Any type of accident involving a vehicle is dangerous and may lead to long-term injuries that will affect the rest of an individual’s life. However, motorcycle accidents have a tendency to be among the most severe given a motorcycle’s design offers very little protection to its riders.
One type of motorcycle injury is more common than the rest and that is injury to the lower extremities. Hips, legs, knees and feet can all easily be trapped under the weight of a motorcycle following a crash. The impact can result in contusions, lacerations, sprains, road rash, fractures, dislocations and in the worst cases traumatic amputations of limbs.
While lower extremity injuries are the most common, they are far from the only type of injury. Below we will set out other types of injuries which are common following a motorcycle accident. We will also address how these varied injuries can affect a victim’s life moving forward and discuss what steps can be taken to prevent injury, stay safe and to seek compensation if an injury results.
What Other Injuries Are Common Following a Motorcycle Accident?
As mentioned, the most common type of motorcycle injury is to the lower extremities. This injury results most often due to the way a motorcycle falls after it is impacted. When a rider tries to avoid an obstacle in the road or stops in a hurry, it is common for the motorcycle to tip and trap one or both of the rider’s legs under its weight. This fall can result in serious issues with a rider’s hips and legs as the weight of the bike and the force of impact on the roadway can cause major damage.
Unfortunately, injury to the lower extremities, although common, is not the only mechanism of injury to result from a motorcycle collision.
As the motorcycle tips and the driver falls, his head becomes exposed and can easily impact the roadway. Given the laws of the province, motorcycle operators are mandated to wear a helmet. As a result, serious immediately grave injuries to the head area can be avoided but often a concussion can result from the impact.
Injuries to the driver’s upper extremities may also result. As a motorcycle tips, it is natural for a rider to extend an arm to try to maintain balance or catch himself.. Unfortunately, the weight of the motorcycle often makes this preservation effort a pointless endeavor. Injuries to the arms and upper torso result from this movement but also from other types of motorcycle vs car collision sequelae such as being thrown from the bike or being impacted between other vehicles or obstacles in the path of the rider.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Injury Affect You?
Motorcycle collisions are among the most dangerous types of collisions due to the open, unprotected nature of the rider upon the bike. In a car the driver has a seatbelt, multiple air bags and design posts to protect him. Not so for a motorcycle rider.
This inherent vulnerability results in the rider sustaining significant injury and needing to seek immediate medical attention. This treatment can be expensive but it is necessary to save a rider’s life.
The initial medical care will identify any injuries resulting from the crash. However, not every injury manifests immediately. For example, neurological damage to an extremity or the brain may not fully reveal itself for several days, weeks or even months and often arises when the acute pain conditions settle. It is important that those who are in a motorcycle collision receive a thorough examination and document any ongoing conditions and limitations to their doctor.
At the outset following a collision, it is impossible to say with certainty how the injuries sustained will affect an injured person’s life on a long term basis. Injuries may result in limited mobility initially. Longer term limitations can be frustrating and have a negative impact on the quality of an injured person’s day-to-day life including not being able to continue employment or a chosen career as well as the need for modifications to living arrangements.
What Is the Best Way to Stay Safe While Riding a Motorcycle?
The best way to avoid suffering a serious injury in a motorcycle collision is prevention through being hyper vigilant while driving and wearing proper protective equipment such as a long sleeve jacket, helmet, thick pants and a pair of gloves which will go a long way towards keeping limbs and head protected.
Riding a motorcycle is an exciting experience but it should always be remembered it is an inherently dangerous activity. Always wear protective equipment, follow the rules of the road, and be attentive. Drivers often fail to see motorcyclists, so a rider’s ability to avoid a collision comes down to how much attention the rider is paying and efforts he can take to avoid a collision with an inattentive vehicle.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been In a Motorcycle Accident?
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you should first and foremost seek immediate medical attention for any injury. A medical assessment is recommended even when injuries may seem minor. It can be impossible to tell the full extent of damage suffered immediately, especially when adrenaline is pumping through your system.
The second step should be to reach out to a lawyer who has trusted legal counsel for bike collision injuries. The lawyer can help you determine whether or not you should commence a lawsuit to recover damages for injuries and to help you negotiate with an insurance company. Without an experienced, competent lawyer looking out for your best interests it will be difficult to obtain a fair settlement.