The aftermath of most motorcycle accidents is catastrophic and chaotic, with emergency first responders on the scene to document the facts of the collision as well as treat those in need of medical assistance. While a good number of motorcycle accident victims are physically unable to walk away from their crashes, some feel like they are even though they may still be unknowingly suffering from potentially deadly injuries. This is why it’s important that bikers and their passengers don’t dismiss symptoms after a motorcycle accident.
Even though fewer people were on the road in 2020, fatal crashes increased. According to NHTSA, there were 5,458 fatal motorcycle crashes, a 9% increase over 2019, despite a 13.2% decrease in miles traveled that year. Specifically in Texas, statistics show that from 2010 to 2017, our state recorded about 68,877 crashes involving motorcycles. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one motorcycle rider dies every day on Texas roads on average.
Resulting motorcycle accident injuries can generally be categorized into hard and soft injuries. Hard injuries include burns, brain injury, spinal cord injury, fractures, and internal problems like bleeding and organ damage. Soft injuries can include sprains, strains, lacerations, bruises, and whiplash.
Common Post-Accident Symptoms That Can Signal Serious Injuries
When motorcycles crash, their riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so they’re more likely to be injured or killed. Some symptoms of serious injury are not felt or seen by victims until days, weeks, or even months after a motorcycle accident. After a biker crash, you might not think your injuries are that serious. However, you might begin to notice symptoms in the days or weeks that follow—symptoms that could indicate a serious injury. If you feel any of these symptoms, it’s best to seek medical treatment right away. There are important signs to look for that could point to a motorcycle accident injury, including:
- Neck Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Abdominal Pain or Swelling
- Mood Changes
- Changes in Appetite or Sleep Patterns
- Tingling and Numbness
- Dizziness or Fainting
- Blurred Vision
- Memorial Loss
- Unusual Speech
- Discolored Skin
Some pain may indicate you have suffered a herniated disc. Pain in the abdomen can indicate internal injuries, which can be deadly if left untreated. Headaches may indicate a serious head or brain injury, such as concussions, blood clots, and TBIs. Beyond the physical manifestations of potentially dangerous motorcycle accident injuries, emotional problems may indicate the victim has suffered psychological trauma, depression, or can also be a symptom of an underlying brain injury. Internal injuries can be hard to spot, but important conditions to ask your treating providers about include tears in the aorta or superior or inferior vena cava, tears, cuts, or blunt trauma to organs such as the spleen or liver, bleeding around the lungs, and/or intracranial hemorrhage.
The Most Common and Serious Motorcycle Injuries
While a motorcycle crash – whether a single vehicle or a collision with one or more other vehicles – can result in a wide spectrum of injuries, some of the most common and serious biker injuries to watch out for include:
- Road rash: Road rash results from a rider’s skin sliding along the pavement as riders tend to slide along the road’s surface when they fall from their bikes at high speeds. While a “rash” might sound minor, these injuries are extremely painful and can take a long time to heal.
- Traumatic brain injury: A TBI occurs when the brain is damaged by a jolt, blow, or penetrating injury to the head biker’s head after striking a road surface or an object upon being thrown from the bike.
- Spinal cord injury: An SCI is particularly devastating because damage to the spinal cord disrupts communication between the brain and the body. In mild cases, the damage causes numbness and weakness in the upper and lower extremities. In severe cases, partial or total paralysis can result. The higher on the spinal column the injury occurs, the more extensive the paralysis will be.
- Orthopedic injury: The most common orthopedic motorcycle accident injuries include complex or comminuted fractures, amputation, and ligament and tendon damage.
- Abdominal trauma: A motorcycle accident can damage any of the organs in the abdomen, but injuries to the spleen and/or liver are the most common.
Houston Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyers
Motorcyclists represent just 3% of all registered vehicles but account for 14% of yearly traffic-related deaths. Motorcycle injuries can be debilitating and require extensive medical treatment; victims may in fact never fully recover. It is important for victims to get the full financial compensation to which they are entitled for their injuries and other losses so they can focus on their recovery and not worry about how to pay for it.
If you have been injured in a Houston motorcycle accident, contact the award-winning and experienced Houston personal injury attorneys at The Krist Law Firm to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Read more answers to frequently asked questions about motorcycle accidents. We provide free consultations and take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no out-of-pocket costs until we win your case.
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