6 Common Shoulder, Arm, and Hand Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
There’s a certain thrill to driving a motorcycle; with the wind whipping around you and the open road ahead, it’s easy to see why so many people find riding a motorcycle exciting. However, there are significant risks that come along with it. Motorcycle crashes can cause serious damage to the upper part of your body, especially your arms, hands, and shoulders. While these do not tend to be life-threatening injuries, they can change your life forever, leaving you with lifelong medical conditions and scars due to lacerations, burns, amputations, and any surgeries.
The most common hand, arm, and shoulder injuries caused by motorcycle accidents include:
- Torn rotator cuff – The rotator cuff “is a group of muscles and tendons in your shoulder. They help you lift and move your arms away from your body.” When it tears, the tendons pull away from the bones. It can make it difficult to lift anything, and it can be very painful.
- Muscle, ligament, and tendon damage – There are many muscle groups in the arms and shoulders, and multiple ligaments and tendons. A motorcycle accident can cause any of these to tear or rip, necessitating surgery to fix.
- Breaks and fractures – When a rider is thrown from a bike, or hit directly by another vehicle, the chances are good that he or she will sustain multiple fractures. Common breaks include the clavicle, scapula, humerus (supper arm bone), elbow, ulna, and radius.
- Biker’s Arm – If the rider puts his or her hands out – a common instinct – after being thrown from the bike, the force of the impact can shatter the bones in the arms and hands, and cause permanent nerve damage. This is called “Biker’s Arm.”
- Road rash – Road rash is a common injury in motorcycle accidents. If a rider’s arms and hands are unprotected in a crash, the skin abrasions can be severe. Road rash can result in surgery, including skin grafts. It also increases the risk of infection.
- Crush injuries – A motorcycle accident can cause a rider’s limbs to be entrapped or crushed. Crush injuries will need surgery, and some victims may have to have their hands or arms amputated.
The impact these injuries could have on the rest of your life is substantial. Any of these injuries has the potential to lead to chronic pain, stiffness and soreness with everyday activities, less flexibility, or even loss of use of that part of the body. Your ability to perform your job could be negatively impacted. Other injuries, like burns to the shoulders, arms, and hands, can be disfiguring and scarring, therefore altering your appearance or self-esteem.
What are the causes of motorcycle accidents in Kansas City?
Drivers often fail to recognize the rights of riders on roads. Even a considerate driver can and will make mistakes. People get nervous around motorcycles, and that can lead to unsafe driving behaviors, too.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Speeding, reckless driving, and other traffic violations
- Fatigued driving
- Failing to respect the right of a motorcycle to be on the road
- Failing to see the motorcycle rider
- Not giving the motorcycle driver the right of way
- Not understanding the hand signals of a bike rider
Who is liable for a Kansas City motorcycle accident?
Injured motorcycle riders have the right to file claims against anyone who causes their injuries or the death of a loved one, whether the accident was caused by negligence or inattention to the road. Those that motorcyclists can file a claim against include:
- Car drivers
- Truck drivers
- Other motorcycle drivers
- Manufacturers of defective motorcycle parts
- Vehicle owners
- The state of Missouri or Kansas, the City of Kansas City, or any other county or municipality, Missouri Department of Transportation or Kansas Department of Transportation, if poor road design causes an accident
- Other defendants, depending on how the motorcycle accident occurs
Because motorcycle accidents often have severe consequences, the expenses you face are likely very high. Many injured riders will have substantial medical bills, especially if the injury leads to amputation and the rider needs a prosthetic. You may be unable to work for a period because your physical recovery takes time. But your injuries may also leave you unable to perform your job indefinitely. All of these situations could create a financial burden that you should not have to bear for a crash that was not your fault. At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we help riders and their families through the process of seeking damages. If the insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement, we’ll take them to trial to ensure that you get the help you need. You don’t have to go through this alone.
We all deserve to do what we want with our lives, and that includes being able to experience the open road on a motorcycle. However, it is critical to understand the dangers of riding a motorcycle, and to prepare for the possible accidents and injuries that might occur by wearing protective gear and practicing safe driving. Our motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help you if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident. Call 816-471-5111 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation at our office in Kansas City, MO. We also maintain offices in Lee’s Summit, Parkville, and St. Joseph, MO and in Olathe and Overland Park, KS.
We know that it can feel as if there’s no end in sight when you’re living with a serious injury. At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we’re on your side from day one. We’ll not only fight for your best interests, but we’ll help you process and deal with your injury along the way. Our personal injury lawyers handle the insurance company for you, and make sure that you find the tools and resources you need to move forward. When you need an experienced, compassionate Kansas City personal injury lawyer, we answer the call.