Motorcycle crashes often have catastrophic consequences. Road rash, fractures, severe lacerations, and traumatic brain injuries can all upend a victim’s life, leaving them struggling to overcome intense physical pain and immense financial pressure. However, not every injury is easily identifiable. While motorcycle accident internal injuries don’t always present any immediate symptoms, they can be both life-threatening and life-altering.
Seattle-area Motorcycle Accidents and Internal Injuries
Washington state law requires all motorcycle operators and passengers wear helmets whenever on publicly accessible roadways. Unfortunately, even high-quality equipment isn’t always sufficient to avert serious injury.
Since motorcycle riders don’t have the structural protections common to most other automobiles—such as seatbelts, airbags, and crumple zones—they’re often subjected to extreme and traumatic force in a collision. This force frequently causes complex internal injuries. Here are just a few that pose a serious threat to bikers.
Fractured bones are typically categorized as:
- Open fractures, when the bone has penetrated through the skin.
- Closed fractures, when the bone has broken but the skin has remained intact.
Motorcyclists sometimes sustain broken ribs, a type of closed fracture that could cause, or occur alongside, punctured lungs, which is a life-threatening condition.
Internal Organ Injuries
Almost any organ could be injured in a motorcycle accident. However, certain parts of the body are especially vulnerable in collisions. These include the liver, kidney, pancreas, and spleen.
Unlike external bleeding, internal bleeding is rarely visible. These injuries may induce only vague symptoms but often necessitate emergency medical intervention.
An intracranial hemorrhage is bleeding within the cranial vault, or skullcap. Blood vessels help supply the brain with oxygen and critical nutrients. If the brain bleeds, it may not be able to provide oxygen to tissue. Even short periods of oxygen deprivation can cause irreversible brain damage.
Intracranial hemorrhages can occur between the brain tissue and the skull or inside of the brain tissue itself. These injuries are severe and potentially lethal.
Protecting Your Health After Internal Organ Injuries Caused by a Motorcycle Accident
The biggest takeaway here is that dangerous internal organ injuries can happen after a motorcycle crash even if there aren’t any noticeable symptoms. So if you or a loved one experience a bike accident, always get immediate medical attention. A physician’s exam could help you:
- Identify and diagnose seemingly invisible injuries.
- Obtain treatment for potentially life-threatening conditions.
- Demonstrate to an insurance company or adjuster that you have legitimate concerns about your physical well-being after the accident and aren’t simply trying to profit from it.
However, motorcycle accident victims who’ve already seen a doctor should still closely monitor their health. If you develop any new symptoms—including worsening abdominal pain, blood in your stool or urine, or altered cognition—you need medical treatment right away. These new symptoms could indicate an undetected internal organ injury.
Your Potential Damages After a Washington Motorcycle Crash
Washington state law affords accident victims the right to file a claim for compensation against the person who caused their injuries. Depending on the circumstances of your Seattle-area collision, Max Meyers Law could help you obtain payment for damages including, but not limited to:
- Your past, present, and anticipated medical expenses
- Physical rehabilitation
- Lost income from work
- Diminished earning potential
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful death
While Washington doesn’t limit compensation in most motorcycle accident claims, there is a strict statute of limitations—the deadline by which you need to file your claim. If you wait too long to contact an attorney, the statute of limitations could lapse, precluding your rights to a fair recovery.