Any kind of motor vehicle accident can be tragic, but motorcycle accidents are often more so because riders and passengers do not have the same protective elements that people traveling in a car or truck do. Without padded levels of security to keep people safe from harm’s way that larger vehicles provide, motorcyclists carry higher bodily risks.
As a result, tragically, many motorcycle collisions result in a serious injury, or worse, a fatality. Injuries are so common that very few accident victims walk away unscathed. It can be difficult to cope with medical bills, therapy, lost wages, and loss of future income, along with bike damage.
The caring and compassionate motorcycle accident attorneys at Matz Injury Law understand the challenges you and your family are going through. To learn more about how we can help, call us today at 1-866-226-6833 or contact us online to obtain a free case evaluation.
Generally, there are two primary types of motorcycle injuries that can result from an accident: hard injuries and soft injuries. Hard tissue generally refers to bones, including the head and the spine, whereas soft tissue is primarily muscles, ligaments, connective tissues, and tendons located in various parts of the body.
Road rash and abrasions are two of the most common types of injuries in motorcycle accidents because it is common for cyclists to come into immediate contact with the road, sidewalk, or another hard surface. The severity of scrapes and lacerations can vary from mild to serious; many can lead to serious infections or permanent scarring. Unfortunately, many motorcycle accident victims also need skin grafts.
Fractures and broken bones are also some of the most common types of motorcycle accident injuries victims sustain in a crash. Common areas of the body affected by fractured or broken bones include hands, wrists, pelvis, and shoulders. Many riders instinctively try to cover their faces or reach out which leaves the rest of the body exposed to injuries.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain that occurs when it sustains trauma. Usually caused when the head is struck by an object, hit with force, or experiences rapid shaking, it is a serious accident that often results in permanent changes to the victim’s—and their family’s–life.
Involvement in a motorcycle crash can also cause severe injury to internal organs. When thrown from a bike, the impact where a victim lands can be significant and cause damage to internal organs, such as the liver, lungs, kidneys, and spleen, to name common internal organ injuries.
Riders experience sheer force in a crash, especially if they are thrown from the bike. This direct trauma can lead to substantial internal bleeding that can cause severe injury or, tragically, a fatality. Internal bleeding can occur around the lungs, in the brain, in punctured organs by ribs, and in the legs, if thigh fractures occur.
Other common motorcycle injuries riders and their passengers sustain include sprains, strains, burns, neck injuries, back injuries (including herniated discs), spinal cord injuries, leg injuries, nerve damage, loss of limbs, and other disfigurements. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders are very vulnerable to these and other harm, including fatal injuries.
According to a study by the CDC between 2001 and 2008, 30% of non-fatal motorcycle crash injuries occur to the lower extremities (leg and foot areas). Unfortunately, severe injuries are also likely to happen to the head or the neck; the study found 22% of injuries occur in these regions of the body. These injuries lead to pain, suffering, struggles to go about daily tasks, and debilitating conditions.
TBIs are one of the most common and serious injuries that occur in both car accidents and motorcycle crashes, especially if the riders are not wearing helmets as the odds of injury severity increase. However, a TBI can occur even when the rider is wearing a helmet.
Categorized as either severe, moderate, or mild, a victim’s life may never be the same after suffering an open or closed TBI. Even a concussion, despite what many people might think, is not just a bump to the head. It is considered to be a mild TBI and can have permanent consequences.
TBIs can be complicated, and victims can suffer numerous different TBIs, including contusions (bleeding), shearing (tearing of tissues), and swelling, to name a few. It is common for people to suffer physical, cognitive, and emotional changes with a TBI. This type of head injury can be difficult to diagnose as symptoms may not emerge until days, weeks, or months after the TBI occurs.
Any motorcycle rider who receives a blow or other injury to the head should be seen by a doctor or hospital as soon as possible. Earlier treatment leads to a better recovery.
If you or a family member was involved in a motorcycle accident, there are several steps that need to be taken to preserve your rights and maintain your ability to file a legal claim for personal injury.
Call 911 to alert police about an accident that has occurred so a report can be filed. Also, if anyone involved in the accident appears injured or needs immediate medical attention, responders can ensure help is on the way. In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, a police report can prove vital in efforts to recover damage to your bike, any medical bills, clothing, or other damages you have suffered.
After each person involved in an accident is safely off the road, you should make sure no one leaves before you get their contact information, including the name, phone number, address, insurance company, and license numbers of any drivers.
If you are able, take note of the surroundings where the incident occurred and take photos. Take pictures of all vehicles involved (including license plate numbers) and note down the make and model of any vehicles. Other things to take photos of are skid marks, road signs, weather conditions, lighting, and any other factors that may offer information regarding the accident. If you cannot take photos, ask someone else to do it, or note the location so you can return later for photographs.
Eyewitnesses to accidents can offer important information during the legal process. If possible, speak to anyone who saw what happened and ask them if you can record what they saw or if they will write down the events on paper. Ask if they would mind sharing their contact information in case any questions arise later on.
Alert your insurance company to let them know an accident has occurred. This way, your insurer has all of the pertinent information.
Never admit fault to your insurance company or to anyone on the accident scene, even if you think you’re to blame. There may be circumstances of which you are unaware (distracted driving, DUI, or other factors). Speak to an experienced motorcycle attorney first.
Always seek legal representation after a motor vehicle accident occurs. Your attorney will examine the situation, evaluate the circumstances, and do a thorough investigation. To receive compensation for any injuries or damages, you will need to file a claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you do this, along with dealing with insurance companies that often are not looking out in your best interests.
Motorcyclists are often blamed for accidents due to stereotypes, even if an auto driver is to blame for the crash. In many cases, this is a fallacy. Motorcyclists are at high risk. Drivers of larger vehicles are often at fault because they do not see the rider of the motorcycle. Other driver errors include:
After a case is examined, it often comes to light that these and other reckless driving events by car drivers lead to serious crashes involving bikers. Cyclists deserve the same level of respect on the road as any other vehicle driver and have the same rights.
Read more about who is usually at fault in Michigan motorcycle accidents here.
Sadly, in 2020, 170 deaths (16%) of all motor vehicle deaths occurring in Michigan involved motorcycles. The safest way to reduce the risk of injury is to be alert, wear a motorcycle helmet, wear other protective gear, and be seen by other drivers. Even if your state does not have a helmet law, plan to wear one anyway. You can recover, but the brain does not heal the same way as other injuries – the brain is forever changed. Following these and other safety tips can significantly reduce the risks you and your passengers face as motorcyclists.
If you, or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle crash due to the recklessness or negligence of another driver, you shouldn’t suffer alone. An experienced attorney by your side can look out for your best interests so another driver does not try to pin the accident’s fault on you.
Matz Injury Law has extensive experience in accident cases, and we represent injury victims throughout the state of Michigan including Warren, Port Huron, Grand Rapids, and Lansing. To date, we have earned more than $300 million for our clients. To obtain a free consultation from one of our motorcycle accident lawyers, contact our law firm by calling 1-866-22Not33 or by completing our online contact form.