Motorcycle enthusiasts relish the feeling of freedom that is inspired by riding on a late summer or early autumn day. However, enjoying such freedom comes with inherent risks.
For example, motorcyclists do not possess any significant layer of protection between themselves and the road, making them vulnerable to injury. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the legs comprise the area of the body which is particularly vulnerable to injury. The study analyzes statistical data from trauma centers between 2003 and 2005 and highlights that the lower extremities are the most treated area for injury following a motorcycle accident.
Common Motorcycle Leg Injuries
The reason for this is because motorcycles lack the same protection that a passenger car has for the lower extremities. This lack of protection makes the rider's legs particularly vulnerable to coming in contact with highway railings, dividers and the road itself in the event of an accident. This makes motorcyclists especially prone to injuries such as:
- Fractured feet
- Leg fractures
- Dislocated hips
- Broken knees
- Torn ligaments
- Ankle fractures
These injuries can result in serious financial consequences. The NHTSA study determined that the median hospital charges for a single leg injury is $20,745, with costs as high as $34,483. If there are multiple injuries to the lower extremities, the cost can be as high as $62,953. If parts of the body outside of the lower extremities are injured, hospital charges can reach well into the six figures.
In addition to the costs of hospitalization, motorcycle accidents can require the injured rider to undergo additional rehabilitation. In some cases, riders may have to apply for disability if injuries force them to quit working altogether.
Liability of Drivers for Injuries
Under the law, drivers must take all reasonable precautions to avoid accidents with other vehicles. In the age of "distracted driving," however, statistics show that many drivers fail to keep a lookout for motorcyclists. In two-thirds of motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle caused the accident by failing to observe the motorcyclist's right of way.
Contact a Fairfax Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If other drivers fail to live up to their legal duty to take reasonable precautions when operating a motor vehicle, the law considers them negligent and therefore accountable for expenses related to the accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can investigate the causes of the accident and pursue your right to compensation.