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Internal Injuries From Motorcycle Crashes

December 18, 2023

Motorcycle accidents in Colorado can result in severe to catastrophic injuries for the motorcycle rider and his or her passengers. Motorcyclists are not protected by safety equipment such as airbags and seat belts. This leaves them vulnerable to life-threatening injuries when involved in traffic collisions – including a variety of internal injuries.

Internal Injuries From Motorcycle Crashes

Blunt-Force Trauma vs. Penetrating Injuries

The inside of a motorcyclist’s body can sustain injury in two main ways: blunt-force trauma and penetration. Blunt-force trauma describes the body being hit or struck by an object, such as a collision between a motorcyclist’s body and a road surface. If the blow is hard enough, it can cause internal damage such as ruptured organs, broken bones, and internal bleeding even without penetrating the skin.

Penetrating injuries puncture the skin and may pierce, enter, or lacerate internal tissues and organs. These injuries can cause the laceration of veins and arteries, significant blood loss, and major organ damage. Penetrating injuries are often more noticeable than blunt force trauma due to visible tissue damage and blood loss. However, both types of trauma can result in life-threatening internal injuries, especially in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident in Denver.

Organ Damage

Many of a motorcyclist’s vital internal organs are at risk of being injured and damaged in a motorcycle accident. Organ trauma can occur due to blunt-force impacts, such as the rider’s body coming into contact with the road or a fixed object. If the motorcyclist gets pulled beneath a motor vehicle and crushed, this can also cause extensive organ damage.

Examples of organ damage include abdominal trauma, kidney damage, liver damage, bowel damage, spleen damage, organ rupture and total organ failure. The heart and lungs can also sustain injury in a motorcycle accident. Signs of organ damage after a motorcycle accident can include weakness, fatigue, confusion, shallow breathing, loss of appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Organ damage requires immediate medical attention.

Internal Bleeding

Internal bleeding (hemorrhaging) can occur if the impact of a motorcycle accident damages the victim’s blood vessels enough to cause them to rupture. A ruptured vessel can leak blood inside of the body, where it will remain and collect rather than bleeding out through an open wound. The symptoms of internal bleeding can include pain, a swollen or tight abdomen, feeling sweaty or clammy, and loss of consciousness. This is a serious medical emergency.

Broken Ribs and Punctured Lungs

An impact to the chest or trunk of a motorcyclist’s body can result in a cracked or fractured rib, along with other types of broken bones. In some cases, the jagged broken edge of a fractured rib is in a position to puncture a lung. A punctured lung can cause difficulty breathing and requires medical attention without delay. This injury comes with a risk of lung collapse, which could prove fatal.

Other Invisible Internal Injuries

A motorcycle accident can result in many types of injuries that may not be physically visible or immediately apparent to a victim. Examples include head trauma, traumatic brain injuries, muscle sprains and strains, torn ligaments, whiplash, and emotional injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. These injuries may have delayed symptoms – especially if the rider has adrenaline from the accident masking pain.

The possibility of invisible internal injuries is why it is crucial for a motorcyclist to seek immediate medical care after an accident. Even if the motorcyclist does not yet have noticeable symptoms, he or she may have an internal injury that needs prompt treatment. If you or a loved one suffers an internal injury in a motorcycle accident, consult with an attorney at Fang Law Firm for a free case review.