Motorcycles are more fuel-efficient than other modes of transportation, and taking them out on the open Pennsylvania roads on bright summer days is exhilarating. However, disregarding the dangers they pose can have devastating consequences. If you are an experienced motorcyclist, you will know that operating a bike requires more coordination and skill than driving a car. Unfortunately, not all motorists are considerate when they have to share the highways with bikers.
For this reason, your best protection is learning to drive defensively and wearing protective gear that includes a crash helmet, eye protection, boots, gloves and protective clothing. Because motorcycles offer none of the safety features like seat belts, airbags and protective structures, most motorcycle accident injuries are catastrophic or fatal.
Typical motorcycle crash injuries
Although there is almost no limit to the types of potential injuries, the following injuries are most common:
- Head trauma: Although helmets do not guarantee full protection against head injuries, research indicates that wearing a crash helmet limits the likelihood of head trauma. However, safety authorities say head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, still cause most fatalities and debilitating injuries in motorcycle accidents.
- Fractured bones: Because motorcycles have only two wheels, they typically fall over in any type of collision - often landing on the riders. For this reason, leg fractures top the list of bike crash injuries. However, the instinct to try and break a fall by holding out one's hands causes many broken arms and wrists. Motorcycle accidents also cause many shoulder and pelvis fractures.
- Road rash: While proper clothing can offer some protection against skin damage, road rash is a common injury in motorcycle accident victims. Medical classifications include first-degree road rash, which is red, unbroken skin. Damage to the outer skin layers is second-degree, and when the damage is severe enough to expose the inner layers of fat and tissue, urgent medical care is necessary.
Who was responsible for your injuries?
If another party's negligence caused your motorcycle accident, you might have grounds to pursue financial relief to help you cope with the unanticipated expenses. Legal counsel can assist with establishing negligence, which might allow a Pennsylvania civil court to determine liability. A monetary judgment might cover documented losses that could include medical expenses, lost income and psychological damages like pain and suffering. If the crash caused disability or injuries requiring long-term medical care, costs to cover future losses might also form part of the judgment.