Motorcycles are involved in thousands of crashes each year in the United States and, because they lack the exterior protection of passenger vehicles, the consequence of these accidents can be catastrophic. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in serious injury or death for the motorcyclist. Additionally, even when a helmet is worn, motorcycle accidents can cause a wide range of major injuries to the head,
including brain, spinal cord, dental, eye, and facial injuries.
In this article, we detail the most common head injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes, as well as what you can do if you were injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another motorist's negligent behavior.
Types of Head Injuries Motorcyclists May Suffer
Brain injuries are a leading cause of motorcycle accident-related deaths, and motorcyclists who survive may face devastating long-lasting and even permanent physical, mental, emotional, and social disabilities that can range in severity from mild to severe. Brain injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding between the brain's protective tissues)
- Epidural hemorrhage (bleeding between the brain's outer covering and the outer skull)
- Subdural hemorrhage (bleeding between the brain and its outer covering)
- Confusion and disorientation
- Poor concentration
- Memory loss
- Recurring seizures
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of motor skills
- Decreased cognitive and intellectual abilities
- Mood swings
For many brain injury survivors, life may never be what it was before the accident. These types of injuries also require lengthy and expensive treatment and rehabilitation, which can leave patients and their families buried under a mountain of unexpected medical debt.
The body's central nervous system is made up of the brain and the spinal cord, with the spinal cord carrying messages back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body. When the spinal cord is injured, the transmission of these messages is interrupted, which can result in a complete lack of motor and sensory function, and even permanent paralysis.
The cervical portion of the spine—which begins at the base of the skull—is particularly vulnerable. Cervical spinal injuries can cause:
- Respiratory difficulties
- Inability to feel touch
- Bladder and bowel incontinence
- Sexual organ dysfunction
- Quadriplegia (total paralysis from the neck down)
According to the Mayo Clinic, motorcycle and auto crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States, and make up more than 40 percent of new spinal cord injuries annually.
Dental injuries are another type of injury commonly associated with motorcycle accidents. In an accident, teeth can be chipped or fractured; knocked out or avulsed; dislodged from their sockets; or have fractured roots. In addition to physical pain, accident-related dental injuries can also cause victims emotional suffering and embarrassment.
Motorcycle crashes can also cause eye injuries, either as the result of a blow to the eye or eye area, or debris hitting the eye. Vision problems can also be a symptom of other injuries sustained in the accident, such as traumatic brain injury. Motorcyclists who've injured their eyes may experience:
- Blurry vision
- Double vision
- Headaches when trying to focus the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Partial blindness
- Total blindness
Facial injuries are also common among motorcycle accident victims. When a rider's face hits the pavement during an accident, a number of extremely painful injuries can result, including:
- Road rash
- Broken nose
- Broken jawbone
- Emotional trauma
Motorcyclists who experience facial injuries often require extensive—and expensive—medical treatment and reconstructive surgeries.
Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you sustained head injuries in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another driver's negligence, the knowledgeable legal minds at McGartland Law Firm can help you fight for the financial award you need to get the care you deserve. Our law firm accepts cases nationwide and has 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including motorcycle accidents. Call us at 866-957-5141or complete our online contact form to schedule an appointment for a free case consultation.