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What Are the Most Common Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents?

The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be a horrific experience. As you deal with intense physical pain and emotional trauma, you likely also face mounting medical bills and the labyrinth of insurance claims.

The open road that once symbolized freedom now serves as a haunting reminder of vulnerability and loss. As bad as it feels now, imagine the situation worsening — skyrocketing medical costs, growing stacks of unpaid bills, and the unyielding stress of navigating the legal system alone.

If you find yourself in need of an injury lawyer to help you file a claim, the experienced Minnesota legal team at Kirshbaum Injury Law is here for you. Call our caring and compassionate injury lawyers at 952-545-2700 for a free consultation.

To learn more about common motorcycle injuries victims are likely to sustain in the aftermath of an accident, our motorcycle accident attorneys have put together this comprehensive guide.

Types of Injuries You Can Sustain From a Minnesota Motorcycle Accident

Accident scene with motorcycle on ground and car in background

Sadly, injuries people often sustain in motorcycle accidents are horrific and life-altering. Motorcycle crash victims often suffer numerous types of injuries to the lower extremities, upper extremities, or both areas of the body. Here are some of the most common injuries people suffer after involvement in a Minnesota motorcycle collision.

Head and Neck Injuries

One of the most severe injuries Minnesota motorcycle crash victims suffer is head (including concussions) and neck injuries. Both neck and head injuries often result in permanent injury, disability, or, sadly, a victim’s death.

According to research, more than 4,500 motorcycle accident crash fatalities occur each year in the U.S. Approximately 37 percent of these deaths involve head injuries. Whiplash is another serious yet common neck injury often sustained in both motorcycle and car accidents.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can devastate a motorcycle accident victim’s life, causing permanent disability, often resulting in partial or total paralysis. Other problems victims suffer from spinal cord injuries include incontinence, respiratory issues, and sexual dysfunction.

Road Rash

When Minnesota motorcycle accident victims come into contact with road surfaces, road rash injuries are common. A type of skin abrasion, road rashes range from mild scrapes to severe lacerations. In the most serious cases, disfigurement or deep injury requires injured persons to need tissue or skin grafts.

Broken Bones

Breaks and fractures in bones are also common motorcycle crash injuries. Parts of the body often affected include the pelvis, femur, forearm, and shins.

Lower Extremities 

Injury to the body’s lower extremities is another of the most common types of wounds victims of motorcycle accident injuries suffer. These include:

  • Leg injuries and fractures
  • Foot injuries and fractures
  • Pelvis
  • Knee problems

People sustaining lower extremity injuries are often left with mobility issues and chronic pain. In the most serious of injuries, victims may need partial or full leg amputations

Upper Extremities 

Injury to upper extremity areas of the body include broken ribs, head injuries, neck injuries, thorax injuries, abdominal injuries, broken arms, and broken bones or fractures in the hands. Victims commonly are left with chronic pain, limited mobility, nerve damage, and, in very serious injury cases, full or partial amputations of arms and hands.

Internal Damage

Internal injuries can be serious, even life-threatening. Common motorcycle accident injuries include collapsed lung, internal bleeding, aorta tears, bleeding surrounding the lungs, trauma/tears to organs, and hemorrhages, along with tendon, muscle, and joint injuries.

It is vital for anyone involved in a motorcycle crash to seek medical attention immediately in case there are hidden injuries, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), internal injuries, organ damage, skull fractures, or other serious injuries caused by blunt force trauma experienced in a crash.

Which Part of the Body is Most Affected in Motorcycle Accidents?

Injured man with oxygen mask receiving help from paramedics

According to a study conducted on injury patterns of motorcycles, researchers found the most common type of injuries to a motorcyclist occurs on their head and facial areas. Most personal injury victims were brought in with at least two injury regions. The least affected areas were the arms, hips, and elbows.

What is the Cause of Most Minnesota Motorcycle Injuries?

Motorcycle riders often receive high criticism as being the cause of an accident, but frequently it is other motorists on the road who cause bike accidents because drivers do not see the motorcycle. Common causes of motorcycle accident injuries in Minnesota include:

Left Turns

Approximately half of all fatalities associated with motorcycle accidents are caused by cars making left-hand turns. When a car turns in front of a motorcycle on a Minnesota roadway, the results can be devastating. Oftentimes, the automobile driver lacks depth perception, neglects to check their blind spot, simply fails to yield, or does not see a motorcyclist in its path.

Impaired Driving

Driving any motor vehicle while impaired is highly dangerous and quickly can lead to a crash. If a cyclist operates their bike under the influence of alcohol or drugs, this can result in catastrophic injuries.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist rides between lanes in slow-moving or stopped traffic. In some states, lane splitting is legal. Minnesota is not one of them. The only exception is for police or if two motorcycle riders agree to share a lane side-by-side.

Lane Switching

Lane switching often contributes to motor vehicle accidents, but risks are higher for motorcycle riders since they are small enough to easily fit into an automobile or truck driver’s blind spot. If a car merges into a lane a motorcycle is already operating, the cyclist can suffer serious injury.

What Type of Accident is the Most Deadly to Minnesota Motorcyclists

Any motorcycle accident can be deadly, but some more so than others. The protective elements a car has for its passengers are not present in a motorcycle’s structure. Head-on collisions are a type of crash that increases the risk of fatality as there is very little to protect the cyclist from a car. These accidents typically occur due to a driver running through red lights or stop signs.

How Can Someone Avoid a Motorcycle Injury?

Accidents are an unfortunate fact of life on our roadways, but you can take specific steps to better protect yourself from severe injuries. Being vigilant while driving is one way to help prevent injury, but wearing the necessary padding and gear when operating a motorcycle can also help avoid injuries.

Minnesota does not have a universal helmet law. Only riders under the age of 18 must wear a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet. Individuals over the age of 18 do not have to abide by any helmet use requirements when riding a bike, as the state’s universal helmet law was repealed in 1977.

However, just because wearing a helmet is not currently legally required, as a driver of any age, you should use helmets to protect yourself from a head injury. Other protective clothing you should invest in include gloves, boots, and other types of gear designed for motorcyclists.

Who is at Fault in a Minnesota Motorcycle Accident? 

Sometimes a biker may be responsible for a collision with an automobile, but oftentimes drivers of larger vehicles are found to be the negligent party. Determining fault in a Minnesota motorcycle accident is important as motorcycle crashes tend to lead to more serious injuries.

Minnesota is a no-fault state for traffic accidents, which means you need to first turn to your own insurance to collect compensation if you suffer a bike injury, regardless of fault. However, carrying no-fault insurance on motorcycles is not required like it is for cars and trucks, but buying this optional coverage can be helpful in covering accident costs.

Do I Need an Attorney If I Have Been Injured in a Minnesota Motorcycle Accident? 

Man in neckbrace talking to provider in office setting

Depending upon the extent of your injuries and damages, you may be able to sue the negligent driver for damages to help cover medical expenses and other losses associated with a motorcycle crash. Working with a motorcycle accident lawyer helps to strengthen your chances of getting the compensation you need.

A good personal injury lawyer will provide you with a free consultation, provide legal advice, and determine if you meet the four elements of a negligence claim: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Before heading to trial, they will try negotiating with the insurance company and fight in your best interest.

Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Motorcycle Crash

If you or a loved one are suffering the anguish and pain associated with a motorcycle injury, the compassionate Minnesota personal injury attorneys at Kirshbaum Injury Law are here for you. We will stand by you and aggressively advocate for you with your bike injury claim.

Our injury lawyers service Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the entire state of Minnesota. To request a free consultation, call our law firm at 952-545-2700 or complete our convenient online contact form to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Kirshbaum Injury Law today.

James J. Kirshbaum

Written By James J. Kirshbaum

Jim is a very experienced trial lawyer having conducted jury trials in multiple states both on behalf of injured people and on behalf of defending insurance companies.

Schedule a Free Consultation with James J. Kirshbaum
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