In addition to road rash and other scrapes and bruises, broken bones are not uncommon in serious motorcycle accidents. Fractures range in severity from minor forearm fractures to serious spinal and skull fractures. Whatever the case, accident victims can file accident claims to recover damages.
Types of Fractures in a Motorcycle Accident: Spinal
The most common type of spinal fracture is that affecting both the mid-back (thoracic) and lower back (lumbar). They may occur in high-velocity motorcycle accidents and other injuries often accompany them. For instance, riders might also suffer a spinal cord injury.
Vertebral fractures vary in severity from stable (bones remain aligned) to unstable (bones are displaced), which factors into treatment. Wearing a brace for several weeks and rehabilitation exercises are examples of nonsurgical treatment. If surgery does become necessary, it could be delayed if there are other life-threatening injuries.
Fractures in a Motorcycle Accident: Skull
A significant head injury could result in a skull fracture, especially if the motorcyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet. Brain damage may accompany a skull fracture, which may especially be the case if the bone splinters or depresses. Depending on severity, pain medication may be all that’s necessary. A more serious fracture could require surgery, like when cerebrospinal fluid leaks or there’s pressure on the brain.
Motorcycle Crash Fractures: Forearm
A common type of fracture in the arm from a motorcycle accident is a broken forearm. Motorcyclists may use their arms to brace for impact in the event of an accident.
Surgery might be required. But until then, emergency room doctors may realign the bones. If it’s a minor break, a brace or cast may be all that’s necessary. Otherwise, metal plates and screws can hold the bones together. Other procedures may involve metal rods or in some cases the surgeon attaches screws and plates to a bar outside the skin called an external fixator.
Types of Fractures in a Motorcycle Wreck: Shinbone
It takes a tremendous amount of force to break the shinbone, and many suffer additional injuries. When it’s the result of a high-energy motorcycle crash, the bone may break into several pieces.
Nonsurgical treatment may include:
- a splint;
- medication to reduce swelling/pain;
- a cast; and
- a brace.
The type of break will determine the kind of surgery, which may involve metal rods, plates and screws and external fixation.
Kinds of Fractures After Motorcycle Wreck: Thighbone (femur)
Since the thighbone is the strongest and longest bone in the body, it takes a great deal of force to break it. Most of these fractures require surgery. Between the initial emergency care and surgery, the leg may be placed in a skeletal traction or long-leg splint, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). As with most other surgeries, the type of surgery depends on the type of break and its severity.
Types of Fractures in a Motorcycle Accident: Pelvis
These types of fractures can be life-threatening because of excessive bleeding, notes the AAOS. In a high-energy motorcycle crash, there may also be internal damage.
Even with a stable fracture for which surgery isn’t necessary, the individual may have to keep weight off his/her legs for as long as three months. A walker or crutches may aid in mobility. If surgery is necessary it may require traction, an external fixator or surgically inserting screws or plates.
Damages for Broken Bones in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
The severity of a fracture not only determines the type of treatment required but the financial and physical impact it can have on a victim. Those hospitalized and who undergo surgery will face extensive medical bills. And depending on the injury, it could also mean several weeks or months out of work. For some, it may even result in permanent disability.
It’s important to address all current and future medical costs/lost wages in an accident claim. Contact an attorney to learn more about the legal options available. Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates at 800-550-0000.