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The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report on motorcycle crashes in 2020 with some alarming statistics. In this report, they found that there were 5,015 fatal crashes in 2020. An estimated 84,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2019 – the last year there was data for total crashes. This is an outrageous number of injured riders, facing some of the most challenging and painful motorcycle crash injuries imaginable.
Road rash, which is a skin injury caused by sliding on the road during an accident typically results in minor friction burns. Sometimes they can cause a major injury like third-degree burns. Dust, dirt, or gravel from the road entering the wound can cause infections. This will lead to scarring and disfigurement that may require reconstructive surgery or skin grafts. While wearing leather or denim clothes can reduce the risks of getting minor road rash, it may not be enough to save you from your skin when having a major slide.
Riding leathers are by far the best for preventing road rash. Any serious rider has heard stories from hardened road veterans who have had major crashes with broken bones but no road rash. They always credit their leathers with saving their skin – literally.
Motorcycle accidents can lead to muscle damage anywhere on your body. While most people recover, some muscle damage can be felt for a lifetime, not just during recovery. Muscle damage might cause paralysis or loss of limb function after an accident. Long lasting muscle injuries can greatly impact your quality of life. Wearing protective gear can help reduce the severity of muscle damage, but even those who wear complete riding gear can experience a range of “soft tissue” injuries anywhere on their body, even where they are wearing armor.
Head and Neck
In motorcycle accidents, one of the most well-known & serious injuries sustained is a head injury. Many have to have surgery after banging their heads in a crash, whether from landing on their heads, being struck in the head directly, or even getting hit in the face by debris. People who hit their heads in motorcycle wrecks often sustain skull fractures and may even experience a loss of brain function. With head injuries, death is all too common. Even with a helmet, traumatic brain injuries and death are still possible in the worst-case scenario. Head injuries often lead to permanent disabilities that affect a victim’s quality of life and future earning potential. Relationships can be damaged by changes in mood or personality.
When we’re talking about a head injury in a motorcycle injury case, we always bring in the very best experts to accurately explain to judges and the jury the true effects a head injury can have on a rider.
Motorcycle injuries are most often on the lower body. Think about it: even if you’re not hit, it’s all too common to stop with the front wheel turned and feel the bike tip over. Instinct is to put your foot down to stop it, but 800 pounds of steel isn’t stopping for your foot. This simple kind of accident can cause serious leg and foot injuries, including broken bones and road rash. A high-impact accident may also result in deeper wounds, contributing to more severe damage – or even injury that is never fully repaired.
Some people may think that a leg injury is incredibly minor and that it doesn’t really matter. In fact, in severe cases a leg injury can even require amputation. Doing so can lead to significant changes in quality of life and earning potential for the victim. Knee injuries can also lead to arthritis, which may only become noticeable months or years later.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Some scientists speculate that the helmet does a wonderful job of protecting your brain bucket, but it may be putting extra pressure on your spine during a wreck. This may explain part of why there are so many spinal cord injuries related to motorcycle crashes. From fractured vertebra to nerve damage to sciatic nerve pain, there are a lot of ways for things to go wrong in your spine when things go wrong on your bike.
If you’re on a bike and crash, your arms will instinctively go out to protect yourself. This means they can get badly injured or broken, which is sometimes called ‘biker’s arm’. Biker’s arm is a fairly common injury for motorcycle riders. It often occurs when the bike falls on its side, such as during a side-impact collision or if you’re forced off the road. Extreme pressure on the arm can lead to serious and painful nerve damage, which can leave the limb completely useless. There’s a very real chance that biker’s arm will also drastically impact your quality of life.
What to do if injured on a motorcycle?
Obviously if you’ve been hurt it’s important you seek out treatment right away. Don’t try to tough it out. Even so-called “minor” injuries like road rash can cause shock and lead to life-threatening complications. See medical professionals and get treated for as long as you need to.
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle crash, call our motorcycle injury lawyers. It doesn’t matter if you feel like there’s no case there, or if you think there’s nobody to blame but yourself. Often we speak with people who have been hurt and discover that there is insurance available to help out that the rider didn’t even know about. We’ll review your situation for free and advise you with no expectations. Get better and get back on the road.