Common Motorcycle Passenger Injuries

Motorcycle accident deaths were up in 2021 by 33% from the same time last year. Highway patrol officers have said that the coronavirus pandemic caused more people to buy motorcycles, increasing the number of motorcycle accidents on South Carolina roads. It is essential that motorcyclists know their equipment and ensure that their tires and brakes are safe. Unfortunately, even the most safety-conscious motorcyclist can be injured in an accident. Passenger vehicle drivers are more distracted than ever and frequently fail to see motorcyclists in time to prevent a collision. Passengers injured in motorcycle accidents suffer significant injuries, including the following.

Leg Injuries

During motorcycle accidents, leg injuries are among the most common injuries. Motorcyclists' lower extremities, including their calves, ankles, feet, and knees, are more exposed to injury. A passenger's legs could get caught between the road and the motorcycle if a motorcycle slides. Many motorcycle accidents occur when the motorcyclist turns a corner. If the tire slips out from under the motorcycle, a person's leg will be exposed to injury. Most of these injuries are not fatal, but they can turn into long-term disabling injuries without enough care.

Road Rash

Road rash is one of the first injuries that come to mind when thinking about motorcycle accidents. A rider can slide across the pavement after being thrown from the motorcycle in a motorcycle accident. Road rash is much more severe than a simple scrape or a bruise or laceration. In extreme cases of road rash, multiple layers of a person's skin will be scraped away.

There could be muscle exposure underneath. Since motorcycles do not have seat belts, a motorcyclist can easily fly over the handlebars during an accident. Even with protective gear such as riding pants, boots, and jackets, a person can still be injured with road rash. Infection is always a serious risk when treating road rash. Road rash is also excruciating during the recovery period.

Arm Injuries

When a passenger is thrown off of a motorcycle, their arms can be injured immediately on impact. In passenger vehicles, passengers are protected by seatbelts and travel in the direction of the impact when they are hurt. The seatbelt protects them from going into the outside environment. Motorcycle passengers do not have these protections. The arms can be affected by the severity of the force of the impact leading to damage to the nerves and bones in the hands and arms. These types of injuries can result in fractures, road rash on the arms, or even permanent nerve damage in the arms and upper body.

Head and Neck Injuries

A person's head, neck, and spine are most at risk in motorcycle accidents. Head injuries can range from concussions to serious traumatic brain injuries. A person's skull can become fractured upon impact, or the force of the motorcycle accident can cause the brain to collide with the skull, causing a brain hemorrhage or swelling. Even with a helmet on, motorcycle passengers can suffer severe brain injuries. The spinal cord is also at risk in motorcycle accidents.

When a spinal cord becomes severely bruised or the bones become fractured, a person can become fully or partially paralyzed from the site of the injury downward. Traumatic brain injuries can be difficult to treat, and patients may not recover all of the motor skills and cognition they had before the injury. Ongoing symptoms include fogginess, pain, mood swings, depression, anxiety, and more.

For example, if a motorcyclist or passenger suffers a broken neck, they may be paralyzed from the neck down. These types of injuries are severe and often require life-long, costly medical treatment. They can also require rehabilitation, physical therapy, and more. For some motorcycle accident victims, they will never regain all of the function they had before the accident.

Contact a South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney Today

Being injured as a passenger in a motorcycle accident can be devastating. You may have had to stop working due to your injuries. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. The sooner you speak to an experienced attorney, the sooner your attorney can begin working on your case and determining how much compensation you deserve. Contact the skilled South Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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