Although motorcycles made up less than 3 percent of all Alabama-registered vehicles, motorcyclists accounted for nearly 10 percent of statewide accident-related fatalities in one recent year. More than 1,000 motorcycle riders also reportedly suffered severe injuries in Alabama traffic accidents that year.
If you were injured in a Decatur motorcycle accident, you know just how dangerous these crashes can be. You may be dealing with painful injuries, unexpected medical bills, and time away from work that your budget can’t afford. If the accident was someone else’s fault, you might be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim.
To secure money for your losses, you must be able to demonstrate that someone else was responsible for your injuries. Below, the Decatur attorneys of Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., take a look at some common motorcycle accident injuries and discuss what you can do to jumpstart your recovery.
Contact us for a free initial consultation to learn more.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Here are some of the most common injuries our attorneys see in the Decatur motorcycle accident cases we handle:
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis – Blunt-force trauma and crushing forces can leave motorcycle accident victims with severe injuries to the spine and spinal cord. The spinal cord carries signals from the brain to nerve endings throughout the body. When the spinal cord is injured, these signals can become interrupted, resulting in partial or complete paralysis below the injury site.
- Traumatic brain injuries – Sudden jolts or puncture wounds to the head can result in traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The effects of a TBI can range from mild and temporary concussions to permanent, life-altering brain damage. The risk of TBI is significantly greater for motorcyclists who choose to ride without a helmet.
- Back and neck injuries – Hard impacts with vehicles or road surfaces often cause painful injuries to the back and neck. A motorcycle collision can violently jerk a rider’s back and neck or even eject them from the vehicle entirely, which can result in whiplash, herniated discs, soft tissue injuries, and other trauma.
- Joint injuries – Joints such as hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, and wrists are extremely vulnerable to injury in a motorcycle accident. Common motorcycle accident joint injuries include fractured kneecaps, dislocations, crushing injuries, torn ligaments, and ruptured tendons.
- Road rash – The term “road rash” refers to a friction burn or abrasion caused by contact with the rough surface of a road. Riders often suffer road rash in motorcycle accidents if they get knocked over or off their bikes, and their skin scrapes against the road.
- Burns – In addition to friction burns, motorcyclists are at risk for other types of burns in a motorcycle accident. If the crash punctures a gas tank, a resulting fire or explosion can cause severe thermal burns. Other caustic chemicals can also result in painful chemical burns if they spill and contact bare skin.
- Bone fractures – Colliding with a heavy vehicle or unforgiving road surface can easily fracture delicate bone structures in the head, arms, legs, and torso. Even in relatively minor accidents, the weight of a motorcycle landing the wrong way on a vulnerable body part can leave bones dislocated or broken.
- Permanent disfigurement – Serious burns, deep cuts, and crushing injuries can permanently disfigure motorcycle accident victims. Scarring can contribute to emotional injuries and social anxiety. In severe cases, victims may suffer traumatic amputation or loss of limb, which can profoundly affect appearance, self-sufficiency, and employability.
- Wrongful death – Tragically, thousands of motorcycle accidents result in wrongful death every year. Surviving family members of fatally injured motorcycle riders can seek justice and fair compensation by working with personal injury lawyers to file wrongful death claims.
Can I Get Compensation for My Motorcycle Injuries in Decatur?
If you suffered injuries in a Decatur motorcycle accident, you might be eligible for compensation through a motorcycle accident claim. Depending on the nature of your losses, you may be entitled to reimbursement for:
- Any medical expenses you incur for the treatment of accident-related injuries
- The value of any lost wages from missed time at work
- The estimated value of future losses, such as medical care you will likely need in the future or projected losses in your lifetime earning capacity
- The subjective cost of the pain and suffering you endure as a result of the crash
- Incidental costs, such as the costs of travel to and from medical appointments
- The costs of repairing motorcycle damage or replacing a totaled motorcycle
Keep in mind that Alabama’s pure contributory negligence laws could prevent you from recovering compensation from a motorcycle accident lawsuit if your negligence contributed to the wreck in any way. Alabama insurance companies know this, so they will feel no qualms about denying you compensation if they find you are even 1 percent at fault for the wreck. That is why it is essential to work with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you build a solid case to show you were not at all to blame for the crash.
What Should I Do If I Am Injured in a Decatur Motorcycle Accident?
The aftermath of a Decatur motorcycle accident can feel disorienting and overwhelming, especially if you suffered painful injuries. You can protect your legal rights and establish a strong foundation for your motorcycle accident claim by:
- Seeking prompt medical attention for your injuries to get the care you need and establish a record of your condition
- Following your doctor’s prescribed care plan and attending all follow-up appointments as necessary
- Gathering evidence from the scene of the crash, such as the other driver’s information, photos of the scene, and statements from eyewitnesses
- Keeping track of medical bills, motorcycle repair estimates, pay stubs, and other documentation of accident-related financial losses
- Not apologizing or admitting fault when speaking to insurance adjusters and refusing to provide written or recorded statements
- Not posting photos of yourself or discussing the accident or your health on social media while your claim is pending
- Contacting a trusted motorcycle accident attorney for dependable legal advice
Contact a Decatur Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
At Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., our dedicated attorneys have over 55 years of experience standing up for people who’ve been injured in motorcycle accidents in Decatur and surrounding areas of Alabama. You can trust our wealth of knowledge and experience as we work to hold negligent parties accountable and seek the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for more information about your legal options in a free initial case review.