- Two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents happen because another driver was not paying attention or was negligent.
- The lower extremities, legs and feet, are the most commonly injured parts of the biker’s body.
- Many times more serious injuries can be permanent and life-changing.
- The size of your settlement is influenced by many factors including the severity of your injuries and the damage done to vehicles.
- Make sure you understand your rights by making arrangements with a personal injury lawyer for a free case evaluation before you pursue your claim.
If you’re a motorcycle rider, you can probably provide a long list of reasons why using a bike as your primary mode of transportation is a great idea. They cost less to buy and operate, save gas, save travel time because they are easy to maneuver in traffic, allow riders to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, and for many bike owners, they can make you feel young and alive.
If you feel “set free” when you ride your motorcycle, you’re not alone. There is a universal sense of freedom and passion among motorcycle riders that other vehicles cannot inspire. It’s far more than a hobby – it’s more like selecting a mate or choosing to live a dream. Bikers agree that riding a bike holds a deeper reward than simply getting from Point A to Point B.
Unfortunately, as with all the other choices we make, there is a downside to choosing to ride a two-wheeled vehicle over a more traditional one. Because motorcycles do not provide a sheltering framework of steel to enclose and protect the rider, accidents can be far more catastrophic.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics prove that motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured and 26 times more likely to die in a traffic collision than a passenger in an enclosed vehicle.
Living With Injuries After a Motorcycle Accident
Injuries associated with the sport of riding a motorcycle can be uniquely challenging. In severe cases, your injuries can limit your ability to enjoy your hobbies, engage with your family, or do the things you love to do, whether that’s hiking in the mountains, sailing, or simply attending college football games. Such injuries can also make it impossible for you to do your job or earn the wages you enjoyed before the accident.
As you attempt to obtain compensation for your injuries, these obstacles must be given a financial value so you can receive a full and fair settlement following your motorcycle accident.
Often, the size of your settlement hinges upon your ability to gather crucial evidence and present it in a compelling way to at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
No two motorcycle crashes are exactly alike, but there are some common factors that will, ultimately, weigh heavily into the story of an injury. These factors include:
- The severity of the accident
- The number of vehicles involved
- The speed the vehicles were traveling when the accident happened
- Whether the motorcyclist was wearing protective clothing and equipment
Injuries to the Lower Extremities
Legs and feet are the body parts most commonly injured in motorcycle accidents. Sprains and strains often happen as well as fractures, which are more common than soft-tissue or muscle trauma. Breaks, scrapes, and tears to the skin of the legs and feet are also quite common. (See Road Rash, below.)
The extent of your leg and foot injuries will depend upon the severity of the accident. In a minor crash, your injuries may be minimal and resolve themselves in a matter of days or weeks. On the other hand, a more catastrophic collision can mean the loss of a limb or paralysis.
One of the most common injuries that result from a motorcycle accident is called road rash. Simply put, road rash is an abrasion or scrape that happens when your skin comes in contact with the pavement. It can be extensive or limited; depending in large part, upon how much of your skin was exposed at the time of the accident. Road rash is an injury that can be limited or prevented entirely by wearing protective clothing whenever you ride.
Road rash is not only terribly painful, but it can also lead to a complicated recovery depending on how much of your body is involved and whether or not you get medical care quickly.
These abrasions can easily become infected and can lead to a longer recovery time and disfiguring scars. Scarring from road rash can also limit your ability to move the affected area. The lasting scars can mean that simple everyday choices, such as what you wear and which activities you participate in, can be altered in an unfortunate way.
Road rash from a motorcycle accident should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible to prevent complications that could extend your recovery time, keep you from work, and create other hardships.
In a motorcycle accident, it is not uncommon for the bike itself to land upon the rider and pin him or her down under its weight. One result of this is what’s called Biker’s Arm. Biker’s Arm involves damage to one of the several nerves that branch down and away from the base of one’s neck, and it can be severe.
Symptoms of Biker’s Arm
Some of the symptoms of Biker’s Arm include:
- Weakness in your arms or hands
- Complete or partial numbness or tingling in the arms or hands
- Throbbing or burning pain at the site of the damaged nerve, which may also radiate to the hands
Treatment for Biker’s Arm
Nerve damage associated with Biker’s Arm may not show up for hours, days, or even weeks following the accident. The adrenaline rush that occurs in stressful situations, like accidents, can often mask pain or other symptoms – this is one reason why seeing a doctor after the accident is so crucial.
Once the diagnosis is made, your doctor may prescribe treatment, including pain medication, massage, or physical therapy. If your damage is more severe, such as a severed nerve, you may require surgery followed by an extensive course of physical therapy.
Continuing treatment for your injuries can go on for as long as it is necessary. Future treatment, including physical or massage therapy, injections, or other medication for pain, for example, can get expensive and should be included in your settlement amount.
Head and Brain Injuries
Because motorcycles offer almost no protection to their drivers, it’s no wonder that the risk of head injury in accidents is extremely high.
Head injuries are the most common cause of disability and death in motorcycle accidents. Wearing a helmet can significantly improve one’s chances of surviving a motorcycle accident without permanent disability.
Contusions and Concussions
A contusion is the medical term for a bruise. Contusions to the outside of your head usually resolve themselves in a matter of days. However, contusion injuries and lacerations to the face can create longer-term problems that may require a series of reconstructive surgeries.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that happens when your brain, which floats in fluid inside your skull, suffers an impact that is severe enough to cause your brain to bang against the inside of the skull. When this happens, bruising and bleeding that’s not invisible to the naked eye can occur. Even a mild concussion can cause unconsciousness or confusion.
You should see a doctor as soon after an accident as possible if you suffered any blow to the head or face.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the term used to refer to damage to the brain. TBI results from a blow to the head, which can permanently damage the way the brain functions. Depending upon the severity of the brain damage, your doctors may prescribe in-patient rehabilitation in a facility where you can re-learn skills, like talking, walking, problem-solving, and other normal activities that the damage may have caused.
TBI may be temporary or permanent and may require long-term treatment. Unfortunately, not all traumatic brain injuries are fully treatable. Severe cases may keep you from doing regular work and activities or interacting with other people properly.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord acts as a neurological highway that carries messages from your brain to the rest of your body. Spinal cord injuries are very serious because they can interrupt the messages that control how your body functions.
Spinal cord injuries occur when the bones of your spine, which encase and protect the spinal cord, are broken, violently compressed, or severely bent, causing bruising, cuts, or tears to the cord. Depending on where the damage is located, the impacts of spinal cord injuries can be permanent. Some injuries to the spine may cause paralysis to some or all limbs and organs.
If you suffered spinal cord damage, your life might be forever changed. You may spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair and might not be able to perform normal physical activities, including controlling your bodily functions. You could require constant assistance or spend the rest of your life under medical supervision. The emotional toll on you and your family could be devastating and last a lifetime.
Why You Need a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer
When your life is uprooted through no fault of your own, the law in Georgia stands on your side. These horrible consequences can and should be compensated by the at-fault driver. Lifetime suffering deserves compensation that covers your past, present, and future hardships, including the cost of medical care, prosthetic devices, the remodeling of your home, if necessary, and the loss of your quality of life.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim?
Approximately two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents are the fault of other drivers who violate a motorcycle’s right of way. It’s wise to remember that no matter how careful you may be, as a motorcyclist, you are constantly at the mercy of others whose negligence could cost you a devastating injury or your life.
If another driver caused you to crash your motorcycle, and you suffered injuries as a result, schedule an appointment with the legal team at The Millar Law Firm. Our expertise lies in representing folks injured by the carelessness of others.
A free case evaluation can help you learn how to proceed with your claim and what your accident claim could be worth.
Call 770-400-0000 to schedule your free case evaluation.