Motorcycle crashes have devastating results. Nearly 80 percent of motorcycle crashes result in an injury or death—four times higher than car crashes.
Because motorcycles offer much less protection to riders, these crashes frequently have more serious consequences. Head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and death can result from a motorcycle crash, even when the rider wears a helmet.
Read on for a guide to motorcycle crash injuries.
Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Illinois tracks the national statistics. In 2020, Illinois had 2,991 motorcycle accidents, and 78.5 percent of these accidents resulted in either an injury or death.
A total of 2,172 motorcyclists got injured in these crashes.
Illinois classified over 7 percent of these injuries as A-class injuries that prevented the motorcyclist from riding away after the accident.
- Severe lacerations
- Fractured bones
- Head trauma
- Chest trauma
The following are some of the most frequent motorcycle crash injuries.
The most common non-fatal injuries in motorcycle crashes happen to the rider’s lower limbs. And one of the most common lower-limb injuries is road rash.
A severe skin injury caused by a slide across the pavement, road rash often affects the legs, arms, hands, hips, and shoulders. But any body part that contacts the road after a motorcycle crash can suffer road rash.
Road rash combines the characteristics of abrasion injuries with those of burn injuries. The speeds involved in a motorcycle crash create a friction burn when your body slides along the pavement. The weight of the motorcycle pressing down on your body after a crash can increase the friction and, thus, the severity of the burn.
But the rough surface of the pavement or asphalt tears the skin from the body.
Symptoms of road rash can include:
Complications from road rash include infection, traumatic tattoos, and scars.
Infection happens when bacteria enter your body through an open wound. As the road abrades your skin, bacteria from the road or the air can enter the abrasion, leading to an infection.
Traumatic tattoos happen when debris gets embedded in your abrasion. Dirt, rocks, and even pieces of plastic, metal, or glass from your motorcycle can get trapped in the epidermis.
The epidermis is the same layer of skin that traps ink in an ornamental tattoo. If doctors cannot clean the debris from your wound, you will carry specks in your wound forever.
Scars occur because replacement skin cells do not have the elasticity or thinness of your original skin cells. As a result, tough, thick scars will develop after a severe skin injury like road rash.
Speak to a motorcycle crash lawyer about any disfiguring injuries you suffered from your motorcycle crash. Permanent disfigurement from traumatic tattoos and scarring can entitle you to injury compensation.
Motorcycle crashes frequently result in fractured bones.
Sometimes, bone fractures occur from the impact of the vehicle against you and your motorcycle. Other bone fractures happen when you impact the road after getting ejected from your motorcycle. Some fractures can even happen when your heavy motorcycle falls onto your leg and foot after a crash.
A non-displaced fracture happens when the bone breaks but the broken ends remain aligned. Doctors treat a displaced fracture by immobilizing the bone with a cast or brace for eight weeks. During that time, the bone will usually heal on its own.
A displaced fracture happens when the broken ends of a bone move out of alignment after they fracture. Doctors may need to operate on a displaced fracture to move the broken ends back into alignment. You may need screws and plates to hold the bone in alignment while it heals.
A comminuted fracture, or shattered bone, happens when a bone breaks into three or more parts. A comminuted fracture will require reconstructive surgery and may take up to a year to fully heal.
Fractures are very painful and can lead to permanent disabilities. A motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to recover compensation after a fracture.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when trauma kills or damages cells in your brain. A severe TBI can kill you or leave you with permanent physical, cognitive, or emotional disabilities.
TBIs can happen when your head impacts the ground during a motorcycle crash. They can also happen if your head does not hit the ground but the collision jolts your brain inside your skull.
A contusion happens when your brain strikes the inside of your skull. The impact causes blood vessels to burst. The bleeding causes a bruise to form in your brain and increases the pressure inside your skull. This pressure can squeeze intact blood vessels and prevent them from delivering blood to your brain.
A contusion can have serious consequences, including permanent brain damage, coma, or death.
A concussion happens when your brain swells after getting jostled in your skull.
Concussions rarely cause death, but they can produce severe symptoms, including:
- Ringing ears
- Blurry vision
Concussion symptoms usually go away within two months after your motorcycle crash.
Motorcycle helmets can prevent or reduce the severity of a TBI. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), helmets reduce your chances of head injury by 69 percent.
Personal injury lawyers understand your needs after you or a loved one suffers a TBI. They can often help you secure injury compensation to help cover the expenses of treatment, therapy, and medication.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries happen when the nerves connecting the brain to the body get severed or compressed. In a motorcycle crash, this often happens when you fracture a vertebra and the bone fragments push into the spinal canal.
A spinal cord injury can result in partial or complete paralysis. The location of the spinal cord injury will determine the parts of your body affected. An injury in your neck could result in quadriplegia, while an injury in your back could cause paraplegia.
A catastrophic spinal cord injury will change your life forever. A personal injury lawyer can help you secure the compensation you need after suffering paralysis in a motorcycle crash.
Hiring a Motorcycle Crash Lawyer
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you evaluate the merits and value of an injury claim. Contact a lawyer to discuss your motorcycle crash injuries and whether you can recover compensation for your losses.