Motorcycle Accidents and Lower Extremity Injuries

January 29, 2021

Unlike other motorists, motorcyclists are the most exposed when traveling down Kentucky highways. Riding alongside other much heavier vehicles and trucks, it’s no surprise that motorcyclists suffer more traumatic injuries when involved in a collision. Newer motorcycle gear incorporates new technology that helps provide better protection for the head and shoulders. However, the lower half of the body is still extremely exposed, and these lower extremity injuries can be extensive and result in long-term damage.

Common Leg and Pelvic Injuries

When people imagine a motorcycle accident, they may envision head trauma, dislocated shoulders, and road rash. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), lower extremity injuries are the most common among motorcyclists. This is because motorcycle accidents often result in “in-between” injuries, where they are pinned between two heavy objects.

Regardless of the accident situation, it is likely that a motorcyclist will be pinned between their bike and the pavement. On top of the initial collision trauma, they also often suffer further damage as they collide with the ground. Both points of impact can severely injure the rider, but the second impact is uniquely focused on the lower extremities.

The average weight of a motorcycle is 700lbs. The motorcycle weight often causes additional crush injuries, as the force of the collision causes the motorcycle to weigh down on the rider’s hips and legs. This can cause severe fractures, broken ankles, dislocated hips, and damage to the internal organs.

Areas of the lower body that can be severely damaged in a motorcycle collision include:

  • Internal Organ Damage: Bruising and Tears in the Bladder, Colon, and Sexual Organs
  • Broken Bones & Fractures: Hip Fractures, Broken Femurs, and Crushed Tibias (Kneecaps)
  • Soft Tissue Damage: Ankles & Calves, Achilles Tendon, and Hamstring

Additionally, motorcycle accident victims are at high risk of spinal cord injuries and damage to the lowest point of the spine: the sacral. The sacral includes five bones and five unique nerves, including the S1 to the S5 nerves. If the sacral nerves are damaged, it can impact an accident victim’s ability to control and feel in their hips and legs:

  • S1: Hips & Groin
  • S2: Back of Thighs
  • S3: Center Buttocks Muscles
  • S4-5: Base of Pelvis Between Anus & Genitals

An accident victim with damage to the sacral may still be able to walk, but there will be limitations. A complete fracture may mean a total loss of the function of the nerves, while incomplete damage will often result in chronic pain and limited mobility. If the damage is further up the spine, such as in the lumbar spine, the victim may experience full paralysis in the hips and legs. 

Costs of Lower Extremity Injuries

Your injuries’ overall costs will vary depending on the nature and severity of the collision. Still, lower extremity injuries can be costly. If you are suffering internal bleeding, you may need emergency surgery. Additionally, your doctor may install plates and pins to repair fractures. In some cases, they may only be able to minimize the damage, resulting in long-term medical conditions and future medical complications. It is also common for motorcycle accidents to become infertile.

Spinal cord injuries are the most expensive injuries, resulting in chronic pain, paralysis, and limited mobility. You may require equipment to help get around in day-to-day life, and you may need to take medication to deal with pain or even need physical therapy. All of these costs can add up rapidly. Motorcycle accident victims often find themselves drowning in debt.

Recovering After a Motorcycle Accident

If a negligent driver caused your injuries, you might be able to recover compensation. This compensation can cover many accident expenses, including emergency room visits, physical therapy, and assisted living equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. You may also be able to collect lost wages if your career was affected by your accident and compensation for pain and suffering. The insurance company will often not offer full coverage for your trauma, so it becomes necessary to find legal representation and build a strong case. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses and will often provide you an insultingly low settlement if you do not have legal representation.

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, reach out to the experienced and skilled motorcycle accident attorneys at Saladino & Schaaf. We can walk you through the claims process in a free consultation and outline our strategy to get you proper compensation for your injuries. We do not accept a penny unless we win your case. There is no cost to contact us online or by phone at 270-444-0406 (Paducah Office) or 270-753-1529 (Murray Office).




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lower extremity injuries caused by motorcycle accident




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