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Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents can cause tremendous harm, and are amongst the most deadly type of roadway collision. According to NHTSA data, more than 3/4 of all motorcycle crashes result in injury or death of the motorcyclist. In comparison to cars and trucks, motorcycles are not only lighter, less stable, and more difficult to see, but they offer almost no protection in terms of crashworthiness. The Chicago Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. have witnessed the devastating consequences that can occur when a motorcyclist is involved in a crash. While injuries can vary greatly, some are more common than others.
Lower-extremity injuries to the leg, knee, ankle, foot, hip, or pelvis are some of the most frequently reported types of injury in non-fatal motorcycle crashes. Many of these injuries are caused as a result of the motorcyclist falling and then being pinned beneath the bike. According to the CDC, injury to the legs or feet account for nearly a third of all non-fatal motorcycle accident injuries. Tibia and fibula fractures, in particular, are by far the most common leg injury. In some cases the bone can break in a way that causes it to penetrate the skin, referred to an open fracture. Lower-extremity injuries can be severely debilitating, involve lengthy recovery times often requiring extensive therapy, and for some, can result in long-term and/or permanent harm, such as nerve or muscular damage, loss or limitation in use, and even amputation.
Fractured arms (ulna, radius, humerus), wrists, fingers, or shoulders, as well as other injuries to the upper-body are also quite common in motorcycle accidents. Similar to injuries to the lower-region, injury to the upper-region often occurs due to the victim falling or being ejected from the bike. However, injury to the wrist, arm, and even neck or back can occur in the absence of a fall or ejection, such as when a motorcycle brakes suddenly or tries to avoid a fall while maintaining a firm grip on the handlebars.
When a crash causes a motorcyclist to make contact with the surface of the road, a specific type of skin abrasion, known as road rash, can occur. Much like burn injuries, road rash is categorized in degrees based upon severity of the injury. First degree road rash involves minor skin reddening, comparable to ‘rug burn,’ and generally does not require medical treatment. Second degree road rash involves moderate abrasions to the outer layers of the skin, which sometimes can result in scarring, and should be treated by a medical professional. Third degree road rash involves removal of the skin that exposes tissue/fat, and requires prompt medical attention. In some cases, road rash can lead to infection, particularly when the skin’s layers are significantly damaged.
Head injuries are also common in motorcycle crashes, and can range from mild concussion, to facial fractures, to severe brain trauma. According to the CDC and NHTSA, trauma to the head and brain is the leading cause of death in fatal motorcycle collisions, as well as the leading cause of permanent disability in non-fatal crashes. While helmets can prevent many head injuries, as well as reduce the risk of sustaining more serious harm, such as traumatic brain injury, motorcycle accidents can cause head/brain/facial trauma even when the victim was helmeted at the time of the crash.
Motorcycle accidents, and the injuries that extend from them, come in many forms, and can involve many other types of injuries than those discussed above. The severity of the crash and manner of impact, as well as the type of clothing and/or protective gear worn can all affect the extent of harm suffered. While some victims are able to walk away unharmed or with minor bruising or abrasions, the vast majority of motorcycle victims are not so lucky. What motorcycle crashes do share in common, though, is the right to compensation when another person is responsible for causing the victim’s harm.
The Chicago Motorcycle Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims through adept and aggressive representation. Contact us at 773-516-4100, or send a message online to schedule your no-cost no-obligation case evaluation.