Motorcyclists enjoy few things more than riding their bikes. But hundreds of rides end badly in Virginia each year when a negligent or reckless driver causes a crash. Rear-end collisions, unsafe lane changes, running red lights and failing to yield right of way while turning are frequent reasons why people behind the wheels of cars and trucks hit motorcycle riders or force them to lay down their bikes.
When such incidents occur, few motorcyclists walk away uninjured. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that “More than 80 percent of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist.”
The agency goes on to explain why: “The motorcycle itself provides no head injury protection to the rider or passenger. Ejection from the motorcycle is a common injury pathway.”
- A Virginia Beach Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney Walks You Through the Insurance Claims Process
- Determining Fault for a Crash That Injures a Motorcycle Rider
- Damages That Can Be Claimed in a Motorcycle Accident Injury Case
Helmets and protective clothing save many motorcycle riders’ lives. At the same time, surviving a crash does not equate to escaping injury. As Virginia Beach-based personal injury lawyers, here are brief descriptions of the three type of injuries we have seen most often among the dozens of motorcycle accident victims we have helped.
Traumatic Brain Injuries and Head Trauma
A properly fitted full-enclosure helmet does a good job of keeping a motorcyclist’s skull intact even when the person wearing the device slams into the pavement or another vehicle with great force. But most traumatic brain injuries occur because the brain, which floats in a pool of liquid, hits bone.
This is also how concussions occur, and everyone must understand that a concussion is much more than simply getting one’s bell rung. Symptoms such as headaches, memory lapses and dizziness can persist for months, making it difficult for a crash victim to fully resume their normal life.
It does not take long for heavy denim and leather to wear away when a motorcyclist is skidding along the pavement at 40-60 mph. Bare skin does not hold up at all.
While road rash is just an abrasion, pain and limited range of motion can keep a crash victim out of work for several weeks. Repeated visits to the doctor or a hospitalization may also be needed to fully clean debris from the superficial wounds and to control an infection.
Impacts and entrapments inflict many of the most-disabling injuries when motorcycle riders fall victim to negligent or reckless drivers. Landing hard after an ejection, having their bike fall on top of them and running into the side of a vehicle can break or shatter foot, leg, hip, spinal, rib, shoulder, arm, hand and facial bones.
A “lucky” break results in wearing a cast. Surgical repairs and traction are not uncommon. Permanent deformities and disabilities afflict many motorcycle cycle crash victims who suffered fractures.
Insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits hold drivers accountable for harming motorcycle riders. Those legal actions are not guaranteed to succeed, however, which is why my colleagues and I devote our law practice to advising and represented injury victims.