Every year throughout the nation, thousands of motorcyclists are involved in accidents. Motorcycle accidents are not only common, but they are incredibly deadly, too. To be sure, the Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that motorcyclists are approximately 29 times more likely to die in a crash than are passenger car occupants, and about five times more likely to be injured. The high risk of injury or death is explained by the fact that motorcyclists have few protections when an accident occurs – there are no seatbelts, airbags, or steel frames around them to help keep them safe. If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a motorcycle, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Louisville motorcycle accident attorney right away.
Even when a motorcycle accident does not result in death, the injuries sustained can be serious and potentially life-changing. Consider the following common injuries after a motorcycle accident:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are one of the most common injury types suffered by motorcyclists involved in crashes in Kentucky. While it is possible for a motorcyclist to sustain a TBI event when wearing a helmet, the risk of TBI, and the severity of TBI, increases dramatically when a helmet is not used. The Kentucky Department of Transportation strongly urges motorcyclists to ride helmeted, and reports that when the universal helmet law was repealed in the state in 1998, motorcyclists fatalities increased by over 50 percent. The use of a helmet also reduces the risk of a TBI by as much as 65 percent.
A TBI can have serious consequences, affecting the victim’s speech, cognition, learning, memory, sensation, emotion, and more. Sometimes, a TBI is so severe that it leaves a victim unable to care for themself without constant medical help.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Equally as traumatic, and sometimes even more so, as a TBI is a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord is the collection of nerves that runs the length of the spine, is responsible for sending information between the brain and the rest of the body, and is protected by the vertebral column. When the spinal cord is impacted and damaged, a person may experience weakness or complete paralysis from the location of the injury downwards, as communication between the brain and the rest of the body is impeded at the injury site. Some spinal cord injuries are so severe that a person suffers complete and total paralysis of all limbs-referred to as quadriplegia-for the remainder of their life.
When a motorcyclist is involved in a crash, their bones often are impacted with a large amount of force. Depending upon the degree of force and the angle of impact (as well as the bone health of the affected person), fractures may occur. Fractures can vary in severity, with some bone fractures healing completely with time, and others being significant enough to require emergency surgery, and even putting the victim at risk of internal puncture (i.e. a broken rib could puncture a lung).
Motorcyclists involved in accident often sustain a number of injuries to their skin, which are called superficial injuries. These injury types can happen when a motorcyclist’s body skids or is dragged along the pavement, or when they hit another object with force. Some common superficial injuries include:
- Road rash/road burn;
- Lacerations and cuts;
- Abrasions; and
While these injury types are called superficial, they have the potential to be very serious. For example, road burn injuries can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement, and can lead to infections. These injury types are also very painful.
Not all injuries following a motorcycle accident in Louisville are physical; injuries can be psychological too, and may develop weeks or months after the crash occurs. Depression related to injuries and harm suffered is common, as is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
How Our Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help You after a Crash
If you are involved in a motorcycle crash in Louisville, your injuries and losses could be very significant. Not only may you be facing months of recovery and surgeries, and potentially a lifetime of disability, but you may also have high medical bills that you don’t know how to pay, lost wages, and emotional injuries too. At the offices of the Slechter Law Firm, our experienced Louisville motorcycle accident attorneys want to help you recover the monetary compensation you need to pay for all of your losses and secure the highest quality of life possible for yourself. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us today to request a free consultation. Call our office at (502) 384-7400 or contact us online.