Se habla español


Motorcycle Injuries and Fatalities

Home » Motorcycle Injuries and Fatalities
February 25, 2018
Edward Smith

Motorcycle injuries and fatalities

Injuries and Deaths in Motorcycle Accidents

With more motorcyclists in California than anywhere else in the country, accidents naturally happen. When they do, they often cause serious injuries or the death of the rider. Learn about the incidence of motorcycle accidents and the type of injuries commonly seen.

Motorcyclist Fatalities in California

Over 5,000 motorcycle riders died in collisions in 2015. Even though the rate fell by 7 percent in California, the state still leads the nation in the number of motorcycle riders. An improved economy, lower fuel prices, and sunny, warm days contributed to the number of motorcycle riders on the road and hence to the number of injuries and fatalities from motorcycle accidents. With a fatality rate 26 times higher than those driving motor vehicles, a motorcycle rider has to use extra safety precautions to stay safe on the road.

Common Injuries in a Motorcycle Crash

Although many types of injuries can be suffered in a crash, because of their lack of protection, motorcyclist injuries may be devastating.

  • If a motorcycle rider is not wearing a helmet, brain and head injuries are common. A severe brain injury can be a life-changing event, resulting in loss of cognitive function, memory and causing a change in personality.
  • Bone fractures are common and require surgery and rehabilitative therapy afterward. Some may leave scarring as a reminder of the accident.
  • Road rash is a common injury and can be serious. It ranges from compression type injuries to open wounds or removal of the skin.
  • Amputation is necessary with some accidents that cause irreversible injury to a limb.
  • Spinal cord injury can result in some degree of paralysis, depending on the location. In some cases, paralysis is from the waist down. In others, it occurs from the neck down. Symptoms may include loss of sensation or ability to move or feel heat or cold, nerve pain, spasms, and difficulty breathing. Either creates the need for help with daily activities and may mean the individual can no longer work.

What to Do Following a Motorcycle Crash

It may be difficult to gather the necessary information to document a motorcycle accident crash at the scene, but if it is possible, the rider should do the following:

  • If you are seriously injured, call 911 for medical assistance. If not, go to your physician to be checked out. Not all injuries present at the time of an accident and may appear later.
  • Exchange contact information, including license numbers, names, addresses, and insurance information.
  • Call the California Highway Patrol (CHP) or local police, depending on the jurisdiction. The police will file a report, and you should obtain a copy or ask for one at the scene.
  • Obtain contact information from any witnesses to the accident, and ask them what they saw. Take notes.
  • Take photos of the crash scene with your cell phone. Include the vehicles, their positions, and any marks left on the road or elsewhere made by the collision.
  • Call your insurance agent and attorney

Fresno Motorcycle Accidents

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were 1,788 injuries or fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents in 2015 in Fresno. Ninety-six of those accidents involved motorcyclists. The previous year, with a total of 1,983 motor vehicle deaths and injuries, motorcyclists were involved in 71 of those accidents.

Fresno Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno motorcycle accident lawyer. Motorcycle accidents caused by someone else’s negligent behavior can be deadly or cause serious injuries. If you or someone you love was injured or died as a result, I have free, friendly advice to offer. Phone (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400, or fill out a contact form at

For over three decades, I’ve helped Fresno and other residents in Northern California with their personal injury cases in obtaining compensation for their injuries and losses. I handle many types of personal injuries from wrongful deaths to car accidents.

I belong to Million Dollar Advocates, a group established for trial lawyers who have won million-dollar trial verdicts or case settlements for their clients.

Comments by prior clients about my work as an injury lawyer as well as a list of some of our cases can be found at:

Photo Attribution: Pexels

:cd [cs 736] cv