A motorcycle accident can be among one of the most devastating types of traffic crashes. The lack of protection for the motorcyclist is just one factor that puts riders at risk of sustaining serious physical harm, oftentimes with long-term consequences, which may also impact the rider financially and psychologically.
It’s important to understand how an accident claim might address these losses when someone else was responsible for the collision. Although New York is a no-fault state, which requires injured motorists including motorcyclists to file claims with their personal injury protection (PIP), there are circumstances where accident victims may pursue compensation from an at-fault driver.
Accident victims can hold an at-fault driver responsible if they suffer serious injury or if economic loss is not covered by or exceeds that provided by PIP.
Financial Consequences of a Motorcycle Accident
Medical and hospital expenses can be substantial, even for relatively minor injuries. When injuries are severe or disabling the costs can escalate into the thousands or hundreds of thousands dollars. Despite carrying health and auto insurance, it might not always be enough to fully cover the damages.
Certain injuries are more likely to result in escalating medical costs like:
- traumatic brain injuries;
- nerve damage;
- neck injuries;
- traumatic amputations; and
- spinal cord injuries and burns.
All of which are not uncommon in a serious motorcycle accident.
Some of the financial costs associated with serious injuries include:
- lengthy hospital stays;
- therapies (speech, physical, occupational, psychological);
- medical/assistive devices (wheelchairs, prosthetics);
- nursing care;
- counseling; and
- long-term care (burn center, rehabilitation center).
Not only do accident victims have to deal with medical and hospital expenses, they may also face losing work and income. With no income, the financial burden can become considerable. For some people it’s a matter of missing several weeks or months of work. But for others it could be longer, even permanently preventing them from ever returning.
Physical Consequences of a Motorcycle Accident
As if the financial consequences after a motorcycle accident aren’t enough, there are many times physical ones as well. This depends on the type of injury.
The following are some of the more serious injuries that riders might sustain how they may affect someone physically:
- Traumatic brain injury: The long-term effects vary from one person to the next. Some of the physical repercussions that patients may suffer include impaired cognitive abilities, seizures, vision and hearing problems, chronic pain, sleep and eating disturbances, and prolonged loss of consciousness.
- Nerve damage: Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that can develop when there is damage to the peripheral nervous system. Physical symptoms that patients may experience include tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, paralysis, gland/organ dysfunction, and respiratory problems.
- Neck injury: Soft tissue damage may not be life-threatening. But the physical consequences can be significant. Chronic pain is one example. But it can also cause damage to the nervous system, discs and joints.
- Traumatic amputation: Amputations that stem from trauma oftentimes involve limbs. Just the loss of an arm or leg in itself can be physically shocking. But there could also be other complications such as phantom pain (sensation of pain from the part of the body that is no longer there) and infection from the open wound.
- Spinal cord injury: Depending on the severity, it may cause permanent paralysis, which can affect body below the point of injury. Some patients may experience bladder/bowel dysfunction, respiratory difficulties, and more.
- Burn injury: There are a variety of functional issues that patients may face with a burn injury, including sensitivity to cold/heat, range of motion limitations (caused by contractures), reduced strength, infection susceptibility, and more. However, what makes this type of injury especially challenging is the permanent scarring, particularly when it’s on areas of the body not hidden by clothing.
Psychological Consequences of a Motorcycle Accident
Sometimes the psychological effects of a serious injury after a motorcycle accident are even greater. People can suffer socially and mentally. They may experience anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s not uncommon for victims of a significant injury to isolate themselves or experience a diminished quality of life.
It is important to address all long-term consequences of a motorcycle accident if you’re pursuing legal action against another driver responsible for your accident. Contact an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates at 800-550-0000 to set up a consultation to review your claim.