Riding a motorcycle always looked like a lot of fun. As hard as it is to admit, the closest I’ve been to riding motorcycles is playing video games. Playing video games doesn’t even come close to what it’s like to ride a motorcycle. You don’t get the feeling of turning up the throttle with one hand while clutching with the other. And you certainly don’t get the fresh air rushing past you on a nice day.
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Video games also don’t clue you in to how vulnerable a motorcycle rider really is. There’s no car to protect you from the impact. It’s just you and the elements. The vulnerability means you’ve got to trust that other drivers will do their job by driving safely.
Despite what people may say, getting onto a motorcycle doesn’t mean you give up the right to be safe. A lot of motorcycle crashes happen because other motorists don’t do their job of driving safely. Whether it’s texting and driving, speeding, following too close, drinking and driving, or just plain old not sharing the road with the community, other motorists put our community, including motorcycle riders, in danger every day.
What types of injuries are common in motorcycle crashes?
There’s no question about it – injuries while riding a motorcycle can be severe. There’s not much protecting the rider from the force of the crash. Some common injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries – Typically a traumatic brain injury (TBI) results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. This means that you don’t even have to hit your head to get a TBI. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of extremely severe head injuries, but a helmet alone does not prevent a TBI. Think about all the football players with brain injuries – they wear helmets, but the helmets really only prevent the most severe head injuries. A TBI, even a “mild” one, can cause headaches, decreased functioning, memory loss, and other problems.
Spinal cord injuries – A spinal cord injury can have a devastating impact on a person’s life. The spinal cord carries messages from our brain to other parts of our body. Think of it as a highway of communication. The messages communicated over that highway tell the rest of our body how to carry out the movements and actions our brain wants us to perform. This is why spinal cord injuries are so devastating. Your ability to transmit messages from your brain to the rest of your body is severely impaired, making movement difficult and sometimes impossible.
Soft tissue injuries – Soft tissue injuries are also common motorcycle crashes. Some of those injuries include skin lacerations, severe bruising, sprains, and strains. Depending on the severity of the crash, you could have permanent scaring and require surgery.
Broken bones – Motorcycle crashes often involve broken bones. Like the other common injuries, there’s not much keeping motorcycle riders from feeling the impact.
How do insurance companies deal with motorcycle crashes?
You’ll hear me time and time again say that insurance companies are anything but your friend. They want to minimize the amount they will pay for a claim. Insurance companies love to point out how dangerous they thing motorcycles are. Then they blame the injured person because of their freedom to choose their vehicle. These insurance company tactics are just a tool to push people to take less money or just go away. They do their best to shield their drivers who were reckless, careless, and otherwise unsafe on the roadways.
What do you do if you’re injured in a motorcycle wreck?
Don’t fight the insurance companies by yourself. Hire a lawyer to protect you from the bullying insurance companies, and more importantly, to protect your rights.