Motorcycle riders are more vulnerable to injuries than other road users. This is due to the lack of enclosed protection that other vehicles like cars offer. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcycle riders are 22 times more likely to suffer a fatal injury than car passengers in a crash.

Motorcycle accidents can cause injuries to any part of the body, and they can often be catastrophic. You can take precautions and prepare for motorcycle accidents by knowing what parts of your body are most likely to be injured and wearing appropriate riding gear.

Leg and Foot Injuries

Motorcycle riders most commonly sustain injuries to their lower body parts. A broken leg or leg fracture is more likely to happen to motorcycle drivers during a crash. Lower leg injuries account for 27% of all leg injuries. Fractures of the pelvis account for 18%, and knee injuries represent 16% of leg injuries. 

The most common parts of the foot that get broken are the metatarsal bones, the longest bones in the foot, and the heel bone. The talus bone, which sits above the heel bone, can also fracture in a motorcycle accident. 84% of foot injuries are these types of injury.

Head Injuries

Riders are highly likely to suffer head injuries during a collision. A study of more 4,000 motorcycle crashes found that 60% of patients admitted into hospitals and 85% of total death cases involved a head injury.

A “closed head” injury occurs when the brain is damaged, but the skull remains unbroken. If the skull bone is fractured or pierced, it is considered an “open head” injury.

Your medical provider will examine your head injury to determine whether you have a mild, moderate, or serious traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even a mild TBI may require an extended recovery time.

Treatment for a serious traumatic brain injury may involve surgery, medications, and vocational rehabilitation. After your accident, you can work with one of the motorcycle accident lawyers at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers to help you seek compensation for all the medical costs related to your traumatic brain injury and the changes to your life and ability to work that your injury may have caused.

Neck Injuries

A motorcycle accident can damage the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves in the upper back and neck. Soft tissue damage to the neck, head, and shoulders are all possible. In an accident, the individual bones in the neck may suffer injury. Even minor cervical vertebrae fractures should be treated with caution, as they can cause pain when moving the neck that interferes with daily life and the ability to work.

Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury that causes any degree of paralysis is the most dangerous type of neck injury. The farther up the spinal cord damage extends in the neck, the more severe the resulting disability.

For example, some people with quadriplegia (paralysis of all four limbs) may need ventilators and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines to help with breathing issues.

Arms and Hand Injuries

Riders may be thrown from their motorcycles and attempt to use their arms and hands to brace for the landing. That’s why motorcycle riders often break their arms, elbows, and fingers in crashes. They can also suffer from shoulder problems and tears to their rotator cuffs.

Injured motorcyclists may also suffer nerve damage to their arms, resulting in difficulties moving their hands and elbows.

Road Rash

A road rash is possible when any exposed body part, such as the hands or arms, scrapes across a rough surface like concrete or asphalt, which usually happens after being thrown from a motorcycle at high speed in a crash. This is why wearing full motorcycle gear—including full-length jacket, pants, and gloves—is so important when riding a motorcycle.

Imaging tests, deep cleaning of the infected areas, and surgery are all used to treat this type of injury. Road rash can be minor, or it can be severe enough to reveal muscle and bone.

No matter how minor your injuries may seem after a motorcycle crash, it is vital to seek medical attention. Rehabilitation and prescriptions may be part of your recovery plan for your injuries. Your legal team will use your medical records to file a claim against a negligent driver who caused your accident.

Psychological Impact

Though not specifically related to body parts, motorcycle accidents can also cause severe psychological effects, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Survivors often experience ongoing distress, fear of riding, and emotional challenges that can significantly impact their quality of life. When pursuing legal claims for compensation, it is crucial to include these psychological impacts alongside physical injuries.

Comprehensive compensation should cover therapy, medication, and long-term mental healthcare needs. Recognizing the full extent of a survivor’s suffering, including psychological trauma, ensures a more accurate and just settlement. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, seeking professional mental health support is essential for a complete recovery.

Preventing Motorcycle Injuries

To reduce your risk of injuries in a motorcycle accident, you should wear the following appropriate motorcycle gear:

  • Helmet With a Face Shield: This type of helmet can protect you from injuring your head in collisions with other vehicles, stationary objects (like road barriers), and road surfaces. Helmets save lives every day.
  • Jackets and Pants: Clothing designed for use by motorcycle riders is made of synthetic, abrasion-resistant fabrics and provides more protection with normal long sleeves and pant legs. Using padded clothing can also protect elbows and knees from impact in a crash.
  • Gloves: Full-fingered, fitted gloves protect a rider’s hands. Choose a pair that also lets you have enough flexibility to control your motorcycle.
  • Boots: Strong boots that fit over the ankle offer the best protection against road rash and injuries to the feet and ankle. Rubber-based composite bottoms in the boots can also prevent foot slippage on slick surfaces, such as wet roads after it rains.

After a crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your property damage and injuries. The Louisiana motorcycle accident lawyers at Dudley DeBosier can review the details of your accident and subsequent medical treatment to help you negotiate for a fair settlement.

Reach out to us today to schedule a free evaluation of your claim.

Originally published June 13, 2022.

Related Posts

You Pay Us Nothing Unless We Win.

Schedule a consultation and we will review your case for FREE.