The most common types of motorcycle accident injuries that motorcyclists sustain are to the legs. The next most frequent injuries are to the arms, then the head, thorax, face and neck, abdomen, and spine. There is a difference in the types of injuries among older riders compared to younger ones. Another factor in the types of injuries one suffers is helmet use.
Severe Injuries by Body Region for Motorcyclists
Motorcyclists tend to sustain more significant injuries and fatalities in accidents than people in cars. When you ride a motorcycle, you do not have the protection of a metal vehicle body surrounding you to take much of the impact in the event of a crash. Here are the rates of severe injuries by body region from motorcycle crashes:
- Lower extremities (59% of injured older motorcycle riders – age 40 and older, 55% of younger riders – age 39 or less)
- Upper extremities (52% of older riders, 48% of younger ones)
- Head (27% of older riders, 29% of younger riders)
- Thorax (23% of older riders, 28% of younger ones)
- Face or neck (21% of older riders, 27% of older riders)
- Abdomen (20% of older riders, 19% of younger ones)
- Spine (14% of older riders, 10% of younger riders)
Some motorcyclists suffered injuries to multiple regions of the body.
How Age Is a Factor in the Types of Motorcycle Injuries Suffered in an Accident
Older motorcycle riders (age 40 and above) tend to have different types of injuries than younger motorcyclists. For example, when comparing injury patterns for younger and older riders, older riders are more likely to sustain the following injuries:
- Multiple fractured ribs
- Head and thoracic injuries, which correlate with the larger motorcycles (1000 cc or bigger) that older riders tend to drive
Fewer people between the ages of 16 and 24 years of age are riding motorcycles now, while the numbers of motorcyclists age 35 and older are increasing. In a study of over 1,200 injured motorcycle riders, around two out of three were younger riders (age 39 or less). On a side note, only 5% of the injured motorcyclists were women.
The crash types for all ages were:
- With another vehicle (48% of the total motorcycle accidents)
- With a parked vehicle or a fixed object (28%)
- Overturned motorcycle (9%)
- Other causes (15%)
The “other causes” category includes accidents that involve animals.
Exploring the Issue of Helmets and Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists who wear helmets are more likely to survive a crash. Since older riders are much more likely to wear helmets on every ride, they have higher accident survival rates than younger motorcycle riders. Eighty-nine percent of older riders wear helmets, as opposed to 80% of younger riders.
Motorcycle Crashes and Catastrophic Injuries
Motorcyclists are more likely than people riding in passenger cars to sustain catastrophic injuries. The losses can be extreme due to:
- Paralysis from neck and spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury from head injuries
- Amputations from harm to upper or lower extremities
After injuries like these, the victim might need to live in a long-term care facility. He might need daily help with medical treatments or have to use equipment like a respirator to stay alive. With paralysis, he might need trained personnel to move him to avoid the development of bedsores. He might also need assistance with personal care tasks, like eating, bathing, and dressing.
With a traumatic brain injury, the motorcyclist might slip into an altered state of consciousness, like a coma, minimally conscious state, or a persistent vegetative state. In situations like these, the expenses of specialized care in a long-term care facility can skyrocket quickly. You might be able to seek recovery of these costs from the negligent party for these types of motorcycle accident injuries.
How to Prove Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident
Regardless of how severe the injuries are, the court will only make someone pay for the losses if that person is legally responsible for the accident that caused the harm. We have to prove all four of these factors to go after money damages:
- Duty of care. The person we pursue for compensation must have owed you a legal duty of care. Let’s say that the driver of a car crashed into a motorcycle. Everyone who operates a motor vehicle on public roads has a duty to obey the traffic laws.
- Breach of the duty. If the defendant driver failed to live up to the standard of the legal duty, he was negligent. For example, the driver drove erratically before the accident because she was impaired by alcohol. Driving while under the influence of alcohol violates traffic laws and is negligence.
- Causation. The careless conduct must be the thing that causes the collision that hurt you. The defendant’s alcohol impairment caused her to drive recklessly and strike a motorcyclist. The negligence caused the accident and injuries.
- Quantifiable damages. You must have measurable losses to go after compensation. Physical injuries satisfy this requirement.
After we talk with our clients and investigate their accidents, we can collect the evidence to prove the factors for establishing liability.
At S. Burke Law, we fight hard for people who suffer harm at the hands of others. We treat our clients like family. Call us today at (404) 842-7838 to get started. The initial consultation is free, and there is no obligation.