Any kind of accident can result in serious injuries, but motorcycle accidents are often among the worse. This arises from the lack of protections a motorcycle offers to its rider. It is only made worse by the fact that those driving cars and trucks have a tendency not to notice motorcyclists when changing lanes or pulling out of parking lots.
Today we’re going to talk about motorcycle accidents and the injuries that are most commonly associated with them. But rather than just wallow in the misery of injury, we’re also going to look at ways you can improve your safety while out for a ride, as well as why it’s important to always seek medical help following a motorcycle accident (especially one that doesn’t seem so bad).
What Are the Most Likely Injuries to Suffer in a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents can result in any number of injuries ranging from whiplash to organ damage or even facial disfigurement. With so many potential ways to be harmed, we could easily answer this question by simply naming a number of different injuries. However, this would not be a particularly fun list to read, nor would it tell you very much about the types of injuries themselves beyond their names.
Instead, we will divide up the discussion based on the human body. Motorcycle accidents often result in injury to more than one spot, but injuries that affect one area may also affect others. For example, whiplash is primarily thought of as affecting the neck, but it can also be a driving factor in spinal issues.
Common injuries that occur from motorcycle accidents include:
- Lower Body: The most common type of injury in a motorcycle accident is damage to the lower half of the body. Because of the way you have to sit on a motorcycle, if you get into an accident, then the legs and pelvis are going to take a lot of force. In addition, they often end up crushed under the bike itself. Injuries of this nature range from broken bones to road rash, gashes, pinched nerves, and worse. These injuries are especially troubling because they could prevent you from being able to walk for some time, or even indefinitely.
- Upper Body: Upper body injuries are more common among older riders as compared to younger riders. Broken ribs, punctured lungs, and other damage to the torso can result in long-term medical complications or even death. These injuries are also more common among those who ride heavier motorcycles, as the weight contributes to upper body damage (as well as lower body damage).
- Head: Head injuries are most common in those who don’t wear a helmet while riding. Striking your head in a collision often means death. For those who are lucky enough to survive, a cracked skull and brain damage may be the result. Traumatic brain damage can mean a number of different symptoms, depending on the severity of the damage and the area where it is located. Whiplash is considered less dangerous, but it can still result in long-term damage and pain.
Why is it Important to Always Seek Medical Attention Following a Motorcycle Accident?
One of the most important things you can do following a motorcycle accident is to seek medical attention. There are two reasons for this, both of which are important for different reasons.
The first, and arguably the more important of the two, is that many injuries don’t present themselves right away. So you get into a motorcycle accident, but you feel like you’re okay afterwards. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, so you go home instead of seeking medical attention. The next day, you can hardly get out of bed let alone take the bike to work.
This is especially true should you suffer whiplash or strike your head. These injuries may hurt in the moment but not seem overly impactful. Yet it takes a little time for them to truly show how serious they are. Rather than wait to find out, you should seek medical attention immediately to ensure your health.
The other reason to seek medical attention following a motorcycle accident is to ensure that you have a record of your injuries that is dated as close to your accident as possible. This will help you in any lawsuit that you decide on.
When you wait to seek medical attention later, you give the opposing party the chance to argue that your injuries arose from another incident. But if you seek medical attention immediately, it is much easier to link your injuries directly to the accident, thereby increasing the strength of the evidence you present.
How Can I Protect Myself While Riding My Motorcycle?
The best way to protect yourself while riding your motorcycle is to wear safety gear. A helmet is a must, as it reduces the risk of brain injury by two-thirds and reduces fatalities by more than a third. Yet despite this, riders still go without helmets, and deaths are increasing over the last ten years.
Many states have laws that insist motorcyclists wear helmets, but other safety gear is left largely to the discretion of the riders themselves. Wearing them doesn’t always make one feel like the coolest person on the road, but they certainly improve your chances of avoiding major injuries.
Long-sleeve shirts and pants can help to reduce road rash, while additional layers can help to offer a little more protection between your skin and the road.
Always follow the rules of the road while riding. This will help in reducing accidents, but as an added bonus, it also helps to strengthen your side in any lawsuit that arises. If you followed the rules of the road and maintained a duty of care, chances are you weren’t the negligent party in the accident.
Do I Need Legal Counsel Following a Motorcycle Accident?
Yes, you should seek out an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. They will help you to gather evidence, build a case, and bring the negligent party into the courtroom so you can seek compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.