Motorcycles offer convenience, exhilaration, and a ride like no other. But this does not come without risk. Despite motorcycles only making up 3% of all registered vehicles in the US, fatalities and severe injuries remain higher than other forms of road transportation.
One of the main reasons motorcyclists make up around 14% of all traffic fatalities is because they only have their gear and helmet between them and the road. It can also be due to the actions of other drivers or objects on the road.
It is important to know what severe injuries can occur after motorcycle accidents. Hopefully, you never have to experience a motorcycle accident, but knowing the possible injuries can help you take preventative action and know what to do if you experience one.
1. Head and Brain Injuries
A head injury is the leading cause of severe injury and death in motorcycle accidents. While helmets can reduce this statistic, a head injury is still possible. Common types of head injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Skull fractures
Traumatic brain injuries include Coup-Contrecoup and Diffuse Axonal due to the way a rider can impact the ground. More severe head injuries such as these can leave lasting damage, including long-term behavioral, cognitive, and physical impairments.
These types of traumatic brain injuries can require rehabilitation, including physical therapy, surgery, and cognitive training. There is also the risk the victim does not return to their previous level of function.
Concussions and skull fractures also need immediate medical attention to prevent conditions from worsening. They also require recovery time and treatment interventions.
2. Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
Experiencing impact to the spinal cord, neck, or back can lead to severe injuries after a motorcycle accident. It occurs in over 11% of analyzed motorcycle accidents. Spinal cord injuries can occur in different parts of the spine, which are:
- The sacral spine
- The lumbar spine
- The thoracic spine
- The cervical region
It is common to injure the thoracic region of the spine during a motorcycle accident, but the other areas of the spine are also vulnerable to injury. It is also possible to damage multiple spinal cord regions, which can lead to more severe complications. Spinal cord injuries can include:
- Herniated discs
- Spinal damage
- Displaced vertebrae
- Torn ligaments
- Temporary or permanent paralysis
The treatment for spinal cord injuries depends on the specific diagnosis. It can include surgery to stabilize the spine to prevent further pain and damage, along with removing anything that may be compressing the spine.
Spinal cord injuries are often considered severe no matter the specific damage because the nerve cells struggle to regenerate, meaning long rehabilitation is often needed.
3. Broken Bones and Fractures
Broken bones and fractures are common severe injuries from motorcycle accidents. Along with the skull and spinal cord, legs and arms are common areas to break bones. These are considered severe injuries because they take time to heal, and people often require support while they recover.
Other common places to break bones and experience fractures include the ribs and collarbones. Broken bones in areas such as the ribs pose the threat of piercing the internal organs too, which can lead to longer-term damage and further health consequences.
Treatment for broken bones and fractures often involves setting fractures and casting. Sometimes surgery is needed or even amputation and replacement joints if the damage is severe.
4. Amputation Injuries
Amputation injuries can be common during motorcycle accidents due to a variety of reasons, including:
- Impact or even severing during a motorcycle accident
- Bone shattered beyond repair
- Complications post-surgery
Every amputation injury is different, but rehabilitation is essential to learn to function without the limb or with an artificial limb. Protective gear can reduce the risk of severe injuries such as amputation, but sometimes nothing can be done due to the actions of other vehicles or how the accident occurred.
However, compensation can help cover medical expenses and additional costs associated with severe injuries such as amputation.
5. Road Rash
Motorcycle road rash is a common injury, and there are various severities. Third-degree is considered the most severe road rash and can include severe abrasions that expose muscles, tendons, nerves, and bone. Road rash occurs in different ways, such as open wounds, compression, or avulsion.
Treatment usually requires medical attention to clean the wound, monitor for infection, and keep it bandaged.
6. Psychological Injuries
Just because you do not have a physical injury does not mean you do not have a severe injury after a motorcycle accident. It is also possible to experience psychological trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can include persistent flashbacks of the motorcycle accident, inability to focus, and avoiding reminders of the accident.
It is essential to get medical support for psychological injuries, too. Symptoms do not always occur immediately after the accident. Treatment for psychological trauma can include therapy and sometimes medications to control the symptoms.
7. Internal Bleeding and Organ Damage
Internal bleeding and organ damage are usually due to the blunt trauma of a motorcycle accident. They are considered severe, as they can lead to death without treatment.
It is not uncommon for victims to not immediately recognize they have an internal injury because of the high adrenaline levels. It is essential to seek medical support after a motorcycle accident.
Sometimes surgery is required for internal bleeding. You may also require further treatment to repair organ damage, monitor your wellbeing, and stabilize your health.
What To Do After Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can leave a lasting trauma, and there is the risk of many different severe injuries. However, you can take steps to get the justice you deserve if you or a loved one experiences a motorcycle accident injury.
You may be able to pursue a personal injury case with the support of a specialized lawyer. They can help you get the compensation you deserve. While nothing can change what happened or cover the emotional and physical damage, it can help you get the support you need to recover.
Are you looking for a personal injury lawyer in Texas? We are the personal injury and trial experts. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how Heard Merman can support you after your motorcycle accident.