Types of Injuries Typically Resulting from a Washington State Motorcycle Accident

Because the only thing protecting a rider in the event of a motorcycle accident is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – such as helmets, gloves, jacket, pants, and boots – the injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident can be devastating. Today, motorcycle gear is designed to give high visibility of the rider and is typically equipped with impact protection and extra padding and armor. Having insurance on your motorcycle can cover any medical bills or costs associated with the injury. The following are common injuries that are typically sustained in a motorcycle accident:

  • Disfigurement: Although Personal Protection Equipment is made to protect your body in the event of an accident, many riders do not wear the proper equipment or the equipment still does not fully protect them. When the rider is thrown off the bike, they run the risk of permanent scarring, sometimes on the face and other extremely visible parts of the body. In some cases, plastic surgery may be an option to revise the scarring.
  • Fractures: Riders are frequently hurled from their motorcycle following a collision. Traumatic fractures, specifically leg fractures, are a very common injury, as well as broken arms and other broken bones. Personal Protective Equipment can help prevent injuries, although fractures are extremely common in motorcycle accidents. The complications of a fracture can increase if the bone breaks through the surface of the skin, damaging tendons, nerves, and ligaments. In severe cases, limbs may need to be amputated.
  • Road Rash: Motorcyclist’s can reduce the risk of road rash by wearing appropriate gear. Road rash is a term used to describe a skin injury caused by the abrasion with road surfaces, generally after the rider has been thrown from their bike at high speeds. These rashes, in extreme cases, can cause vicious scarring and permanent disfigurement. Plastic surgery may be required to correct the scarring.
  • Biker’s Arm:  The force of the impact of an accident may result in nerve damage or paralysis, known as “Biker’s Arm.” This type of injury occurs if the biker lands on his or her arm during an accident. This can affect the future use and function of the arm.
  • Damage to Pelvis: Pelvis fractures are another typical type of injury in a motorcycle accident. This area of the body is often crushed with the trauma and impact of the motorcycle. These injuries can lead to several complications such as excess blood loss or punctures to certain organs, potentially leading to shock.  Depending on the severity of the accident, surgery may be required to treat the fracture.
  • Spinal Cord Injury: Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of Spinal Cord Injuries. These traumatic injuries occur by the bending, dislocation, rotation and hyperflexion or hypertension of the spinal cord.  This can cause incredibly serious life changes, including paralysis. The extent of the injuries depends on the location of the injury.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury: Motorcyclists involved in accidents generally have some form of head trauma, ranging from mild to severe, depending on the accident or helmet use. Head injury can vary from post-concussive syndrome to traumatic brain injuries. These types of injuries can alter a person’s life forever, leading to permanent impairment. Sometimes brain injuries are not diagnosed right way, especially if the injured person does not lose consciousness at the scene.
  • Other injuries include ankle, leg, knee, thigh and hip injuries, sprains, strains, emotional trauma. 

As you can see, injuries that occur in a motorcycle accident can be life altering and extremely costly. Without adequate insurance coverage, many of the bills may go unpaid or proper treatment may not be an option. Although not required in Washington State, motorcycle insurance can have the potential to save your life by allowing you to obtain the necessary treatment in order to make a full physical recovery. Insurance can also protect your financial interests because it will help cover medical bills and lost wages that result from a motorcycle collision.

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.