Motorcyclists are more vulnerable on the road than most other road users travelling by motorised transport. Unfortunately, injuries are common, from the relatively mild – bruising and ligament damage for example – to more serious brain or spinal damage. The following list is taken from the Institute of Advanced Motorists and details some of the most common motorcycling-related injuries:
Head injuries: Even though motorcyclists must wear a suitable crash helmet by law, the brain can still be significantly damaged in an accident. Even a low impact crash can cause minor symptoms such as headaches, nausea, short-term memory loss, but a severe impact can cause major brain trauma, life-changing injuries and even loss of life.
Eye injuries: Motorbike riders who do not wear a visored crash helmet can suffer serious eye damage if they are hit by stones or grit from the road. In a collision, the impact of the crash can also cause severe eye damage and loss of sight due to nerve and brain damage as the head is jolted around inside the crash helmet.
Hearing damage: Motorcyclists who ride for a living, for instance police motorcyclists and motorbike couriers, can be at risk of suffering noise-induced hearing loss, especially if they wear an ill-fitting or inappropriate crash helmet. Noise exposure occurs as a result of loud and powerful engines, but also when wind rushes through the helmet past the ears of the rider, creating "wind noise".
Spine and neck injuries: It's pretty obvious how little protection is offered to a motorcyclist in the event of a collision. Contact with the road, other vehicles and road furniture all have the capacity to cause serious spinal injury. High cervical injuries can cause complete paralysis from the neck down, while lower spinal injuries can affect levels of mobility, use of limbs, and bowel and bladder control.
Broken bones: Again, the motorcyclist's skeleton is all too vulnerable in an impact or collision and broken wrists, arms, ankles and legs are some of the most common injuries suffered by motorbike riders. Broken collarbones, shoulders and ribs are also common motorcycle accident injuries, as well as pelvis and spinal fractures, which are some of the most serious injuries suffered. The force of the bike landing on a limb can also cause crush injuries which may result in amputation.
Internal injuries and bleeding: Caused by the significant trauma of a motorcycle accident, internal injuries such as collapsed lungs, blunt cardiac injuries, ruptured diaphragm, perforated spleen, damage to the liver and haematoma are all a significant risk for motorcyclists and, by their very nature, major causes of biker fatality.
Groin injuries: In an impact, motorcyclists often suffer groin injuries because momentum causes them to slide up onto the petrol tank and then into the steering head, handlebars, and light mountings etc. Unless the rider is thrown clear of the motorbike, groin injuries can be severe including fractures to the pubic bones and damage to the bladder and genitals.
Road rash: When a motorcyclist hits the ground, momentum often causes them to slide along the road. If the rider's skin is not covered by adequate protective clothing, it can be badly damaged by the road surface (think sandpaper on a painted door frame). Mild road rash causes red abrasion and discomfort for a few weeks. Severe road rash can mean deep tissue exposure, sometimes as far as the bone. There will be significant pain, lengthy treatment and permanent scarring is almost certain.
Statistically, bikers are more likely to be involved in an accident, and when there is an accident, they are more likely to be seriously injured or killed.
According to figures for 2015 motorcyclists account for 21% of all road fatalities in the United Kingdom. This means that 365 motorcyclists were killed on the nation’s roads – yes, that's an average of one death a day. Despite the efforts of campaigners the fatality figure was up 8% on 2014, and contrasts sharply with the overall trend of a reduction in road traffic accident deaths.
The consequences of a motorcycle accident are often severe, but expert advice - on medical, legal and financial issues - can help to reduce the impact of the accident on the motorcyclist and his family, easing both the practical and monetary burden in the aftermath of an accident.
Thompsons Personal Injury Lawyers in Scotland
Our personal injury claim solicitors can advise on whether you have a compensation claim in respect of a motorbike accident. They will explain the process of making a claim for personal injury, and advise you of the amount of compensation you may be entitled to.
As a general rule, this depends on the type and severity of the injury. It is worth speaking to a Thompsons' injury lawyer if you or a loved one have suffered one or more of the following:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Multiple injuries
- Brain injury
- Spinal injury
- Fatal injury
You will find more details of the most common types of motor accident injuries in our common injuries section.
If you are not sure whether you have a valid motorcycle accident compensation claim, or would like some advice about making a claim, our compensation claim solicitors will be happy to chat things through. Just give us a call on 0800 0891 331.
Give us a call on 0800 0891 331