What Are the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
The road to recovery after a motorcycle accident can entail many physical and emotional challenges. Motorcycle accident injuries are often severe and life-altering, requiring extensive and costly medical treatment. The far-reaching financial repercussions can affect not just your life but the lives of your family. If someone else’s actions led to or significantly contributed to your accident, reach out to experienced motorcycle accident attorneys in Austin to seek compensation that can rebuild your life.
Here’s a closer look at common motorcycle accident injuries and why the cost of recovery may be much higher than you realize.
How Expensive are Motorcycle Accidents?
The exact cost of a motorcycle crash is difficult to pin down due to the variables at play. However, the most significant factor in determining the cost of an accident is the severity of the injuries the motorcycle rider sustained.
Generally speaking, the more severe the injuries, the more treatment the motorcyclist needs and the greater the associated medical expenses. More serious injuries may lead to worse health complications or permanent disabilities, which may require additional therapies and treatments, including rehabilitation, physical therapy, and long-term care. These expenses can add up quickly.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the average cost of emergency and intensive care treatment for a fatal motorcycle accident victim is roughly $1.2 million.
Non-fatal motorcycle crashes can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $1.4 million, depending on the severity of their injuries. For motorcycle riders who suffer a non-fatal traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, the cost can be even greater.
Motorcycle riders continue to be overrepresented in fatal traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with nearly 6,000 motorcyclists killed last year alone.
What Makes Motorcycle Accident Injuries so Costly?
The costs are highly individualized and can vary widely depending on how severe the injuries are, the necessary medical treatments, and the duration of rehabilitation. However, motorcycle accident injuries can result in significant financial burdens. Some of the expenses include:
Medical bills for a motorcycle accident injury typically encompass a range of expenses associated with the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of the injured individual. This includes emergency room costs for immediate care, hospital stays if admission is necessary, fees for surgeries, and associated medical professionals, such as anesthesiologists.
Additionally, medical bills cover doctor visits, prescribed medications, diagnostic tests like X-rays or MRIs, and the ongoing support of rehabilitation services, such as physical therapy. Ambulance services for emergency transportation may also contribute to the overall medical expenses.
After a motorcycle accident, individuals may lose wages or income due to various factors. The most immediate impact stems from the potential physical injuries, which might render the person temporarily or even permanently unable to work.
Recovery periods, medical treatments, and rehabilitation can extend the accident victim’s time away from their job. Additionally, psychological trauma from the accident may affect their ability to perform job duties effectively.
Even if the injuries are relatively minor, attending medical appointments and dealing with insurance claims can lead to missed workdays. In severe cases, long-term disabilities resulting from the accident may significantly reduce the individual’s earning capacity, contributing to a more prolonged loss of income.
A motorcycle accident can result in various types of property damage, the most immediate and apparent being damage to the motorcycle itself, including dents, scratches, and more severe structural damage. Other vehicles involved in the accident may suffer damages, leading to repair or replacement costs.
The collision may damage roadside infrastructure such as guardrails, signs, or lampposts as well as personal belongings, including protective gear or items carried by the rider.
In some cases, the accident could damage private or public property adjacent to the road. The extent of property damage varies based on the circumstances of the accident and the speed at which it occurred.
Some injuries may result in permanent disabilities, requiring ongoing medical attention and support. For instance, spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries could lead to long-term physical or cognitive impairments that require extended care.
Chronic pain conditions resulting from the accident may also require ongoing management and treatment. Rehabilitation, including physical therapy, may require a long-term process to regain or maintain functionality.
In some cases, psychological trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may persist, and require sustained mental health care. The need for long-term care is highly individualized and depends on the nature and extent of the injuries sustained in the motorcycle accident.
Motorcycle accident injuries can have a significant impact on insurance premiums. When an individual is involved in an accident, it often leads to an increase in insurance premiums.
The insurance company may view the rider as a higher risk, resulting in a higher premium to compensate for the potential future payouts. The severity of the injuries and the overall cost of the claim play a role in determining the extent of the premium increase.
In some cases, insurance providers may drop riders, leading to the challenge of finding coverage with higher-risk profiles.
What Makes Motorcycle Riders Susceptible to Severe and Life-Threatening Injuries in a Crash?
Motorcycle riders face heightened susceptibility to severe or life-threatening injuries during crashes due to several inherent factors. First, the lack of a protective enclosure leaves them exposed to direct impact forces, increasing the likelihood of injuries.
Motorcycles offer minimal physical protection compared to cars, amplifying the consequences of collisions. The absence of seat belts and airbags, common safety features in other vehicles, further contributes to the vulnerability of riders.
The smaller size and less conspicuous profile of motorcycles make them potentially overlooked by other drivers, leading to a higher risk of collisions. In multi-vehicle accidents, motorcycles often suffer disproportionately severe consequences due to the vast size and weight disparity with other vehicles on the road.
Additionally, the high speed and maneuverability of motorcycles can result in more forceful impacts during accidents.
The absence of a rigid structure around the rider leaves them exposed to the elements and external objects, increasing the risk of serious injuries.
Protective gear, like helmets, jackets, and gloves, can mitigate injury risks, but even with these precautions, the inherent nature of motorcycle riding poses a higher potential for severe or life-threatening injuries in the event of a crash.
What Compensation Is Available to Motorcycle Accident Victims?
Compensation in a motorcycle accident claim can vary depending on the circumstances of your accident and the extent of the damages.
Here is some common compensation you may recover:
- Medical Expenses: This includes the cost of past, current, and future medical treatments related to the accident.
- Lost Income: If the accident causes you to miss work, you may recover compensation for the income you would have earned.
- Property Damage: Compensation for repairing or replacing your motorcycle and any other damaged property.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages that cover physical and emotional distress caused by the accident.
- Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the harm the accident has on the relationship between the injured party and their spouse.
- Wrongful Death Damages: If the accident results in a fatality, the family may seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional pain and suffering.
Seek Compensation for Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Healing from a motorcycle accident extends beyond the physical injuries to a daunting financial toll. But remember, seeking the compensation you deserve is not only a legal right but a crucial step towards reclaiming control of your life.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can advocate for you in your time of need, helping you navigate the complexities of the legal system and secure compensation for your medical bills and other losses. Your recovery is not just about mending the wounds, it’s about restoring balance to your life.
Whether you’re on the road to recovery or contemplating legal action, know you have the right to seek the support you need. Contact the motorcycle accident lawyers at Lorenz & Lorenz, PLLC, today for your free and confidential case consultation. Let’s discuss your case and how we can help you.