Motorcyclists face higher injury rates than vehicle occupants in crashes
Motorcycles are popular in Maine, but motorcyclists are at risk on the road. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics, motorcycle accidents are 28 times more likely to result in fatalities per vehicle mile traveled than accidents involving other vehicles. This means that even a seemingly minor accident can have devastating consequences for a motorcyclist.
In addition, riders are four times more likely to sustain injuries in an accident than vehicle occupants. This is because motorcycles offer little protection in the event of a collision, leaving riders vulnerable to serious and sometimes fatal injuries.
Unfortunately, too many drivers speed, let themselves become distracted, or act recklessly, and they often fail to look for motorcycles. It only takes one negligent driver to cause a motorcycle accident that can impact victims physically, emotionally, and financially.
Here are ten common injuries seen in motorcycle crashes.
1. Head and neck injuries
These are among the most serious injuries seen in motorcycle accidents. Wearing a helmet can help reduce the severity of head injuries, but an accident can still result in a concussion or skull fracture. Neck injuries commonly seen in motorcycle crashes include cervical spine fractures and whiplash.
2. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
During an accident, a biker's head can hit the pavement or collide with other vehicles or objects. A TBI can range from a mild concussion to a more severe injury that can cause permanent brain damage or death.
3. Spinal cord injuries
The spinal cord carries messages from the brain to the body and can be bruised or severed during a motorcycle wreck. This can result in loss of sensation or movement, chronic pain, or paralysis.
4. Broken bones
The force of impact of a collision can cause a biker's bones to crack or break, resulting in pain, swelling, and difficulty moving. For motorcycle accident victims, broken bones often occur in the arms, legs, ribs, and pelvis.
5. Foot and leg injuries
A motorcyclist's foot or leg can be trapped under the motorcycle during an accident or struck by objects such as curbs or guardrails. These injuries range from minor sprains and strains to more severe fractures or dislocations.
6. Abdominal injuries
These can occur during impact with the gas tank or handlebars during a motorcycle accident. Injuries can range from minor bruises and contusions to more serious internal organ damage or internal bleeding.
7. Hand and arm injuries
Hand, wrist, and arm injuries can happen when a rider tries to instinctively break a fall during an accident or is thrown from the motorcycle. These injuries can range from minor sprains and strains to more serious fractures or dislocations. A common injury is "biker's arm," in which the motorcycle lands on the arm and causes nerve damage.
Bikers can suffer burns if the motorcycle catches on fire after a crash or if they come into contact with the exhaust pipe or engine. Injuries can range from minor burns to more serious third-degree burns, which can result in scarring or permanent disfigurement.
9. Soft tissue injuries
Muscles, ligaments, and tendons can be stretched beyond their range of motion during a motorcycle accident. The injuries bikers suffer can range from minor sprains and strains to more serious tears or ruptures.
10. Road rash
This is a serious skin injury that occurs when a rider's body scrapes against the pavement. It can range from minor abrasions to more severe lacerations. Motorcycle accident victims who suffer road rash are also at risk of developing infection.
What to do after a motorcycle accident in Maine
If you're in Maine and you were involved in a motorcycle accident, call the police or have someone else call right away. Be sure to get medical attention. Then as soon as you are able to do so, get legal advice from an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to review your legal rights and options.
Proving a driver's negligence caused your accident can be complicated, and insurance companies will use many tactics to limit your compensation. That's why you need an experienced attorney who knows how to build a strong case and will fight the insurance companies on your behalf.
The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein is here to help. We've been fighting for injured bikers throughout Maine since 1974, and we would be honored to talk to you about your potential legal case. Contact us today to learn about your potential options during a free case evaluation. We have offices in Sanford, Biddeford, Portland, Windham, Lewiston, Augusta, and Bangor.