Personal Injury Lawyers • Portland and Waterville, ME

What Injuries Are Caused in Motorcycle Accidents?

Scene of a motorcycle accident in Maine showing a red bike down on the road after being hit by a silver SUV.

It's now peak motorcycle riding season in Waterville, Maine, as motorcyclists dust off their bikes and hit the open road. While riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, there is a risk of being involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, especially when other drivers don't watch out for bikers. Unlike enclosed vehicles, motorcycles offer little protection in the event of a crash. This lack of protection often leads to more severe injuries in motorcycle accidents, highlighting the importance of vehicle drivers remaining vigilant and sharing the road with bikers.

What are the most common injuries in motorcycle accidents?

To help you understand the risks and take preventative measures, the personal injury lawyers at Jabar LaLiberty in Waterville, Maine, have compiled a list of ten common motorcycle accident injuries. Here's what you need to know:

Road rash

Road rash is one of the most common motorcycle injuries. It occurs when a rider is thrown from their bike, skids across the pavement, and suffers serious skin abrasions. While minor road rash can be treated easily, severe cases can lead to infections or nerve damage.

Broken or fractured bones

Motorcycle crashes often result in broken or fractured bones, with common fractures occurring in the femurs, forearms, shins, and pelvis. These injuries can be serious and may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.

Foot and leg injuries

Leg and foot injuries are common in motorcycle accidents. These injuries typically occur because riders’ legs and feet are unprotected during collisions or when they try to stabilize themselves during a crash. Common injuries include fractures, sprains, and abrasions.

Head and neck injuries

Head and neck injuries are prevalent among motorcyclists. These injuries can range from minor concussions to severe brain damage or even death. While wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injuries, riders are still very much at risk of suffering a head or brain injury in the event of a crash.

Spinal injuries

Spinal cord injuries (SCI), particularly to the thoracic spine, are common in high-speed motorcycle crashes. These injuries often result in permanent damage, including chronic pain, nerve damage, paralysis, or death.

Abdominal injuries

Thoracic (chest) injuries, including lung and rib fractures, heart lacerations, and other vascular injuries, are common in motorcycle wrecks. The internal organs are particularly vulnerable when motorcyclists sustain abdominal injuries.

Hand and arm injuries

Hand, wrist, and arm injuries are common as riders instinctively throw their arms out to break a fall. "Biker's Arm" occurs when a motorcycle lands on the rider's arm, potentially causing nerve damage and even paralysis.

Soft tissue injuries

A motorcycle accident can damage the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, causing muscle soreness, bruising, and mobility issues.

What is the average settlement for a motorcycle accident?

The average settlement for a motorcycle accident can vary widely based on the specifics of the case, including the severity of injuries, the extent of property damage, and the determination of fault. On average, motorcycle accident settlements can range from $20,000 to $100,000, but cases involving severe injuries or long-term disability can result in settlements or verdicts that exceed $1 million. Of course, every case is different, so these numbers don't mean much in the context of your potential legal case.

Several factors influence the settlement amount, including:

  • Severity of injuries: The more severe the injuries, the higher the potential settlement. Cases involving traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or multiple fractures typically result in higher compensation due to the long-term medical care and rehabilitation required.
  • Medical bills: The cost of medical treatment, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and ongoing physical therapy, plays a significant role in determining the settlement amount.
  • Loss of income: If the injured motorcyclist is unable to work for an extended period or is permanently disabled, the settlement will include compensation for lost wages and future earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for pain and suffering is often included in settlements to account for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident and subsequent injuries.
  • Degree of fault: The determination of fault can significantly impact the settlement. If the motorcyclist is found to be partially at fault, the settlement amount may be reduced accordingly. Remember, Maine is a comparative negligence state, which means that if a motorcyclist is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a motorcyclist is found to be 20% at fault for the accident, their settlement will be reduced by 20%. If the motorcyclist is 50% or more at fault, they are not eligible to recover damages.
  • Insurance policy limits: The at-fault driver's insurance policy limits can cap the settlement amount. In some cases, if the policy limits are insufficient to cover the damages, the motorcyclist may need to pursue additional compensation through their own insurance or legal action against the at-fault driver.

It's important to note that insurance companies often try to minimize payouts and may offer settlements that are lower than what the injured motorcyclist deserves. Consulting with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help ensure that victims receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

Injured in a motorcycle accident? Contact us today to see how we can help

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Waterville, having an experienced lawyer on your side can make a major difference in the outcome of your case. At Jabar LaLiberty, LLC, our attorneys understand the biases insurance companies have toward motorcyclists. We're dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured motorcyclists, ensuring that stereotypes about recklessness do not undermine your claim.

We build strong cases by thoroughly investigating motorcycle accidents, gathering evidence, and consulting experts when necessary. Don’t let insurance companies take advantage of you—contact us today for a free consultation. Our skilled attorneys will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.

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