What Is the Most Common Injury in a Motorcycle Accident?

Anyone who owns and operates a motorcycle in Southern California must acknowledge the risks they face every time they ride their bike. While most motorcyclists in California are cautious, experienced, and able to manage difficult traffic conditions, it’s not always possible to anticipate the actions of others. Motorcycle accidents can easily result in many life-changing injuries, leaving victims wondering how they can recover their losses.

According to available data from various sources, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the California Department of Transportation, traumatic brain injuries are the most common injuries reported from motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, despite California’s strict helmet law for motorcycle riders and their passengers, even the best motorcycle helmets can only mitigate the effects of a brain injury, not negate them entirely.

Determining Fault for a Motorcycle Accident

If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury or other harm from a motorcycle accident caused by someone else, it’s vital to know your rights and your options for legal recourse. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you in filing an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver. In addition, if their insurance cannot cover the full scope of your damages, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to enhance your recovery.

Proving fault for a motorcycle accident often requires securing eyewitness testimony from anyone who saw the accident occur. Dashboard camera footage can be incredibly helpful when available. In addition, an experienced attorney can secure traffic camera footage on a client’s behalf if a nearby camera caught the accident. Ultimately, proving liability for a motorcycle accident requires meeting different criteria in different cases. Every injured motorcycle accident victim faces unique challenges, and reliable legal counsel is the best asset for overcoming them.

California enforces a comparative negligence law, meaning that if a plaintiff is partially responsible for causing their claimed damages, they lose a percentage of their case award in proportion to their fault. Therefore, if you have any concerns about bearing partial liability for your recent motorcycle accident, consult an attorney as soon as possible.

Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident

To secure an insurance claim settlement and hold a defendant accountable for a motorcycle accident, the victim must prove the defendant directly caused the plaintiff’s claimed damages. When a motorcycle accident results in a traumatic brain injury, the victim will likely face a host of complex damages. In addition, they may require extensive immediate emergency care and ongoing medical treatment to manage the effects of their brain injury.

One of the most dangerous aspects of brain injuries is their unpredictability. A brain injury can display few to no serious symptoms at first, only for the victim to experience profoundly disabling symptoms weeks or even months later. Some symptoms improve with time, others worsen, and the cost of managing a dynamic medical condition like a traumatic brain injury can be very high.

California law allows the plaintiff in a personal injury case to seek full repayment of all the economic damages the defendant caused. The defendant’s auto insurance may offer some coverage of the plaintiff’s medical expenses and vehicle repair costs, but the plaintiff can seek outstanding medical expenses, compensation for lost income, and compensation for their non-economic damages in a personal injury action.

If a motorcycle accident results in a serious traumatic brain injury, the victim could face a diminished quality of life. Some victims of these injuries are left unable to work, and some cannot manage everyday tasks on their own due to the profound disabilities their injuries cause. Non-economic damages pertain to physical pain and psychological distress from a personal injury. When a motorcycle accident results in a life-changing brain injury, the victim will likely secure substantial compensation for their pain and suffering.

Other Common Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents

Brain injuries are the most common motorcycle accident injuries. They are typically some of the most traumatic, but the unfortunate reality is that many motorcycle accident victims sustain more than one injury in their experiences. Some other commonly reported motorcycle accident injuries in California include:

  • Broken bones, some of which may require surgery and extensive recovery time. Some bone fractures can result in chronic pain years after recovery. Bone fractures may also cause nerve damage and result in diminished range of motion, loss of strength, and inability to perform some fine motor functions.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Any damage to the spinal cord is permanent, potentially disrupting the brain’s ability to manage the affected area of the body. Loss of sensation or paralysis is possible depending on the location and severity of the spinal cord injury.
  • Facial and dental injuries. Even helmets that provide full face coverage cannot entirely prevent injuries to the face and teeth in a serious accident.
  • Road rash”, a term used to describe friction burns resulting from sliding on asphalt at high speed. When a motorcyclist is thrown from their bike, even heavy-duty riding gear may not fully prevent road rash, resulting in bits of asphalt and other debris embedding in the rider’s skin.
  • Internal injuries. Crash impact force and the secondary impact of hitting the ground can easily cause crushing injuries throughout the body. Organ damage and internal bleeding are often fatal if not immediately treated.

Motorcycle accidents are statistically less common than car accidents because there are fewer motorcycles than cars on the roads of California. However, when comparing injury rates and the risk of serious injury, motorcyclists are far more likely to experience life-changing or fatal injuries when they have accidents than occupants of enclosed passenger cars.

Motorcyclists can limit their risk of experiencing an accident by driving carefully, attentively, and defensively at all times, making themselves as noticeable as possible to nearby drivers, and avoiding reckless maneuvers. However, accidents may still occur due to the actions of others, such as distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, or reckless driving. If you believe your recent motorcycle accident and subsequent head injury are the fault of another driver, Perry Personal Injury Lawyers can help you hold them accountable. Contact us today to schedule a consultation about your brain injury claim.