Unique Injuries to Motorcycle Accidents
Florida is home to a vibrant motorcycle culture of enthusiastic riders that love to spend their days on the road with their bikes. This, unfortunately, also means there are a large number of motorcyclists in Florida that become seriously injured or lose their lives in motorcycle accidents. Florida consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous states for motorcyclists with motorcycle deaths in Florida increasing 30 percent from 2014 to 2015. In 2015, 606 deaths were attributed to motorcycle crashes.
No matter what caused the motorcycle accident, riders–or motorcycle passengers–can be seriously injured or even lose their life. Motorcycle injuries can be especially grievous due to the rider being exposed to the direct forces of a collision when involved in an accident. This can often lead to some injuries that are unique to this specific type of motor vehicle accident.
Biker’s Arm Motorcycle Accident Injuries
One common injury unique to motorcycle accidents is known as biker’s arm. When a motorcyclist collides with another vehicle or perhaps a stationary object, they are usually thrown from their bike and instinctually throw up their arms to protect themselves. When they do this they have all the extreme forces from the collision focused on their arms thrown up to protect their head and body. This causes the bones of the arms to fracture and even break as well as cause lacerations and other severe trauma.
This trauma from the collision forces absorbed through a motorcyclist’s arms during an accident can lead to serious muscular damage as well. The trauma can injure the soft tissue and even go deep enough to cause permanent damage. Nerve damage can also occur and leave extremities numb and remain permanent.
Hip and Pelvis Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents
Due to the riding position of many motorcyclists, the hip and pelvis stand to sustain a severe injury in the event of a collision. For example, when a motorcyclist collides with something at high speed, the forces of that collision will usually radiate from the front of their motorcycle and through the bike. With the major point of contact where the rider’s weight is being the seat, the forces of a collision can cause significant trauma to the hips and pelvis that rest on the seat.
Since the pelvis and hips are such a large bony structure, they tend to absorb a lot of force in the event of an impact which is especially dangerous since so many organs are housed by this bony structure in the abdomen. Many motorcyclists do not have any protective gear for this specific region of the body so it often takes a great deal of damage.
Back and Neck Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can also cause serious neck and back injuries, like whiplash, herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, soft tissue damage in the neck and back, and even paralysis.
Whiplash is caused by a sudden stretching the neck, causing strain and spraining of muscles. This is most commonly caused as a motorcycle accident causes a sudden stop motions, most commonly when a rider is hit from behind.
A herniated disc occurs when the vertebral disc is forced out of place causing it to partially bulge outward. This bulge can put pressure on surrounding nerves causing severe pain and discomfort.
A fractured vertebrae in the neck occurs when an individual vertebrae is damaged during a motorcycle accident. This damage can be a hairline fracture to the bone, all the way to a crushed vertebrae.
Soft tissue damage in the neck occurs when the muscles, ligaments, tendons, or nerves are seriously damage in a collision. These soft tissue injuries not only affect the neck directly, but can also cause damage and pain in the head, shoulders, and arms.
And finally, one of the most serious neck injuries that can occur are ones that result in paralysis, like quadriplegia and paraplegia. This occurs when the damage to the neck, back, or spine in general, is severe enough to cause permanent spinal cord damage.
Traumatic Brain Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
Despite many campaigns to raise awareness among motorcyclists about the benefits of wearing a helmet and the immense risk of foregoing one, a large amount of the Florida motorcyclist community still rides without helmets. This is in part because of the lax motorcycle helmet laws in Florida where a motorcycle helmet is not required to ride a motorcycle.
Because of many motorcyclist’s ignorances or blatant disregard for helmet safety, many motorcyclists suffer severe head trauma that causes traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury is basically an injury characterized by damage to the brain via a traumatic force to the head. These injuries have serious consequences in the long term where they cause cognitive issues; especially when multiple traumatic brain injuries occur.
The term traumatic brain injury is more of an umbrella term than a specific injury. A wide range of traumatic brain injuries can be suffered in a motorcycle accident. The most common of these traumatic brain injuries is the concussion. Other injuries can include coup-contrecoup injuries, Diffuse Axonal Injuries, and penetrating injuries that all can cause debilitating symptoms.
Road Rash or Road Burn Motorcycle Accident Injuries
When a motorcyclist gets in an accident, they stand a very good chance of being thrown from their motorcycle and having their body hit the road. This is often at a rather high speed which means that a motorcyclist can suffer road burn or road rash as it is also called. Road burn is when the intense friction caused by hitting the road at high speed causes a victims flesh to shred away.
While road burn or road rash tend to not be fatal to motorcyclists, they are extremely painful and debilitating injuries depending on their intensity and location. Motorcyclists that suffer intense road rash can have their skin torn away and require skin grafts and sometimes suffer nerve damage.
[Read: What to do After a Motorcycle Accident]
Motorcycle Safety Tips to Avoid Common Injuries
The simple act of wearing the appropriate motorcycle safety gear while riding can not only prevent or decrease the intensity of injuries but the right safety gear can save a rider’s life. The most important piece of safety gear a motorcyclist can wear is their helmet. Head injuries can ruin your life and helmets have been shown to significantly reduce the chance of a motorcyclist suffering a severe head injury or losing their life. Helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths 2 and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries
Motorcyclists should also elect to wear the appropriate clothing for riding. Clothing that leaves little-exposed skin and of a sturdy material like leather is highly recommended. This can decrease the chance of suffering an injury like road rash. Sturdy gloves and footwear are also recommended since hands and feet tend to get shredded by road rash very often. Padded clothing geared specifically towards motorcyclists is the best since the padding can reduce the effects of a biker’s arm injury or trauma sustained by the more vulnerable parts of the body during a motorcycle accident. Clothing that is very visible with bright coloring or reflective material is also recommended since it increases a motorcyclists visibility.
Consider Eberst Law Firm for Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
If you have been injured in a car accident in the Stuart, Florida or Gainesville, Florida area, contact the experienced personal injury team at The Eberst Law Firm. We are ready to handle your case. You can contact us online or call us at 772-225-4900.