Many Pennsylvanians choose to ride motorcycles for several reasons. They might enjoy experiencing the sense of freedom and independence from riding motorcycles, the more affordable fuel costs, and the lower purchasing costs of motorcycles. While there are many benefits to riding motorcycles, they also present some additional risks.
Since motorcyclists are largely unprotected from the elements and the forces released in collisions, they are much likelier to suffer serious injuries or fatalities when they are involved in accidents. According to data from the Insurance Information Institute, motorcyclists were nearly 29 times likelier to be killed in crashes in 2019 than motor vehicle occupants. During that year, 84,000 motorcyclists were injured and 5,014 were killed in the U.S.
While motorcyclists might suffer many different types of injuries in collisions, some of the most common types of serious injuries in motorcycle accidents include back, spinal cord, and neck injuries. The Philadelphia motorcycle crash lawyers at Raynes & Lawn can review your case and help you understand your rights and legal options if you have been injured or have lost your loved one in a motorcycle wreck.
Types Of Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents
There are many different types of injuries from motorcycle accidents that you might suffer, including back, neck, and spine injuries. Paralysis is one of the worst potential outcomes you might suffer following motorcycle accident trauma to your neck or back.
Other common types of injuries to your neck or back in a motorcycle collision include the following:
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Fractured vertebrae
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
Whiplash is a very common injury that can occur when your neck and head are thrown back and forth, causing the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your shoulders and neck to hyperextend. This type of injury can cause a reduction in your range of motion, stiffness, balance problems, dizziness, headache, and vertigo. Depending on the severity of your whiplash injuries, you might suffer symptoms for several weeks or months. Some people suffer chronic symptoms that can last up to a year or more.
Your vertebral discs that cushion the bones of your vertebral column and help to keep your neck in place can also be dislocated during a motorcycle crash and might bulge or herniate. These types of injuries can cause severe pain when you try to move.
The individual vertebrae that make up the bones of your vertebral column can also fracture during a high-impact collision. Depending on the severity of the fracture, you might need surgery to move safely and avoid placing your spinal cord at risk.
Soft tissue injuries in your back, neck, and shoulders can also occur in motorcycle wrecks. These include injuries to the tendons, muscles, ligaments, and nerves in your back, shoulders, and neck. Soft tissue injuries can cause stiffness and pain and reduce your range of motion. Spinal cord injuries can be very serious and might result in paralysis. There are four types of paralysis that might occur, depending on the severity of your spinal cord injury and its location.
These include the following types of paralysis:
- Monoplegia – Occurs when one leg or arm is paralyzed
- Hemiplegia – Occurs when an arm and a leg on the same side are paralyzed
- Paraplegia – Occurs when the spinal cord is damaged in the thoracic or lumbar region, resulting in a loss of movement and sensation in the lower body from the site of the injury down
- Quadriplegia – Occurs when the spinal cord injury occurs in the cervical spine area, resulting in a loss of motor function in all of the victim’s limbs
How Common Are Motorcycle Neck And Back Injuries?
In a comprehensive study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), researchers found that approximately 15% of motorcycle crash victims suffer from neck and back injuries for those who required rehabilitation. Among victims requiring acute rehabilitative care, the second leading type of neck and back injuries were spinal cord injuries.
How Are Back And Neck Injuries Treated?
Following a motorcycle accident, a victim who is suspected of potentially suffering a spinal cord injury should avoid movement and should only be moved by others if necessary to protect them from additional danger. The responding emergency medical technicians will use braces to avoid worsening any injuries while transporting the victim. In the emergency department, the doctors will treat open wounds with antibiotics to prevent infection and administer steroids to reduce inflammation in the central nervous system. They will use imaging studies, including x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computerized tomography (CT) scans to identify and diagnose the types of injuries that have occurred. Depending on the types of injuries, the victim might have to undergo surgery. Those who have suffered fractures, disc herniations, torn ligaments or tendons, or spinal compression will likely require surgical intervention. Following surgery, many people who suffer back or neck injuries will have to undergo rehabilitation. For serious injuries, the victims might require ongoing rehabilitative care for months or years.
How A Motorcycle Accident Attorney Might Help
Motorcycle crashes can be devastating and result in severe injuries. In serious cases, the victims might have to undergo a lengthy hospitalization followed by rehabilitation and might be left with permanent disabilities. Retaining a motorcycle accident attorney might help you to increase your chances of recovering fair compensation for your losses.
An experienced motorcycle crash lawyer might provide the following types of help:
- Handling all of the communications with the insurance companies
- Investigating your crash
- Gathering and preserving critical evidence
- Determining liability
- Drafting and sending a demand letter to the insurance company
- Negotiating with the insurance company to try to secure a reasonable settlement offer
- Drafting and filing a civil complaint to initiate a formal lawsuit if necessary
- Litigating your case
- Representing you at all hearings
- Helping you to understand the court process and what to expect
Talk To Raynes & Lawn
Motorcycle crashes can result in serious back and neck injuries or death. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident because of the actions of someone else, you should speak to our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys. Call Raynes & Lawn today at 1-800-535-1797 for a free consultation.
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