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Motorcycle Accident Lawyer | Michigan Motorcycle Accident
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The moments following a serious motorcycle accident can make the difference between recovery and a life of permanent injury or disability. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eighty percent of reported motorcycle crashes result in serious injury. It is crucial that everyone involved in a Michigan motorcycle accident get medical attention regardless how minor the injuries may seem. Common injuries suffered include road rash, facial fractures and disfigurement, broken bones and burns. Injuries can range from minor to disabling, such as limb amputations, spinal cord injuries, paralysis and Traumatic Brian Injuries (TBI).
One of the most common injuries suffered in motorcycle crashes is road rash. Most people think it’s just cuts, scrapes and bruises, but if your skin is not properly treated following a motorcycle crash, you may could suffer permanent damage such as skin irritations, infections and surface nerve damage to name a few.
Due to the lack of safety features and protection available on motorcycles, fractures and broken bones are also common. These injuries can result in disfigurement or permanent nerve damage. It is crucial to protect yourself by wearing protective gear such as helmets, jackets and pants made of durable material such as leather, along with heavy boots and gloves. Fortunately, with proper medical treatment and rehabilitation, you are likely to recover from broken bones and fractures with no permanent disabilities. As always, proper safety precautions may help to minimize the severity of your broken bones and lessen your chance of suffering internal bleeding and organ damage.
In the most serious motorcycle accidents, severe physical trauma causing severed limbs, paralysis, spinal cord injury, brain trauma, or life-threatening injuries can result. Those fortunate enough to survive these injuries, face circumstances that will likely alter their entire life. Often, these types of injuries lead to disability and many who experience these injuries require long term assisted care. Injuries to your neck or back should never be taken lightly and you should seek immediate medical attention if you experience pain any in your neck or back area following a crash.
In 1995, actor Christopher Reeve fell off a horse and severely damaged his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. From then until his death in 2004, the actor became the most famous face of spinal cord injury. Most spinal cord injuries cause permanent disability or loss of movement (paralysis) and sensation below the site of the injury. Paralysis that involves the majority of the body, including the arms and legs, is called quadriplegia or tetraplegia. When a spinal cord injury affects only the lower body, the condition is called paraplegia. Sadly, this type of injury is also common for those ejected from the motorcycle during the accident. The effects of a direct injury to your spinal cord will be felt immediately, and may potentially last for the rest of your life.
In other cases, pain and tenderness in the neck and back may be signs of possible spinal cord injury, herniated discs or neurological damage. While not all of these injuries lead to paralysis, they are still dangerous and should be identified and treated immediately. If you have pain or tenderness in your back, you may develop a condition called spinal stenosis. According to WebMD.com, spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, which occurs when growth of bone or herniated discs reduces the size of the openings in the bones of the spine. This narrowing can squeeze and irritate the nerve roots that branch out from the spinal cord, or it can squeeze and irritate the spinal cord itself. Spinal stenosis usually starts gradually and develops over a long period of time. It may cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs, which may stay the same, get better, or get worse. Because of the gradual and changing nature of spinal stenosis, you should seek medical attention to help answer any questions you may have about the right type of treatment.
You should also be particularly mindful of the dangers associated with stenosis in the neck area (called cervical spine stenosis). This occurs when the spinal cord by your neck becomes squeezed or compressed. If left untreated, cervical spine stenosis can lead to permanent nerve damage and paralysis.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. Traumatic brain injury is caused by a severe blow to the head, resulting in a possible skull fracture leading to neurological complications by interfering with signals between the brain and spine. Brain injuries are serious and can cause lifelong impairments. Anytime you experience a traumatic blow to your head, you should seek medical attention even if you believe yourself to be uninjured. As a tale of caution, you may remember the untimely death of Natasha Richardson, a 45 year old actress, whose life tragically ended on March 18, 2009 after suffering a blow to her head in a skiing accident. Significantly, family and friends reported that Natasha felt absolutely fine an hour after the accident. Unfortunately, she had a subdural hematoma in her brain that slowly increased the pressure on her brain leading to her death.
What To Look For After A Michigan Motorcycle Accident
After a crash, it’s important to watch for the symptoms brain or spinal trauma. Common indicators following a traumatic brain injury include nausea and dizziness. Another indicator is balance disorder (also sometimes called balance dysfunctions or balance disorders). Balance disorder occurs, at least temporarily, in nearly all people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. This instability can exist even when neurological tests do not detect any problems. Symptoms common to balance impairments can include: feeling dizzy, lightheaded, vertigo spinning (vertigo), blurred vision, falling or unsteady gait (feeling of falling).
A study at Wayne State University has linked the severity of these early indicators to the prognosis for a persons eventually recovery. Specifically, they discovered that the degree of balance impairment for brain-damaged patients (specifically sitting balance impairment), measured at time of admission to rehabilitation can predict the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) at discharge. FIM illustrates how well patients recovering from a traumatic brain injury can live independently after they are discharged.
All statistics show that your actions in the minutes and hours following trauma to the brain has a major affect on your ability to survive and recover from a traumatic brain injury. If you are experiencing any similar symptoms after your motorcycle crash, you must seek immediate medical attention to protect yourself and access the nature of your brain injury.
We Can Help With Your Michigan Motorcycle Accident
It is very important that you speak with someone very familiar with the intricacies of Michigan’s motorcycle laws. Contact [email protected] or 855-MIKE-WINS for a free consultation. As always, the advice is free and there is no fee unless you collect.