Motorcyclists do not have much between themselves and the open road. Therefore, motorcyclists are at risk every time they ride. In addition, unlike a car, a motorcycle lacks crashworthiness and occupant protection characteristics. As a result, motorcycle operators are particularly vulnerable if an accident occurs.
Motorcycle injuries sustained in motor vehicle collisions are rarely minor; they are usually severe, or even catastrophic. Furthermore, some motorcyclists can sustain fatal injuries since speed is a common culprit related to motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable during a crash for several reasons. First, they are smaller and less visible to other cars on the road. In addition, they are also less stable than a car. Finally, motorcyclists also lack the protective metal barrier that car passengers have.
Here are some statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Motorcyclists account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities.
- Motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle collision than passenger vehicle occupants.
- Motorcyclists are also five times more likely to sustain injuries than vehicle passengers in an accident.
- In a recent year, the US observed almost 5,000 motorcycle fatalities, a 7 percent increase from the previous year.
- In that same year, about 93,000 motorcycle riders sustained injuries in a motor vehicle collision.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The most common injuries associated with motorcycle accidents involve damage to the lower extremities. For example, bone fractures in the leg are prevalent in motorcycle collisions. However, injuries to the chest and the head area also occur frequently. While lower extremity injuries are more common, head and chest injuries usually have more severe repercussions.
Due to the lack of protection and coverage for motorcycle riders, they have some particular risks. As mentioned above, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than vehicle occupants.
The severity of injuries will depend on several factors. For example, the size of the motorcycle, the type of car it crashed into, and the speed at which both were traveling are just a few factors that will contribute to the severity of the injuries.
Injuries are also different for each person. While some people may recover from their injuries in a few months, others may never recover or require ongoing medical treatment for years. Unfortunately, almost all motorcycle accident injury victims will require immediate medical attention or hospitalization, and many continue to require rehabilitation for weeks or months after the accident.
Here are some examples of specific injuries that a motorcyclist could suffer after colliding with a passenger motor vehicle:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Whiplash or neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Broke ribs
- Broken limbs
- Amputated limbs
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- In the worst case of accidents, a fatality may result from a motorcycle collision.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes
Let’s take a further look into some of the most common injuries from motorcycle crashes.
Virtually any body part is subject to injury in a motorcycle accident. Many accident injuries can be catastrophic. Most fatal or incapacitating injuries happen when the point of impact is the motorcycle’s front end.
Here is some additional information about the more common injuries that motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to sustaining:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are among the most common injuries from a motorcycle accident. A blow or a jolt to the head can cause a TBI and affect how the brain works. A report from the NHTSA reported that out of 104,500 motorcyclists injured in motor collisions:
- 15% of riders with a helmet sustained suffered TBI
- 21 percent of riders without a helmet suffered TBI
- In addition, TBI accounted for 54% of the fatalities in that group.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – Spinal cord injuries from a motorcycle accident can have life-altering outcomes. The injured person could experience total or partial paralysis. Such an injury is considered catastrophic and could leave the victim with a permanent disability.
- Injuries of the lower extremity – Motorcycle accident data from the NHTSA reports that lower-extremity injuries are more common than any other type of injury. Leg injuries are the most common lower-extremity injury. Examples of leg injuries commonly seen in motorcycle accident victims include bone fractures and soft-tissue injuries.
- Internal injuries – The impact of being thrown off the motorcycle can cause internal bleeding. It’s also possible to damage internal organs due to blunt force trauma. Amy trauma that causes a blow to the body but does not break the skin can cause internal bleeding. Additionally, penetration trauma is possible if a sharp object penetrates the skin.
- Fractures – A fracture is any break, usually in a bone. If the motorcycle rider was unstable or leaning while they fell in the accident, the motorcycle can fall on the rider. If the rider’s leg gets stuck under the motorcycle, they could end up with a broken leg bone. In addition, the rider can fracture their arms, wrist, or hands when they break their fall and attempt to catch themselves.
- Road rash and skin burns – Motorcyclists who get jolted off the motorcycle and skid onto the road can sustain painful skin abrasions. These abrasions, known as road rash, can be extremely painful. The severity of road rash can be mild to severe, depending on how they contact the road surface. Road rash, like burns, need immediate medical attention and are susceptible to infection if not cleaned and treated immediately. Furthermore, they can leave permanent scarring on the victim.
Get Legal Help for Your Motorcycle Accident Settlement
Colorado has laws to protect you if you were injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence.
Working with a competent, qualified lawyer can ultimately spell the difference between the success or failure of your case. Unfortunately, you’ll most likely be up against insurance adjusters trained to minimize your claim. Furthermore, an inadequate or inexperienced lawyer will only add to your frustration with the stress of injuries and financial hardships.
That’s why anyone who has suffered injuries from a vehicle collision while riding their motorcycle should consult with a Denver motorcycle accident attorney right away. A good attorney will have your best interests in mind every step of the way and fully understand the legal issues involved. Do not make the false assumption that all personal injury lawyers are of equal caliber. Instead, research and ask the right questions to ensure you make an informed decision and find the best attorney for your case.
Call us today for a free initial consultation. We will happily discuss your legal rights and fight to win you the total compensation you deserve.