For many people, riding a motorcycle provides an exhilarating thrill. It’s just you, two wheels, the open road, and the wind in your face. Riding requires developing the skills to keep your balance and maneuver safely while simultaneously operating the controls and avoiding other traffic.
But motorcycle riding also comes with significant risks. You and your bike are at the mercy of larger vehicles and inattentive, careless, or even drunk drivers. Motorcycle accidents can have painful and tragic consequences.
As a motorcycle rider, you may have wondered: What are the most common injuries in a motorcycle accident? And if I am injured in a motorcycle accident, what remedies do I have under personal injury law? The attorneys at Godsey Martin P.C., with offices in both Dallas and Houston, Texas, have looked at the data to find an answer and explain what it means for your case.
How Common are Motorcycle Accidents in Texas?
Image via Flickr by joegoauk73
Motorcycle riding is a popular pastime in Texas with its favorable weather and straight, open roads. The Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) puts the number of registered motorcycles at more than 420,000. That’s a fraction of the more than 22 million registered vehicles statewide — highlighting the risks.
In 2020, motorcycle accidents actually went down as people traveled less during the pandemic. Alarmingly, though, the number of fatal accidents grew by almost 20 percent over 2019, to 482. That accounted for more than one in every 10 traffic fatalities in the state during the year.
In addition to the fatalities, another 1,900 people were seriously injured across the nearly 7,500 motorcycle accidents in the state in 2020, the Texas DOT said. The accidents, fatalities, and injuries prompted the Texas DOT to launch a safety and awareness campaign designed to bring the numbers down.
The consequences of motorcycle accidents can be severe. If you are seriously injured in a collision while riding your motorcycle, you should consult the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be able to receive compensation.
What is the Most Common Injury in a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents have been on the increase in the United States for more than two decades. The severity of the injuries in those accidents has gotten worse over time as well. For at least several years, the number of fatalities increased at a faster rate than the number of registered motorcycles. Studies show that more than 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injuries and/or fatalities, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration.
The most common injuries in motorcycles occur in the upper and lower extremities, according to a study by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. Particularly vulnerable areas include the head, chest, and neck areas. The study found that injuries were more severe in motorcycle riders over the age of 40 and those who were not wearing helmets. Rib fractures were common in the studied population of accidents, as were traumatic brain injuries in un-helmeted riders.
In the study, the presence of helmets seemed to play a factor in what part of the body suffered the injury. For instance, younger riders without helmets suffered a higher percentage of head injuries, while those who wore helmets encountered a larger percentage of lower extremity injuries.
The most severe injuries come with the highest costs for those who suffer them, in terms of medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost wages, and emotional anguish from pain and suffering. Let the personal injury attorneys at Godsey Martin P.C. fight for proper compensation based on what you lost and what the accident cost you.
What are the Prime Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Studies of motorcycle accidents point to several common causes. Most fatal motorcycle accidents in Texas took place in intersections, according to the Texas Transportation Institute, involving instances where vehicle operators make left turns in front of motorcycles after having misjudged speed and distance. Another factor, according to the Institute, is distracted driving.
Alcohol also plays a role. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration estimates that four out of 10 fatal motorcycle crashes involve either intoxicated riders or intoxicated drivers. The role of alcohol can become an important factor in the evaluation of a personal injury case, as it may indicate a level of negligence.
What Should You Do If Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
In the immediate aftermath of a motorcycle accident, your first and only job is to take care of yourself and others around you — other riders if there were any, the other driver or drivers and their passengers, or even bystanders. Chances are high that you as the motorcycle rider may not be in a position to help yourself, but if you are, call for first responders right away, or ask someone else to do it for you.
If you are not seriously injured, you may want to document the scene. Take pictures of the area, especially your motorcycle and the car. Potentially make a diagram if you can. You may want to collect information from the driver, including name, contact information, and insurance information.
Once you feel up to it, contact the personal injury attorneys at Godsey Martin P.C. We can represent you right away, assisting you in making a claim with the insurance company, evaluating the potential for litigation, and helping you collect evidence. We can also advise you on documenting your financial losses, and in particular, your lost wages.
About Godsey Martin P.C.
Godsey Martin P.C. is one of the largest personal injury firms in the state of Texas. We handle car, truck, DUI, and motorcycle accidents, along with slip and fall matters and pedestrian accidents. We have attorneys in offices in both Dallas and Houston and will fight for just compensation as hard as we can. Schedule a free consultation so we can review the facts and make a recommendation. Call or contact us online to get started.