What Happens to the Human Body in a Motorcycle Accident? | Facts All Riders Need to Know
Motorcycle accident injuries can be very severe and, in many cases, lead to fatalities. This is because motorcyclists are among the most at-risk road users on Ohio highways. In motorcycle crashes involving a motorcyclist and another vehicle, it is the biker who will suffer the brunt of the impact.
This is why a lot of safety regulations are imposed on riders, including the requirement that all riders under the age of 18 wear motorcycle helmets when riding a motorcycle. However, despite the use of protective gear, motorcycle accident injuries are still common.
In Ohio, motorcycle accident victims are entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver or their insurance company to cover the following damages:
Future medical expenses
Pain and suffering
There is a huge financial burden that can be placed on the shoulders of motorcycle accident victims. In cases where the insurance company of the at-fault party refuses to pay, the victim will have no choice but to launch a personal injury lawsuit.
A good lawyer can help motorcycle accident victims recover damages for the injuries they suffered and walk away with huge payouts. Our motorcycle accident lawyers in Cincinnati at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have years of experience helping victims of such accidents.
Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Understanding how a motorcycle accident occurred is an important part of determining who is at fault and estimating the damages the negligent party is liable to pay. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like, "What is the most common motorcycle accident?" The following are the most common causes of bike crashes in Ohio:
Suddenly opening the car doors
The inexperience of the rider
Poor road conditions
Inclement weather conditions
Lane splitting and switching
Injuries Suffered by Motorcycle Accident Victims
The exposed nature of the rider means that when accidents do occur, serious injuries are very common. Here are some of the injuries riders usually suffer:
Head trauma (concussion or traumatic brain injury)
Seven Body Regions Likely To Be Injured in a Motorcycle Crash
Data from the many cases of motorcycle accidents around the country suggests that there is a pattern to the type of injuries a person suffers in a bike crash.
Whether it is a minor or serious injury depends on the severity of the impact and the presence/absence of some kind of safety cushions, such as a guard rail or motorcycle helmet.
Consider the following areas of the body usually injured in motorcycle accidents:
In many motorcycle accidents, especially those in which the rider was traveling at very high speed, it is common for the victim to be thrown off the bike or launched into the air. When the victim instinctively holds out their hands to brace against the hard landing, injuries to the upper extremity body region are common.
This includes injuries to the hands, arms, and shoulders. As a result, common motorcycle accident injuries are broken collar bones, torn rotator cuffs, and broken elbows and fingers. In severe cases, bikers may end up with serious nerve damage that will affect their hands and arms for the rest of their lives.
The lower extremity of the body region includes the various parts of the entire leg, such as feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, and all the accompanying bones. Injuries to these areas are rarely fatal but can be very painful.
In many cases, a motorcycle crash will result in the victim being trapped beneath the weight of their bike. Broken bones and severe burns to the legs can easily occur in such accidents. Depending on the severity of the motorcycle accidents, broken bones, broken kneecaps, and burns may require surgical treatment, such as inserting surgical pins or using skin grafts.
Other accidents may involve the rider being dragged along the road due to the force of the impact and the speed of the motorcycle. In such cases, riders may suffer varying degrees of road rash, leading to missing skin that may or may not require surgical treatment.
Head Injuries (Traumatic brain Injuries)
A head injury is one of the most serious types of injuries that a motorcyclist can suffer. To prevent potentially fatal brain injuries, bikers must learn to identify the safe types of crash helmets to use. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a lot of information that can be useful to motorcyclists.
Head injuries can be mild, such as concussions, or be quite severe, such as traumatic brain injuries. In the latter, brain swelling and other types of brain damage can easily result in permanent disabilities if not treated in time.
In the worst-case scenario, traumatic brain injury can lead to death, especially in cases where the head injury is so serious that it results in internal bleeding inside the brain. However, regardless of the severity of the accident, the victim must be assessed for signs of traumatic brain injury as soon as possible.
Why is a traumatic brain injury so serious?
One of the reasons why a traumatic brain injury is so dangerous is because of the difficulty in identifying the signs and symptoms of brain injuries. These include:
Nausea and vomiting
Loss of coordination
Loss of consciousness
It is very easy for victims to disregard some of these warning signs, which is why seeking medical attention is very important. When left unattended, a traumatic brain injury will usually result in permanent disability or death.
The thorax is the upper trunk of the body and contains vital organs, such as the lungs and the heart. When the force of the motorcycle accident is powerful enough to result in broken ribs, these vital organs can be perforated, which is a very serious injury that can lead to death due to internal bleeding.
Many motorcycle accidents result in victims suffering perforated or collapsed lungs, a condition that requires surgery to fix. The proximity of vital blood vessels, such as the aorta, means that internal injuries in this area can lead to severe bleeding and death in a very short time.
Other types of internal injuries may affect the organs of the abdomen, such as the stomach, liver, kidneys, and spleen. If the rider is unaware of these injuries, internal bleeding can easily result in a fatality.
Accident victims need to look out for the symptoms of abdominal injuries, which include:
Blood in urine
Low blood pressure
Chronic pain in the abdomen
Face and Neck
Face injuries either result from riders being thrown off the bike and landing on their faces or from hitting their heads on the handlebars. In either case, motorcyclists will usually suffer broken teeth, jaws, and noses.
The biggest cause of neck injuries in motorcycle accidents is whiplash. This can occur due to the biker being hit by another vehicle from behind, or experiencing a sudden stop after hitting a stationary object. When this happens, the nerves, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones of the neck can be severely injured.
In extreme cases, neck injuries caused by whiplash can damage the spinal cord, leading to partial or total paralysis of the body from the neck down.
The spine acts as the highway down which the brain sends messages to the rest of the body. Therefore, injuries in this area can be devastating. While the head can be protected by wearing a helmet, there is very little protection provided for the spinal cord.
If this area is injured during a motorcycle accident, paralysis or respiratory difficulties are common. Spinal cord injuries can result in lengthy hospitalization, permanent disability, or even death.
Steps To Take After a Motorcycle Crash
In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, the steps taken by victims are crucial in determining their well-being as well as the overall success of their personal injury claim.
Consider the following simple steps victims need to remember:
Seek Medical Attention
The health and safety of the victim are paramount, which is why the most important thing is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This also provides the victim with a doctor's report, which will hold a lot of weight in the personal injury lawsuit.
Obtain Police Report
A police report is one of the most trusted documents in court. It will help provide a clear picture of how the accident happened and allow the courts to determine who is at fault.
Important evidence that the victims need to gather includes pictures of the accident scene and witness statements from anyone who saw the accident happening. In terms of witnesses, it is better to talk to them while the details of the accident are still fresh in their minds.
Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Once all the documents have been gathered, the next step is to call a reliable motorcycle accident attorney and set up a free consultation. Without legal representation, winning a personal injury case against a determined insurance company can be very difficult.
A Good Law Firm Will Assist in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Accident victims who are wondering what happens to the human body in a motorcycle accident should contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Cincinnati, OH, for the best legal assistance in the state!
With a great track record of winning cases in Ohio, this is one of the most recommended law firms for victims of motorcycle accidents seeking fair compensation.