Serious Injuries in Oklahoma City Motorcycle Accidents
Whatever the cause of an accident may be, the end result is often the same: serious injuries which take months or even years to heal from. It is not uncommon for serious injuries in Oklahoma City motorcycle accidents to result in permanent, lifelong disability, leading many accident victims to suffer from long-term emotional trauma and financial strain. Some common injuries caused by motorcycle crashes and collisions include:
- Large skin abrasions, more commonly known as road rash. Road rash debridement is excruciatingly painful, while the injury itself can leave the victim permanently scarred or disfigured. If the scarring is severe and affects a highly visible part of the body, like the hands or face, the victim may suffer from depression and mental anguish and may need costly surgery to help restore their natural appearance before the accident.
- Crush injuries, which occur when a leg, arm, hand, foot, or other parts of the body is trapped beneath heavy debris. If the crushed area is too severely damaged or is deprived of oxygen for too long, the tissue may need to be amputated.
Head injuries like traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is especially common among riders who do not wear helmets, or whose helmets are dislodged by the force of impact. TBI often co-occurs with spinal cord injury (SCI), where the spinal cord is damaged or completely severed, losing its ability to relay messages between the brain and the rest of the body. While the effects of TBI and SCI can vary depending on the location and severity of the injury, some common medical complications include:
- Difficulty speaking, reading, and/or writing
- Loss of physical perception, such as perception of pain, temperature, or pressure
- Full or partial paralysis. Paralysis of the lower limbs is called paraplegia, while full-body paralysis is called quadriplegia or tetraplegia. If nerve damage occurs, certain limbs, fingers, or toes may be paralyzed or lose strength
- Chronic pain, such as chronic migraine headaches
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
- Depression, anxiety, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Shortened attention span and difficulty concentrating on tasks or information
Broken bones, particularly wrist fractures caused as ejected riders attempt to break their falls. Broken ribs, broken arms and legs, broken collarbones, and pelvic fractures are all common outcomes with serious injuries in Oklahoma City motorcycle accidents. Facial fractures, like a broken nose or broken jaw, can permanently alter the victim’s appearance without corrective surgery. Depending on the location and severity of a fracture, healing can take months and may require one or more medical procedures. Bone fractures can also have long-term complications if there are any issues during the healing process, such as joint stiffness, contractures, misalignment (malunion), and circulatory problems. Different types of bone fractures include:
- Greenstick Fractures
- Transverse Fractures
- Buckled Fractures
- Comminuted Fractures
- Simple Fractures
- Compound Fractures
- Oral and dental injuries, such as chipped teeth, teeth being knocked out, or teeth being driven through the upper or lower lip. Injuries to the mouth, tongue, or teeth can be disfiguring and extremely costly to treat, especially if an entire row of teeth has been damaged or destroyed. The victim may lose the ability to pronounce words clearly, suffer from chronic pain, or lose sensation in their tongue.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 55 motorcyclists were killed in fatal motorcycle accidents in Oklahoma in 2014: more than pedestrians, bicyclists, or large truck occupants. These 55 tragic fatalities accounted for 8 percent of the motor vehicle crash deaths in Oklahoma that year, a percentage exceeded only by fatalities among occupants of cars, passenger trucks, and SUVs. The previous year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 84 motorcyclist deaths in Oklahoma crashes.
On the national level, the NHTSA reports that 4,668 motorcyclists were killed in accidents in 2013, estimating an additional 88,000 people were non-fatally injured. The vast majority of injury victims — about 94 percent— are motorcycle drivers. Passengers represent only 6 percent of those injured in motorcycle crashes. To learn more about serious injuries in Oklahoma City motorcycle accidents and how a legal professional could help, contact a dedicated lawyer today.