Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith

Injury risks when bikers share the roads with negligent motorists

Taking to the roads around Altoona and other areas in Pennsylvania on a motorcycle could be exciting and even intoxicating. Few other activities can compare with the freedom of riding a bike. However, the fact that motorcycles have only two wheels makes this mode of transport significantly more dangerous than four-wheeled vehicles.

Potential injuries

As a biker, you have none of the ever-improving safety features modern vehicles have. Your best protection would be protective gear, alertness and caution. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eight in 10 bike accidents lead to severe injuries or death. If a motorist's negligence caused you to crash, your injuries could be life-changing -- if you survive.

Head injuries

Safety authorities say most of the fatalities and disabilities that result from motorcycle accidents involve head injuries -- including traumatic brain injuries. Note the following facts about wearing a helmet:

  • There is no guarantee that a helmet will save your life, but it could improve your chances of survival.
  • A helmet can protect your head from puncture wounds, but it cannot prevent your brain from moving and slamming against the inner walls of the skull.
  • Even while wearing a helmet, you can suffer brain trauma such as swelling or bleeding.
  • Riding without a helmet typically leads to higher medical costs due to more severe injuries.

Fractured bones

The fact that motorcycles fall over easily increases your chances of landing under your bike if you crash. The Center for Neuro skills makes the following points:

  • You might not have time to avoid the bike falling onto your legs in a crash. Leg fractures are on the top of the list of fractures in motorcycle accidents.
  • Your instinctive reaction to break your fall can cause fractures in your arms, wrists and hands.
  • Shoulder and pelvic fractures are also common in bike accidents.
  • Spinal column fractures and injuries to your spinal cord could cause paralysis.

Road rash

Nothing on your bike will prevent you from making contact with the road surface in an accident. Any unprotected part of your skin is vulnerable to road rash, which is classified as follows:

  • Road rash is an abrasion of the skin. First-degree road rash is when your skin appears red but not broken.
  • Second-degree involves broken surface layers of the skin, but no damage to the inner skin layers.
  • Third-degree road rash is severe and needs prompt medical care. This happens when the road surface removes all the layers of your skin, exposing the inner tissue and fat layers.

What are your legal rights?

If the motorcycle accident resulted from the negligent or reckless driving of another party in Pennsylvania, you might have grounds to pursue a claim for financial relief. The sensible step would be to seek the support and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney because this is a complicated field of the law. A lawyer can help you to recover economic and noneconomic damages brought about by the crash through the civil justice system of the state.

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Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith

Altoona Office
414 N Logan Blvd
Altoona, PA 16602

Phone: 814-201-6845
Fax: 814-946-9105
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Tyrone, PA 16686

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