Types of Injuries Suffered By Motorcyclists

Oct 18, 2017

Colorado motorcyclists are likely aware of the potential for motorcycle accidents. At the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm, we hope they also know the importance of working with a trusted and experienced motorcycle accident attorney if they are ever involved in an accident. The knowledge and expertise of a motorcycle attorney can ensure that you completely understand your rights and if your case is eligible, receive full compensation for any damages and injuries. Compared to car accidents, motorcycle accidents tend to have much more severe injuries because there is so much less to protect the motorcyclist. While the driver of a car has a seatbelt, airbags, and even the car’s frame to protect them in the event of a collision, motorcyclists have very little protection. This may add to the thrill of the open road, but it can also lead to critical injuries. If you’re ever involved in a motorcycle accident (even if you believe you may be at partial fault), don’t hesitate to Call Paul.

At the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm, we have a team of dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys who are experienced with this specific type of personal injury case. We don’t hesitate to take cases to trial if that means you’ll receive every bit of compensation you’re entitled to. We also understand how insurance companies may not always have your best interest in mind, even if you experience injuries, and we’re dedicated to fighting for your rights. In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at motorcycle accidents and why an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer could make a major difference. In particular, we’re examining the most common types of injuries suffered by motorcyclists and offering suggestions for keeping you safer on the open road.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studied the cases of more than 1.2 million motorcyclists who were treated after an accident in emergency rooms across the U.S. between 2001 and 2008. According to the CDC, 30 percent of all non-fatal motorcycle injuries occurred to the legs and feet. Twenty-two percent of nonfatal motorcycle accident injuries occurred to the head and neck. The number of injuries in the upper trunk, the arms and hands, and the lower trunk followed. A study by the Advancement of Automotive Medicine showed that those who wore helmets had a greater number of less severe injuries and a lower number of severe injuries. When it comes to fatal accidents, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that the number of head injuries resulting in a fatality was lower in riders who were wearing helmets than riders who were not wearing helmets when the accident occurred. Some distracted drivers in passenger cars fail to notice the motorcyclists who may be sharing the roadway with them. This could cause a driver to swerve into a motorcyclist or rear-end a bike, resulting in a serious motorcycle accident. Any injuries that are suffered by a motorcyclist could be considered life-threatening or even life-altering. If a distracted driver is found liable for the crash, a personal injury attorney can often assist in seeking appropriate compensation. Next, we examine some of the most common types of injuries suffered by motorcyclists.


Even if you’re wearing a helmet, motorcycle accidents always have the potential for head injuries. Without airbags or the structure of a car, there’s nothing between the head of a motorcyclist and the asphalt of the road (or another vehicle). Head injuries for motorcyclists can range from minor cuts and bruises to concussions, brain injury, or even death. No matter how fast you’re going (or the laws in your state) you should always wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle.


Lower body injuries, such as those to the legs and feet, are one of the most common types of injuries for motorcyclists. When a crash occurs, the rider’s legs are the closest thing to the ground and there’s little protection. Additionally, if the motorcycle flips or rolls, the rider’s legs can become trapped beneath the weight of the bike.


Road rash is much more than a few minor cuts and bruises. Road rash occurs when the skin comes into contact with a hard surface, like an asphalt road, and the surface actually shaves off the outer layer of skin. There are three types of road rash: avulsion, compression, and open wound. An avulsion is the most common type, occurring when the skin is shaved away to expose bone, muscle, or tissue. Compression road rash is when the body is trapped between two objects. An open wound is the last and perhaps most severe type of road rash where the wound may require stitches, surgery, or a skin graft. Following an accident, road rash is common on the hands, face, legs, and arms.


Physical injuries can heal with time, but emotional and mental damage may last much longer. Emotional trauma is another major issue for many individuals following a motorcycle accident. While you may not realize it at the time, the trauma from the experience may linger and actually become worse. If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, a motorcycle accident attorney can help you receive any compensation for injuries, at times including therapy costs to help you handle the emotional burden of the experience.


The open road can be an unpredictable place. Even the safest, most cautious drivers may be unable to account for the distracted or reckless behavior of other drivers or pedestrians. This is why you need to always remain focused and aware when operating a vehicle of any type. For motorcyclists, there are certain things you can do to help prevent accidents. Here are a few of the top tips for staying safe on the road:

1. Slow down

In 2015, the NHTSA reported that speeding played a factor in a third of all fatal motorcycle crashes. The faster you’re going, the less time you have to react to other drivers or obstacles on the road. Even after you hit the brakes, there’s still a good distance to go before you come to a complete and safe stop. Always obey posted speed limits and go even slower if there’s inclement weather.

2. Never ride between cars

Just because your motorcycle can fit in a tight space, it doesn’t mean you should be driving there. It might be tempting to ride between cars, especially in traffic, but this is extremely unsafe (even illegal in some states, such as Colorado). In this tight space, a vehicle could easily pull out and hit you without ever even seeing you.

3. Never share a lane with a car

Again, just because your motorcycle fits doesn’t make this riding practice safe. Even if there is excess room in the lane, vehicles are not expecting to share a lane and can easily sideswipe a nearby motorcycle. They could also easily hit a motorcycle when changing lanes.

4. Never ride under the influence

Even just a few drinks can significantly impair your ability to safely and effectively operate a motorcycle. In fact, roughly half of motorcycle accidents involve alcohol. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can slow down your reaction time, which as any rider knows, is of the utmost importance.

5. Regular maintenance

Never let your motorcycle fall into disrepair. One of the easiest ways to ensure safety on the road is to keep up with regular maintenance and immediately address any damages or safety issues.


We truly hope you never need a motorcycle accident attorney, but if you do, we’re here to help. Even the safest drivers can’t always be accountable for the reckless behavior of others, and at times, unsafe road conditions or inclement weather can present unexpected risks and hazards. If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm has a team of professional and dedicated lawyers who want nothing more than to ensure your rights are protected, and your case is successfully executed. If you or a loved one is involved in a motorcycle accident, money is the last thing you should worry about. This is why our law firm operates on contingency fees, which means we only get paid if you win. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to see what we can do for you, or give us a call at 303-333-7285 for any questions you might have.

The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm | Website | + posts

The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm is a team of personal injury attorneys in Denver, CO serving victims of car, truck and motorcycle accidents. Each of our lawyers is licensed with the Colorado State Bar (CBA) and specialize in injury law.

We've recovered tens of millions of dollars in personal injury settlements and verdicts for our clients. For 13+ years we've helped thousands of people get back on their feet after experiencing serious injuries. We will take your case to trial and get the maximum settlement possible.

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