Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation for Louisiana adventurers, offering a sense of freedom unmatched by other vehicles. However, riding a motorcycle also comes with risks and dangers, as riders are less protected than passengers of other vehicles on the road.

One of the most frightening scenarios for any motorcycle rider is getting pinned under their bike in the event of a crash. Knowing what to do in this situation can mean the difference between life and death.

How Do Riders Get Pinned Under a Motorcycle?

In an accident, a motorcycle rider can become pinned under their bike in several ways. One of the most common scenarios is when the motorcycle falls on its side and pins the rider’s leg or foot when a rider loses control of the bike on a curve or is hit by another vehicle. In other cases, the motorcycle may flip over and land on the rider, trapping them underneath.

The injuries sustained in pinning accidents vary depending on the severity of the incident. If you become pinned, you may escape with only minor scrapes and bruises. However, a more serious accident can lead to broken bones, internal injuries, paralysis, or even death.

If the rider’s leg or foot is pinned under the bike, they may suffer from a condition known as crush or compartment syndrome. This occurs when the muscles and tissues in the affected limb are compressed, causing them to release toxic by-products into the bloodstream. Crush syndrome can lead to kidney failure and other life-threatening complications if left untreated.

In addition to physical injuries, being pinned under a motorcycle can cause emotional trauma. Riders may experience long-term anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the accident.

What to Do if You are Pinned Under Your Bike

Being pinned under a motorcycle can be a terrifying experience, but there are steps you can take to improve your chances of survival. If you ever find yourself in this situation, take the following actions:

  • Turn off the motorcycle: If the motorcycle is still running, turn off the engine to prevent further injury.
  • Call for help: If you have a phone, call for emergency assistance. If there is someone nearby who can hear you, yell for help.
  • Try to move the motorcycle: If you can move the motorcycle, do so carefully. Use your core muscles and arms to lift the bike just enough to slide your lower body out from underneath. If you can push with your legs, make sure you apply equal pressure and lift at the same time. You might also look for nearby items, such as branches, to wedge between you and the bike to create space to escape. If you cannot move the bike, try to shift your body to relieve pressure on the trapped body part.
  • Protect your airway: If the motorcycle’s weight is pressing against your chest or neck, move your head to the side. Place an object between the bike and the ground to relieve direct pressure on your chest if possible.
  • Wait for help: If you cannot free yourself from the motorcycle, wait for emergency responders to arrive. Try to remain calm and conserve your energy until help arrives.

Safety Tips for Preventing Pinning and Other Accidents

Preventing motorcycle accidents and avoiding being pinned under your bike starts with proper safety precautions. To reduce your risk of being pinned and to reduce your risk of serious injury, take these precautions:

  • Wear proper safety gear: Wearing the appropriate protective gear can reduce your risk of injury in the event of an accident. This includes a DOT-approved helmet, protective jacket, gloves, pants, and boots.
  • Check your bike before riding: Before you ride, make sure your motorcycle is in good working order. Check the brakes, tires, lights, and other components to ensure everything functions properly.
  • Stay alert: Always be aware of your surroundings when riding, including other vehicles, pedestrians, and potential hazards on the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones and other electronic devices.
  • Follow traffic laws: Obey speed limits and other traffic laws, and always use your turn signals when changing lanes or making a turn.
  • Ride defensively: Assume that other drivers may not see you, and take defensive measures to avoid accidents. This includes maintaining a safe following distance and being prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
  • Practice good riding techniques: Learn proper riding techniques, such as braking and cornering, to improve your control of the motorcycle.
  • Attend a motorcycle safety course: Consider attending a motorcycle safety course to learn more about safe riding techniques and best practices for staying safe on the road. These can be helpful for riders of all experience levels; The Louisiana State Police offers basic rider, intermediate, and advanced courses for motorcycle riders in the state.

Stay Protected with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Getting pinned under a motorcycle is a serious situation that requires quick thinking and immediate action. At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we can provide valuable legal assistance if you sustain injuries due to someone else’s negligence.

We can help you determine liability by collecting crucial evidence to support your case, including witness statements, police reports, medical records, and relevant photos from the accident scene.

If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, we can represent you in court, helping to ensure your rights are protected and advocating for your best interests.  

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.

This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.

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