Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries in Colorado

Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Colorado motorcyclists suffer some of the worst injuries when crashes happen. Without the protective frame of a vehicle surrounding them, there’s little to shield a rider from serious and potentially fatal harm.

Sadly, Colorado sees these types of wrecks far too often. Motorcycle accident deaths reached record highs in a recent year when 137 riders died, according to state Department of Transportation statistics. And while bikers made up 22 percent of all traffic fatalities in Colorado, motorcycles represent just three percent of the state’s registered vehicles.

Many common motorcycle accident injuries come with high personal and financial costs. We’ll explore some of the most common types of motorcycle accident injuries in Colorado Springs below.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

By far, head injuries are the most well-known types of motorcycle accident injuries. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a jolt or bump on the head disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. Brain injuries also occur if an object, such as a piece of road debris, pierces the skull and gets lodged in the brain tissues.

The best protection against a TBI is wearing a motorcycle helmet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that motorcycle helmets reduce the chance of head injuries by 69 percent. However, Colorado has no universal helmet law. Helmets are only mandatory for riders or passengers are under 18. Regardless, every motorcycle accident injury lawyer at Earl & Earl, PLLC recommends that all motorcyclists ride helmeted. While you don’t break the law by riding without a helmet, your failure to wear one could be used against you in a head injury claim.

Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis

Motorcyclists can suffer severe spinal cord injuries in a crash. Damage to the spinal cord can result in complete or total paralysis from the site of the injury down.

In one journal, researchers found that most spinal injuries from motorcycle accidents occur in the lower (lumbar) region of the spine. Injuries that occurred in the neck (cervical) area were most likely to be fatal, with other severe spinal injuries in other areas resulting in permanent disability. The worst spinal cord injuries happened when riders directly struck single objects, not the pavement.

Back Injuries

A spinal cord injury is just one of many potential back injuries after a wreck. Another type of motorcycle accident injury are herniated disks, where the jelly-like cushioning between the vertebrae leaks out and presses on spinal nerves. Other back injuries include soft tissue damage and spinal stenosis.

Broken Bones

motorcycle accident broken bonesBones are particularly vulnerable to breakage in motorcycle crashes. Virtually all bones are at risk of fractures, especially the lower extremities such as the legs and ankles. Striking the ground, another object, or another vehicle often results in other fractures including a broken back, neck, arms, wrist, ribs, shoulder, and pelvis.

Broken bones are typically not life-threatening, though back and neck fractures could result in severe injuries. However, treatment for compound fractures can cost tens of thousands of dollars, especially if you need surgery. A severe fracture may also threaten your financial future in other ways, particularly if your injury prevents you from returning to your previous job.


Whiplash is a painful injury that can damage the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and disks in the neck. Also known as a neck strain or sprain, whiplash is commonly associated with rear-end collisions.
The severity of a whiplash injury often depends on the force of impact. The faster a vehicle is moving when it strikes a motorcycle, the greater the likelihood of a serious injury. But it’s not easy to predict who will suffer from long-term complications after motorcycle accidents. Results of a recent study in the journal Spine found patients who suffered from whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) still experienced headaches, shoulder pain, and arm pain 20 years post-injury.

Biker’s Arm

After a motorcycle crash, riders may try to brace the bike from falling on them while hitting the pavement. A motorcycle can weigh anywhere from 300 to 700 pounds, which means that a tremendous amount of pressure can compress the nerves of the arms. This injury is called biker’s arm and may require surgery and physical therapy to restore function without pain and limited range of motion. In some cases, there is permanent nerve damage.

Road Rash

Road rash is a type of abrasion caused by the skin scraping against a rough surface such as pavement. These injuries are especially common after motorcycle accidents, particularly if the victim is not wearing safety gear such as jackets, gloves, and pants. While road rash may seem like a minor injury, motorcycle accident victims are at risk of serious infections and sepsis from foreign materials entering the skin, as well as scarring and disfigurement.


From fires and explosions to exposure to hot vehicle parts and chemicals, burns are a potential hazard in all motorcycle accidents. Serious burns require emergency treatment, but you should see a doctor right away if you suffer any type of burn injury after an accident.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found motorcycle riders are 29 percent more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in crashes per vehicle miles traveled. If you lost a family member in a crash, ask an experienced personal injury attorney about your right to wrongful death compensation.

Can I Get Compensation for my Injuries?

motorcycle accident attorney coloradoIn Colorado, accident victims can pursue compensation for their losses if another party’s negligence contributed to their injuries. A motorcycle accident injury claim could demand money for losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning ability, lost quality of life, pain and suffering, and more. A motorcycle accident lawyer can review your case and place a reasonable estimate of how much your case may be worth.

What Should I Do if I am Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

Protect your legal claim by taking the following steps after an accident:

  • Call 911 to summon police and first responders to the scene.
  • Take photos and video of the crash site, including all vehicle damage and your injuries.
  • Gather names and insurance information from all parties involved in the crash.
  • Collect contact information for any witnesses.
  • Seek medical attention right away to rule out any undetected motorcycle injuries.
  • Don’t give a statement to the insurance company before speaking to an attorney.
  • Contact a Colorado Springs motorcycle accident lawyer.

Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today

Earl & Earl, PLLC is an accomplished Colorado personal injury law firm. When you choose us, you’ll get a firm that treats clients like family. We recognize that every claim is unique, and you can count on us to provide personalized attention and top-quality legal representation when you need it most.

Call or contact us today for a free consultation.

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