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Common Motorcycle Injuries

Motorcycle injuries are a shockingly common result of motorcycle accidents. About 80% of motorcycle accidents result in an injury.

For comparison, only about 20% of car accidents involve an injury.

Read on to learn about some of the most common motorcycle injuries and how to get injury compensation for them. 


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What Are Some Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?

Motorcycle accidents cause injuries at a higher rate than car accidents for the following reasons:




  • Motorcycle riders get ejected at a higher rate than motorists
  • Motorcycles provide less crash protection than automobiles
  • Helmet use has fallen significantly
  • Motorcyclists have a higher likelihood of dying in a single-vehicle crash
  • Motorcycle engine size has increased

Some motorcycle accident injuries result from the rider or passenger getting ejected from the motorcycle and hitting the road or another fixed obstacle.

Other motorcycle injuries result from the larger and more powerful motorcycles trapping motorcyclists after they go into a slide.

Here are some common injuries that you might suffer in a motorcycle accident:

Road Rash

Road rash happens when your body slides across the pavement. 

Road rash combines an abrasion with a friction burn. As a result, you will experience:

  • Bleeding
  • Skin loss
  • Redness

In an extreme case, you might sustain a traumatic tattoo. This happens when debris gets embedded into your dermis, the intermediate layer of skin below the surface layer. The dermis is also where ink gets embedded in an ink tattoo.

You can also experience scarring from road rash. Scars develop when replacement skin cells are not as thin and elastic as the original skin cells.

Both traumatic tattoos and scarring can disfigure you for life.


You can sustain all kinds of burns in a motorcycle accident. The engine and exhaust system can cause thermal burns to any skin that comes into contact with them. You can get chemical burns from gasoline, brake fluid, or other toxic chemicals in your motorcycle. And sliding across the pavement can cause friction burns.

In a worst-case situation, you can even experience combustion burns. Flammable liquids, like gasoline or motor oil, can ignite and the flames can burn your flesh.

Burns can limit the flexibility of your skin and underlying soft tissue. A contracture results in a loss of your range of motion. Burns can also produce scars.

Soft Tissue Injuries

The collision with the vehicle or the ground can damage soft tissue in your musculoskeletal system. 

For example, you could:

  • Stretch or tear muscles, tendons, or ligaments
  • Tear cartilage
  • Bruise muscles
  • Damage spinal discs

These injuries often heal slowly. As they heal, you may need to limit your activities at home and work.

Broken Bones

Bones fracture when they get hit with a force that exceeds their material strength. Oftentimes, the force bends the bones, and they snap. But a crushing force can shatter a bone, and a twisting force can produce a spiral fracture.

If the broken pieces of bone displace, a doctor may need to reassemble the bone and hold it together with plates and screws.

Simple fractures usually take four to six weeks to heal. A shattered bone may take up to a year to heal.

Head and Brain Injuries

If you get ejected from your motorcycle during the accident, the force of getting hit by a vehicle or the ground can injure your head or brain. A concussion happens when your brain sloshes in your skull. The mild damage caused by the sloshing can cause the brain to swell.

A contusion happens when your brain sloshes so violently that it hits the inside of the skull. The impact causes your brain to bleed, creating a contusion. Additionally, the pressure of the blood can squeeze your brain, resulting in a coma or even death.

Neck and Back Injuries

During a traffic crash, your body could bend, twist, or hyperextend. When you come to a stop, your back and neck could experience significant problems, including muscle or tendon strain, a ligament sprain, and fractured vertebrae.

Treatment of neck and back injuries usually consists of physical therapy to build muscle around the injured area to better support it. In severe cases, you might need surgery to repair, remove, or fuse the injured area.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord carries all of the nerve signals between your brain and your body. If you injure your spinal cord, you may experience permanent paralysis and loss of sensation in the injured area.

When the spinal cord injury happens in the neck, you will experience symptoms from the neck down. When the spinal cord injury happens in the back or lower hips, you will experience symptoms below the injury. If the spinal cord gets severed, you will have paralysis in your lower body.

Doctors cannot repair a severed spinal cord, and your paralysis will remain permanently. If your accident severs some, but not all, of the nerves in your spinal cord, your brain may remap the intact nerves to control the area where you lost control.

Getting Compensation for Common Motorcycle Injuries in California

You can pursue injury compensation if you can prove that another person’s negligence caused your motorcycle injuries. This means you must show that the other driver failed to exercise reasonable care while driving and that carelessness caused your accident.

If you prove negligence, you can get compensation for your economic and non-economic losses. 

Economic damages cover your medical expenses and lost income related to your motorcycle injuries. For a severe injury like a neck injury, you might have significant costs for medical treatment, therapy, and medication. You might also miss work or even change jobs.

Non-economic damages cover the diminishment in your quality of life. For some injuries, long-term disabilities, pain, mental anguish, and disfigurement will justify a large non-economic damage award.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Los Angeles Motorcycle Crash Lawyers Today

To discuss the compensation you can seek for your motorcycle injuries, contact or call M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers at (877) 300-4535 for a free consultation with our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys.



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