The latest data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed sobering news for motorcycle riders. After seeing deaths drop steadily throughout the 1990s, there’s been a general upswing in motorcycle related deaths and serious injuries. These numbers come at a time when auto fatalities are in a sharp decline, because of advancements in automobile safety technology and driver education.
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Unfortunately for motorcycle riders, there are few avenues available to address the biggest risk of injury or death: other drivers. More than 50 percent of the cases a Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer takes every year are brought because of inattentive drivers whose vehicles collide with vulnerable motorcycle riders. In a crash between a car and a motorcycle, the motorcycle rider is exposed to significantly greater risk than the driver of the car.
Types Of Accidents
The construction and makeup of a motorcycle automatically places the rider at greater risk than someone driving a car, leading to three common accident types.
In a collision between two cars, the frame, trunk, and seats provide a safety buffer that prevents drivers from being crushed. Motorcycle riders do not have the same luxury. Even a low-speed crash between a car and a motorcycle can drive the rider into a fixed object, like the car in front of the bike, causing injuries to the lower body.
If the motorcycle rider is thrown from the bike, the other vehicle involved in the accident still represents a threat. A rider on the ground is especially vulnerable to crushing damage from a car that rolls over an arm or leg, and some of the most serious injuries come not from the initial crash, but from riders being crushed afterward.
Motorcycles are lightweight and do little to stop a heavy vehicle in an accident. A Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer working on a case involving a commercial vehicle or an SUV will often point to dragging as the reason for an increase in the severity of the injuries suffered by the rider.
Pieces of clothing or the bike can easily become caught on part of a car in an accident, and when that happens, the rider can be dragged for hundreds of feet. Dragging is the leading cause of road rash and soft tissue injuries in an accident with a car, and the injuries may leave the rider with a lifetime of pain and permanent scarring on the affected areas.
The sensation of flying is terrifying for anyone involved in a motorcycle accident. In a car, seatbelts and windshields protect against injuries caused by being thrown from the vehicle, but motorcycle riders lack the same protections.
The deadliest accidents a Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer handles are those that involve riders being thrown. The rider impacts the ground with the head or spine, and the severity of the accident increases rapidly. Once the rider leaves the bike, they are vulnerable, and they are unable to control which part of their body hits the ground first.
Types Of Injuries
Motorcycle riders rarely walk away from an accident with just bumps and bruises. Their injuries often require a Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer to fight for compensation for medical bills to cover long-term care for injuries like:
Over 35 percent of all motorcycle accidents involve some level of traumatic brain injury. Though Nevada does have a mandatory helmet law for all riders, the helmet can do little to prevent damage from a throwing or crushing accident at highway speeds. Concussions are the most likely head injury, especially on city streets, while death by blunt force trauma is more likely on the highway.
Spinal injuries cover a wide range of damage, from herniated disks to total paralysis. A Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer will have to fight for compensation arrangements that include years of coverage for any accident involving the spine. Overall, spinal injuries account for just less than 10 percent of the cases a Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer pursues.
In a best case scenario, a motorcycle rider will walk away with a minor fracture to an arm or leg, something that occurs in about a quarter of all accidents. Serious fractures to the ribs or chest, as well as compound fractures to the arms or legs, account for approximately 15 percent of all injuries in motorcycle accidents.
Road Rash and Lacerations
Damage to the skin and soft tissues in a motorcycle accident can lead to painful cuts and large abrasions. In extreme instances, doctors are forced to use skin grafts to repair the damage, and permanent scarring is commonplace. Road rash and lacerations are the primary injury complaint in about 12 percent of motorcycle collisions.
Motorcycle accidents put riders at incredible risk, and a seemingly small collision can lead to serious injuries or death.