Four Types of Serious Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
Approximately 175,000 motorcyclists were treated in 2008 in the emergency room for injuries, according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While some injuries are relatively minor, such as light road rash, many motor accidents cause severe, catastrophic or even fatal injuries.
Road Rash and Lacerations
One of the (relatively) least severe injuries that riders incur is road rash. When the rider’s skin is scraped along the pavement, rocks and debris can scrape away the skin, causing abrasions known as road rash.
But severe bruising and deep lacerations can also occur in high-speed collisions or when the rider isn’t wearing safety gear. In some cases, the damage can even be deep enough to cause nerve injury.
Medical attention is required in order to prevent infection, scarring, and permanent nerve damage.
Treatments may include:
• cleaning the wound;
• removal of any debris;
• topical and oral pain medication; and
• possibly surgery.
Fractured bones are another common injury sustained in motorcycle accidents. Colliding with the ground or other vehicles or being crushed by the bike can cause serious broken and shattered bones. Most broken bone injuries will eventually heal with little long-term impact.
Treatments can include:
- drilling to drain excess fluid buildup;
- pain medication; and
- surgery (sometimes with instruments such as metal rods and external fixations).
Spinal Cord and Head Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are one of the most dangerous and devastating injuries that occur in motorcycle accidents. Motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle crashes, are the second-leading cause of spinal cord injury, according to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
Any sort of trauma to the spinal cord can lead to a loss of or impaired motor function. Other symptoms include loss of mobility and loss of sensation.
It’s important to note that a rider can break his back or neck and neck and not become paralyzed. It’s only when the spinal cord housed within the spinal column becomes damaged that paralysis may occur.
Spinal cord injuries require extensive and long-term care. Treatment may include:
- sedation, breathing assistance, and immobilization;
- medical devices and technologies;
- psychological counseling; and
- rehabilitation treatments.
There is a plethora of drugs on the market that can help with a spinal cord injury, for instance, riluzole, which, if administered immediately after acute traumatic injury, can improve motor scores in patients. Thus, patients should ask their healthcare professionals about all possible avenues of treatment.
Head Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury
Similarly, severe head injuries can lead to devastating injuries like traumatic brain injuries that cause cognitive impairment, coma, and a vegetative state. Individuals in serious accidents and/or who are not wearing a helmet may be at increased risk of head injuries and TBI.
Treatment may include:
- breathing assistance; and
- therapy specific to the patient’s condition, such as rehabilitative therapy for those who suffer cognitive impairment or care for individuals in a vegetative state.
Get a Free Consultation with a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you loved was recently involved in a serious motorcycle accident, talk to an attorney to discuss your legal options. Contact Chalik & Chalik in South Florida at 888-476-4697.