skin grafting.
3. Eye and Nose Injuries
Even when motorcycle riders are wearing helmets as required by North Carolina law, they can still suffer injury to the face and head in the event of a high-side or low-side accident. Injuries to the eyes and nose can occur due to blunt force trauma and penetrating objects as well as lacerations caused by broken visors and eyewear.
4. Internal Injuries
Being thrust into a motorcycle’s gas tank or handlebars can cause a variety of internal injuries. So can being thrown to the ground.
After being involved in a motorcycle accident, riders should seek medical care immediately. Doctors and nurses can examine you for internal injuries and monitor you for signs of internal bleeding, organ damage, and other serious issues.
5. Loss of Limbs
Motorcycle riders may lose a limb as a result of trauma during the accident. Alternatively, if the limb is severely damaged in the accident, amputation may be medically necessary to prevent further complications. Common issues that may necessitate amputation of a limb include crush injuries, severe burns, and infection.
6. Road Rash
Road rash is a type of abrasion that occurs when exposed skin makes contact with the surface of the road. It is one of the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents.
While wearing full riding gear can help minimize the risk of severe damage, most consumer riding jackets, pants, and gloves are not designed to fully withstand the abrasive force of a slide. This is especially true when a rider slides while pinned under his or her motorcycle.
7. Severe Cuts and Bruises
In many cases, riders who get hit by cars, trucks, and SUVs will suffer severe contusions and lacerations in addition to road rash. Severe cuts may require stitches, sutures, or surgery, while severe bruises can cause pain, limited mobility, and increased risk for additional injuries. Severe bruises can also be symptomatic of internal bleeding and other internal trauma.
8. Soft Tissue and Nerve Damage
Extreme force applied to the ankles and other joints during a motorcycle accident can cause the muscles, ligaments, and tendons to stretch or tear. Bone fractures and severe cuts can also involve soft tissue injuries as well as nerve damage.
Depending on the severity of these injuries, surgery may be necessary to repair the tissue or reconstruct the nerve. In some cases, soft tissue and nerve damage can be permanent.
9. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are fairly common in motorcycle accidents. Twisting or contortion of the back and blunt force trauma are both possible causes.
Spinal cord injuries can range in severity from herniated discs to spinal fractures. Long-term effects can range from chronic pain and limited mobility to full or partial paralysis.
10. Traumatic Brain Injuries
While motorcycle helmets can help reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), they cannot prevent TBI entirely. Similar to spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries can range widely in terms of their severity. Some riders may sustain relatively minor concussions while others could suffer a TBI that leads to coma, permanent brain damage, cognitive impairments, and even brain death.
The Whitley Law Firm handles accident and injury claims with the utmost skill, compassion, and determination. In addition to pursuing the maximum compensation you deserve for your motorcycle accident injuries, each member of our team will work to earn your trust and truly understand the situation you and your family are facing.
Please call the Whitley Law Firm at (919) 785-5000 today for a free case evaluation. Our motorcycle accident lawyers serve clients in Raleigh, Kinston, New Bern, and throughout North Carolina.