The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety reports that 81 percent of motorcycle crashes that happened in the state in 2022 resulted in injuries or deaths. Preliminary data for the year indicates that 151 motorcyclists were killed in collisions, accounting for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities that occurred in Missouri. Even when people survive motorcycle accidents, motorcycle crash injuries can leave them with permanent disabilities. Let’s review some of the most common types of injuries that might occur in motorcycle crashes.
Exploring Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Motorcyclists do not have the same types of protection against injuries in accidents compared to passenger vehicle occupants. When they are involved in accidents, it is common for riders to suffer multiple types of motorcycle crash injuries. A motorcyclist might suffer injuries to various regions of the body and could be killed as a result. Below is an overview of some common types of injuries in motorcycle crashes grouped by body region.
Lower Extremity Injuries
The legs of motorcyclists are exposed to injuries in accidents since riders are not surrounded by a metal frame. Lower extremity injuries are common in motorcycle crashes when a cyclist is struck by another motorist or thrown from the bike, and the motorcycle falls on top of them. Some common lower extremity injuries that can happen in motorcycle crashes include the following:
- Crushed legs
- Knee injuries
- Femur fractures
- Ankle injuries
- Serious leg lacerations
- Foot injuries
- Road rash injuries
Lower extremity injuries can be debilitating and might result in permanent disabilities. Victims might have to undergo extensive surgeries, skin grafts, rehabilitation, and physical therapy as a part of their recovery process.
Upper Extremity Injuries
Many motorcyclists are thrown from their bikes during motorcycle crashes and tend to instinctively reach out their arms and hands to brace themselves while falling. During a hard landing, motorcyclists might suffer torn rotator cuffs, shoulder injuries, fractured arms, fractured fingers, wrist sprains, fractured wrists, and broken fingers.
Upper Thoracic Injuries
The thoracic region of the body is protected by your ribs and encases your lungs, heart, and other internal organs. Motorcycle accidents sometimes involve blunt force trauma to this bodily region, which can lead to internal bleeding and organ damage. Common thoracic injuries include rib fractures, punctured lungs, collapsed lungs, and others. In some cases, a victim will suffer a torn aorta, which could be fatal.
Under R.S.Mo. 302.020(2), all motorcyclists younger than age 26 must wear helmets while riding on motorcycles. This law is meant to save lives and prevent head injuries. While helmets provide some protection, they can’t prevent all potential head injuries. Head injuries in motorcycle crashes are common and can be among the most serious types of potential injuries that might occur. The following are common head injuries in motorcycle crashes:
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Brain damage
- Brain hemorrhaging
- Brain swelling
- Lifelong disabilities
Facial and Neck Injuries
Motorcyclists who suffer head injuries commonly also suffer facial or neck injuries. Some of the common types of facial and neck injuries that happen in motorcycle crashes include the following:
- Broken noses
- Jawbone fractures
- Dislodged or fractured teeth
- Severe lacerations
- Ligament, tendon, and muscle damage in the neck
- Cervical fractures
- Cervical spine damage
- Potential quadriplegia
When motorcyclists are struck by cars or trucks, the impact can involve blunt force trauma to their abdominal regions. This type of crash can seriously injure the abdominal organs, including the liver or spleen. In some cases, the motorcyclist might be unaware of their internal injuries and develop serious infections, internal bleeding, and potential death.
Spinal cord injuries can occur in motorcycle accidents and can be particularly devastating. If the spinal cord is damaged, the individual might suffer paralysis below the site of the injury. Spinal cord damage in the cervical region of the spine in the neck could result in lifelong quadriplegia or the loss of sensation from the neck down. Damage to the lumbar spine could result in paraplegia and the loss of the ability to move the legs, walk, or feel from the waist down.
Consult a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycle crashes can be devastating. If you believe your accident and injuries were caused by someone else, you might be entitled to compensation. Contact the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave to learn about the remedies that might be available by calling us at 417-322-2222 or contacting us online. We look forward to hearing from you!