The International Insurance Institute (III) reports that 2020 saw 83,000 accidents resulting in injury among motorcyclists. Riders can suffer broken bones, lacerations, bruises, and head wounds but often are unaware of the danger posed by internal injuries from motorcycle accidents.
Making it to the hospital doesn’t mean the risk is over.
Even Minor Accidents Can Cause Severe Internal Injuries
Motorcycles are much more prone to accidents than other vehicles. Bikes average 600-700 pounds but have only two wheels to carry that weight, making them more unstable if the rider isn’t strong enough. Even dropping the bike on yourself accidentally can result in damage, such as broken bones or ruptured blood vessels.
Common internal injuries you can suffer from a motorcycle accident can include:
- Bleeding in and around the lungs
- Collapsed lungs
- Tears in major arteries or veins, such as the aorta
- Damage from cuts, tears, or blunt force to critical organs such as the stomach, bowels, liver, spleen, or kidneys
- Hemorrhaging inside the skull
- Damage to reproductive organs
- Tears and strains to joints, muscles, and tendons
Fractured ribs or other bones can damage blood vessels and trigger clots. Bruised or torn internal organs can malfunction or cause system-wide problems. The bottom line is that any motorcycle accident can lead to more threatening conditions than you may first realize you have.
Organ Damage Is Extremely Life-Threatening
Because injuries associated with a motorcycle crash are usually severe or even catastrophic, you are likely to be transported to a hospital where they will thoroughly examine you for treatment. However, the symptoms of internal bleeding or organ damage may not appear right away. The effects of injuries to some organs could take weeks to appear, long after you’ve left the hospital.
Located on either side of the spine below the ribcage, the kidneys are one of your more vital organs. They filter waste from your blood, and kidney damage can result in toxicity in your entire body when waste material cannot be removed.
Symptoms include blood in the urine, pain throughout the abdomen similar to a backache, and blood pressure changes. Left untreated, you could end up needing dialysis or a kidney transplant.
A collision may knock the wind out of you, making it difficult to catch your breath for a moment, but actual damage to the lungs is extremely serious. Puncture wounds to the chest and lungs allow air to enter the body. Your lungs depend on having air inside them, not outside, and the pressure from an air-filled chest cavity can make it hard to breathe.
Symptoms include sudden pain in the chest and labored breathing.
Located next to the stomach on the left side of the ribcage, the spleen is critical for immune responses during the early and teen years of life. After adulthood, it is possible to live without it, although you will be immunocompromised and must take extra precautions to avoid getting sick.
Injuries involving the spleen can result in severe internal bleeding. Symptoms include faintness due to loss of blood pressure and pain in the area of the spleen.
The body’s largest internal organ is located on the right side of the abdomen. The liver serves essential functions in the body, and although it can regenerate itself if part of it is removed, damage to it can be life-threatening.
Much like the kidneys, the liver is responsible for removing waste products from the blood. It also assists in digestion and ensures proper clotting in the blood. If the liver is too damaged, you may need a transplant. Symptoms of injury include pain in the area, a distended abdomen, and a weak pulse.
Common Causes of Internal Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
Injury to internal organs mainly occurs from one of three types of trauma. Motorcyclists frequently experience all three in a single accident, but each carries its own risks.
Blunt Force Trauma
When your body is thrown from the bike or something strikes you with enough force to cause damage, that is blunt force trauma. You may not have any indication outside your body that you are hurt, but organs can be significantly injured by abdominal trauma, and nearly all head injuries involve blunt force to the skull.
When a foreign object enters the body, it can puncture organs, blood vessels, and even bones. Internal bleeding is common, as well as tears to organs. When bones are damaged, it can affect your ability to fight off infection and produce red blood cells in the future. Abdominal penetrating wounds often require immediate surgery.
Physics can wreak havoc with internal organs when the body is quickly stopped after moving at high speeds. If you are suddenly halted by a motorcycle accident, your brain can collide with your skull. Abdominal organs can bump into one another, and muscles can be torn from the shearing forces. Your aorta can also suffer significant damage, tearing open and causing internal bleeding.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Help Today
If you have experienced internal or other injuries from a motorcycle accident and need help filing a claim against the person who hit you, contact The Krist Law Firm. We focus on handling claims for victims of motorcycle accidents as Houston personal injury lawyers.
We offer free initial consultations and will even meet with you while you’re still in the hospital. Use our convenient online form to schedule your case evaluation today.