When you’re in a motorcycle accident, injuries are fairly inevitable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, less than 5% of motorcyclists walk away unscathed after an accident. About 75% suffer minor or moderate injuries, while 20% face serious, severe, or critical injuries. Here’s a look at the most common injuries after an accident.
Injuries to Extremities
When the NHTSA examined the medical records of 43,423 motorcyclists, they found that the most common injuries were in the upper and lower extremities. Injuries in this category included everything from bruises and scrapes to broken bones and amputated limbs.
External injuries, such as road rash, happen in about 25% of accidents. Road rash occurs when your skin rubs against the road during a motorcycle accident. This causes large scrapes, abrasions, and the loss of skin. Although there may not be excessive bleeding with road rash, the injuries can look very severe, and if not treated properly, there can be a risk of infection.
Road rash treatment typically involves applying antiseptic creams and bandaging the wounds. As the skin starts to heal, you need to apply moisturizers, and if no complications arise, these motorcycle accident injuries can heal within two weeks. However, you need to watch the wounds for signs of infection, such as swelling, pus, or flu-like symptoms.
Burns can happen if you contact a hot part of your bike or if you are exposed to chemicals during the accident. In some cases, severe road rash can even lead to third degree burns. In one situation, a motorcyclist suffered burns due to a driver flicking a cigarette out of their car.
With burns, the treatment process is roughly the same as you receive for road rash, but in severe cases, you may need skin grafts. The healing also takes a lot longer.
Facial Injuries and Fractures
Facial injuries can also be common after a motorcycle accident. Approximately 20% of riders received minor or moderate facial injuries after their motorcycle accidents. Another 6.4% of motorcyclists faced serious, severe, or critical injuries in this area. This includes bruises, scrapes, fractures, and even facial disfigurement. The treatment process and the healing time varies based on the type of injury.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
In the majority of cases, traumatic brain injuries are not diagnosed, but 4.1% of victims suffer potential or mild TBI. Another 7.4% of riders experience moderate TBI, and 5.8% have severe brain injuries. With riders don’t wear a helmet, the risks of TBI are much higher. Overall, 15.3% of riders without helmets suffered from mild to severe TBI, while only 11.7% of helmeted riders faced those issues.
Immediately after the accident, you may feel confused or disoriented if you have a brain injury. However, even if there are no symptoms, you should still seek medical treatment. They can help you rule out any issues. If you have a brain injury and you go home without treatment, the results can be disastrous. If you fall asleep, you may never wake up.
With severe TBI, motorcyclists experience cognitive and behavioral impairments, and they often go into comas. Depending on the extent of the injury, the victim may experience loss of basic functions, seizures, and mental health issues. A TBI may require surgery to reduce pressure and make sure the brain is receiving oxygen. Then, you may need monitoring and testing to keep tabs on the condition. As you recover, you may need physical and/or occupational therapy.
Spinal Cord Injuries
These injuries occur in about 11.2% of motorcycle accidents. When your spinal cord is injured, you may lose feeling in your limbs or be completely paralyzed. In this situation, it can be essential to bring a case against the at-fault driver because your long-term care and inability to work can be extremely expensive.
Approximately 4% of motorcyclists die after a crash. About 56% of these deaths involve a motorcycle and another vehicle, and often, the other driver is at fault. The majority of the time (78%), the driver hits the motorcycle from behind; rear-end accidents only account for about 5% of these accidents. If a loved one has died in a motor cycle accident, and the other driver was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death suit.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or if you have lost a loved one in an accident, we may be able to help. To learn more, contact us at (855) 693-9084 today. At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we have extensive experience helping people who’ve been in motorcycle accidents or faced other personal injury issues.