How Common Are Motorcycle Accidents and What Damage Do They Cause?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than traveling in a car. Based on 2019 data, motorcyclists were four times more likely to be injured and 29 times more likely to die in an auto crash than occupants of a passenger vehicle. From 2018 to 2019, the injury rate of motorcyclists increased by 4.7%.
Motorcycle accidents can cause all manner of injuries, from broken bones and spinal injuries to head trauma. Due to the shocking impact a motorcycle accident victim often endures, these accidents can have lasting effects and may cause permanent damage.
Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Even motorcyclists who wear a helmet can sustain a traumatic brain injury in an accident. These are severe injuries, and even a mild TBI can cause symptoms that last for weeks or months. A severe TBI can lead to permanent brain damage, with ongoing symptoms ranging from headaches and blurred vision to problems thinking, remembering, and communicating.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury can happen if the neck or back sustains damage in a crash. The spinal cord carries messages from the brain throughout the nervous system. It’s also delicate, and it doesn’t need to be severed to cause a severe injury. A cut, wound, or bruising to the spine can result in permanent mobility loss, if not total paralysis from the neck down.
A spinal cord injury isn’t the only damage the back might sustain during a motorcycle accident. Being thrown off a motorcycle can cause lingering back pain even if the spinal cord isn’t severed, and it might require medication, cortisone shots, or surgery to alleviate the pain. Even then, many victims continue to experience chronic mobility issues.
Amputation is a serious risk for motorcyclists. During a crash, it’s not uncommon for a biker to trap their leg or arm, especially if their motorcycle lands on top of them. Blood cannot flow to the affected area when a limb is trapped. This can cause infection, and doctors can’t always restore blood flow. When this happens, doctors may be forced to amputate the limb.
It’s no exaggeration to say that having a limb amputated can cause significant physical and emotional pain. It’s a life-changing injury that poses many challenges, including adapting to using a wheelchair or prosthetic limb, dealing with phantom limb pain, and coping with the emotional trauma of a permanent disability.
Road rash injuries happen when exposed skin makes contact with the ground, causing friction. This friction can scrape the skin and cause open wounds, which can get infected. Road rash often happens when bikers are thrown from their motorcycle. In severe cases, several layers of the skin may come off and expose muscle and bone. This can lead to severe scarring and disfigurement.
Dental and Facial Injuries
Dental and facial injuries can occur if a motorcyclist isn’t wearing head protection when they’re in a motorcycle accident. A motorcycle crash can crack or chip the teeth, while a facial injury could cause disfigurement. Either injury can have a devastating impact on an individual’s confidence.
In addition to physical injuries, a motorcycle crash can have a significant emotional impact. It’s not uncommon for bikers to experience depression and post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, your first step after seeing a doctor should be to contact a personal injury attorney. Our Texas motorcycle accident lawyers can help you retrieve copies of your medical records to support your claim and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.