NHTSA reports that motorcycle accidents cause 32,000 injuries and over 5,000 deaths each year. The most common causes of these serious crashes include speeding, alcohol impairment, or distracted driving. Even with safety precautions like wearing a helmet, the severity of injury caused by collisions can be extreme. If you survive a motorcycle accident, here are the five injuries you may endure.
The brain is the most sensitive organ in your body, and it can be easily damaged by even a small amount of trauma. A single motorcycle accident could cause the tearing or bruising of veins around the surface of your brain also known as subdural hematomas or within deeper parts of your skull, epidural hematomas. These bleeds will increase pressure within your skull and can cause serious brain damage or death.
Motorcycle riders who wear a helmet with an open face visor are at increased risk of traumatic brain injury because the visor may break upon impact, striking their head and causing trauma to the unprotected areas of their skull. Even if you survive these injuries, there is no guarantee you will avoid long-term brain damage caused by trauma.
When a motorcycle is struck by another vehicle, the rider’s brain slams against the inside of their skull. This violent jolt can cause bruising around vital areas like eyes and ears as well as damage to nerve connections. Depending on severity, this injury may be permanent or result in memory loss or dementia later in life.
Brain bleeding is also a concern. Each time the brain moves within the skull, it tears blood vessels and nerve endings leading to bleeding or bruising on the surface of the organ. If enough blood accumulates without being drained by a neurosurgeon, death is possible. If this happens then, you should seek legal help after injury to help you seek compensation.
One of the most common injuries to motorcycle riders is a broken bone or fracture, which can cause significant pain even if it isn’t life threatening. The force from an accident may break your bones in multiple places, or it may cause a single bone to crack or snap.
When the skin and tissues surrounding your bones are damaged, even more pain can result. The impact of an accident often causes abrasions on arms and legs as well as severe bruising in areas like hips, knees, shoulders, ribs, collarbone, spine and pelvis. Broken bones may also pierce the skin, causing bleeding and pain.
If you suffer a broken bone or fracture in your neck or back, you could be left with permanent paralysis that restricts function of arms, legs, hands or feet. Even if your spinal cord isn’t severed completely, any damage to nerves within this area of your body can result in permanent paralysis.
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that transmits messages between your brain and body. Motorcycle accidents can damage these nerve connections, resulting in the loss or injury of bodily functions like arms, legs, hands or feet.
A broken neck has the highest risk for causing paralysis because it damages one of two main arteries that supply blood to the spinal cord. Injuries to your back may also cause paralysis by damaging nerves within the spine or between them and other parts of your body.
When you suffer a spinal cord injury, your brain loses the ability to communicate with certain parts of your body. In some cases this affects only a single limb or section of skin. In others it can leave you completely paralyzed from the waist down or even from head to toe.
Road rash is caused when skin comes into contact with asphalt or concrete at high speeds. If you are thrown from your motorcycle, the friction from your body skidding across pavement can easily remove layers of skin. Blood loss and nerve damage may result if road rash goes untreated for a significant amount of time.
A road rash injury is typically treated with antibiotics to prevent infections. Skin grafts may be required if the affected area cannot heal on its own or tissue has been completely removed by friction against the road surface.
Biker’s arm is a common condition that causes pain, numbness and tingling in your hand. It occurs when the nerves of the lower forearm become compressed as they pass between bones toward your wrist or elbow. This can result from an accident where you hit your upper arm on something hard like a car door or handlebar during impact.
The compression of nerves in your arm can lead to permanent nerve damage if it is left untreated. The symptoms of the biker’s arm won’t go away on their own, and surgery may be required to release the pressure caused by swelling or scar tissue build-up around the affected area.
In addition to treating motorcycle injuries after an accident, you need to take precautions that reduce the risk of getting into an accident in the first place.
Motorcycle accidents result in serious injuries like broken bones and spinal cord damage because riders are not protected by a metal frame or surrounding airbags. Helmets can prevent road rash but do not protect your body from other types of injury during accidents.
Prevention is the best way to avoid serious injuries or even death after a motorcycle accident. You can reduce your risk of getting into an accident by wearing protective clothing like leather jackets and pants, boots with steel toes, goggles, gloves, and other gear that will protect you during accidents.
In conclusion, when involved in a motorcycle accident, the most common injuries tend to be head and brain damage, broken bones and fractures, spinal cord injury, or road rash. If you suffer from any injuries as a result of an accident that occurred due to another person’s negligence, contact a personal injury attorney like the Law Offices of Kamela James who will help protect your legal rights following this type of serious incident.
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