It's hardly surprising that motorcycle accidents can result in major if not fatal injuries. When a motorcycle collides with a car, pickup truck or SUV, it is the motorcyclist who suffers serious injuries. Often, the driver of the other vehicle is unscathed. If the motorcycle is struck by a larger vehicle such as a bus or a big rig, the damages are even more severe. Such motorcycle accidents usually result in motorcyclist fatalities.
What Are the Common Injuries?
When it comes to motorcycle accidents, studies have found certain injury patterns. Here are some of the most common injuries that occur in motorcycle crashes:
- Bone fractures: When a vehicle strikes a motorcycle, often you'll see the motorcycle tip over. Things occur so quickly in a crash that the rider's leg often gets crushed under the motorcycle. Leg injuries, particularly fractures of the tibia and fibula (bones in the lower leg) are extremely common in motorcycle accidents. These types of crashes could also cause bones in the arm and wrist to break because riders often react by attempting to break their fall. Some of the other common fractures in motorcycle collisions include broken bones in the pelvis and shoulder.
- Head injuries: Traumatic brain injuries are the most common cause of disabling injuries and death in motorcycle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Wearing a Department of Transportation-approved motorcycle helmet can greatly help reduce the incidence of debilitating head injuries. Many states including California have helmet laws in place. These laws exist for good reason. Some researchers say wearing a well-fitted helmet could reduce the risk of head injury by 70 percent.
- Spinal cord injuries: When a motorcyclist is thrown off the motorcycle and lands on his or her back, the resulting injuries could be catastrophic. Back injuries could result in chronic pain. A more severe injury could result in partial or total paralysis. These types of injuries could leave an individual permanently disabled.
- Road rash: Since motorcyclists are very much exposed to the elements when a motorcycle accident occurs, a person could get dragged on the pavement. If you are not wearing proper protective clothing, you leave your skin vulnerable to serious injuries, particularly skin abrasions caused by being dragged on a pavement. These skin abrasions known as “road rash” could be mild to severe. There are some cases where the road removes the skin completely exposing underlying tissue and fat.
If You Have Been Injured
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, depending on the nature and circumstances of the crash, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries, damages, and losses you have sustained. Injured victims can seek damages such as medical costs of treating injuries, lost income for workdays missed, permanent injuries suffered, disabilities victims may have to live within the short or long term, and pain and suffering. An experienced California motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to remain on your side, fight for your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.