What bikers love most about riding motorcycles—the speed, open air, and connection to the elements—are the very things that put them at great risk for devastating injuries when they crash. Many riders make the smart decision to wear helmets and other protective gear, which can save them from serious head injuries and flesh wounds.
But even when taking all possible precautions to be safe, a motorcyclist is still vulnerable to spinal cord injury, broken bones, and loss of limbs when another driver carelessly fails to see him and causes him to crash. When a limb is severed in a crash, or is so damaged it requires surgical amputation later, the rider and his family should be prepared to face rehabilitation and ongoing expenses after recovery.
How a Motorcycle Crash Can Lead to Loss of Limb
The National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration reports that the most common injury suffered by a motorcyclist in a crash is a lower-extremity injury—such as damage to the pelvis, hip, leg, or foot—followed by an upper-extremity injury to arms, hands, and shoulders. These injuries can be anything from mild bruising to an amputation.
Loss of a lower- or upper-extremity limb can happen in the following ways:
- A finger, hand, toe, or foot can be severed between metal objects as vehicles collide.
- An arm or leg can be shattered beyond repair and require surgical amputation.
- A limb can be partially severed in a crash and require later removal.
- An infection could set in after surgery to repair damage that could require removal of the limb to save the patient’s life.
- In rare circumstances, a larger limb such as an arm or a leg can be completely severed during the accident.
Some of these injuries can be prevented by wearing gloves, riding boots, and protective jackets and pants, but in a violent crash with a much larger vehicle, it may not matter what you're wearing.
What You Can Expect After the Crash
In a crash serious enough to cause the loss of a limb, you're probably lucky to escape with your life. However, recovering from a traumatic amputation won't be easy.
Generally speaking, you can expect the following after severe damage to or loss of a limb in a motorcycle crash:
- Emergency care at the scene of the crash
- Surgery to attempt to save or remove the damaged limb
- Long-term hospital recovery
- Ongoing therapy to learn to function without the limb
- Fitting of a prosthetic device
- Follow-up therapy to learn to use the device
- Periodic re-fittings or upgrades of the prosthesis
- A possible change in work duties to adjust for the loss of limb
- A change in hobbies and lifestyle
Each amputation situation is different, but understanding what you may face can help give you the strength to fight for the compensation you'll need going forward.
What You Will Need to Recover
Following the loss of a limb, you'll need financial resources to pay for ongoing therapies, the loss of potential earnings, and possibly a prosthetic. In Kansas and Missouri, you can recover economic and non-economic damages from the at-fault driver in your motorcycle crash.
Damages may include:
- Past and future medical expenses for doctors, hospitals, therapists, medication, and medical devices, including prostheses
- Loss of past and future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
The amount you're awarded depends on the case you present. Having an experienced motorcycle crash attorney on your team ensures that evidence of the other driver’s fault and the true cost of your injury is presented so you'll be eligible for maximum compensation.
Have You Been Injured In A Motorcycle Accident?
If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.
You can also order your FREE copy of our book, "KC Biker Bible."