Along with broken bones and head injuries, burns are some of the most common injuries reported by motorcycle accident victims. Whether caused by a motorcycle fire, smoke inhalation, chemical spills, an overheated exhaust pipe or engine, or severe abrasions, burns from a motorcycle accident can be extremely painful, debilitating and even disfiguring.
Getting your life back after being severely burned in a motorcycle accident can be difficult. A financial award from the at-fault party can help by ensuring you have the funds necessary to obtain the treatment and care you need to recover from your injuries. Read on to learn more about the types of burns that can occur in a motorcycle crash, as well as what you can do if you were injured in an accident.
The Most Common Burn Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Burns From Accident Fires
While most of the burn injuries motorcycle accident victims suffer aren't caused by literal fires, some are. The force of the collision can spark a leak in the motorcycle's gas tank that results in an explosion or fire that can cause severe burn injuries. These injuries can be extremely painful, cause scarring, and require extensive medical treatment to promote healing and avoid complications such as infections.
Additionally, motorcyclists can sustain serious smoke inhalation injuries if the crash renders them unconscious. Smoke inhalation can lead to airway irritation caused by soot or toxic fumes, thermal injury to the upper airway, carbon monoxide toxicity, and even asphyxiation.
Because motorcyclists don't have the protective exterior afforded by passenger vehicles, they're especially vulnerable both during and after an accident. While remaining inside their passenger vehicle may protect motorists from caustic chemicals released during the crash, motorcyclists may end up being exposed to such toxins for a prolonged period—particularly if they have severe injuries that prevent them from moving out of harm's way. When a corrosive chemical substance such as gasoline or battery acid comes into contact with the eyes, it may cause blindness.
Other symptoms of chemical burns can include:
- Skin irritation
- Shortness of breath
- Low blood pressure
- Heart attack
Exhaust Pipe and Engine Burns
A motorcycle's exhaust, engine, and manifold can reach temperatures of up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit when the bike is running. When a passenger vehicle collides with a motorcycle, it's not uncommon for the motorcyclist to be violently thrown from their bike and have parts of their body come into contact with insanely hot components in the process, resulting in extremely painful second- and third-degree burns.
These types of burn injuries can happen any time of year, as jeans or leather motorcycle chaps aren't sufficient to protect the skin. However, bikers are more prone to suffer these injuries in the summer months, when the warm weather may tempt some motorcyclists to wear shorts.
Although road rash is a serious abrasion the occurs when a motorcyclist's tender skin is dragged along the pavement during an accident and not a traditional burn, it's still considered the most common type of burn injury associated with motorcycle crashes. Also, just because road rash isn't technically a burn doesn't mean it isn't painful. A motorcyclist who loses layers of skin scraped away in a road rash injury is at high risk for infection, so this injury necessitates immediate medical attention and possibly an extensive hospital stay. Like exhaust and engine burns, road rash is another injury that can be even more serious if it occurs during the summer months, when riders are less likely to wear their heaviest protective gear.
Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you sustained burn injuries in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another driver's negligent driving behavior, you may be able to pursue compensation for your suffering. A fair financial award allows you to obtain the medical treatments you need; provide the funds necessary to repair or replace your motorcycle; reimburse you for wages lost during your recovery period; and even compensate for your physical pain and emotional suffering. Contact McGartland Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation. We have 30 years' experience handling personal injury cases just like yours, and are ready to help you fight for whatever damages you deserve.