Suffering an injury in a motorcycle accident is not only painful, but it can impact your mobility for the rest of your life. Some motorcycle riders must cope with lifelong consequences in both their personal and professional lives as a result of injuries to their feet.
If you’ve recently injured your foot in a motorcycle crash, you might have questions. This short guide provides information about the types of foot injuries motorcycle riders can sustain in an accident, the aftermath of the personal injury, injury prevention, and steps you can take if you have an injured foot caused by a motorcycle accident.
Common Foot Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
Depending on the exact circumstances of a motorcycle accident and how exactly the foot is impacted, a motorcyclist can experience a variety of common injuries to their lower extremities.
The most common types of lower-extremity injuries from an accident include:
- Soft tissue damage
- Fractured bones
- Ankle injuries
- Leg Injuries
Soft Tissue Damage
Your soft tissues include the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your foot. In the impact of a motorcycle crash, a foot can get caught between the road and the bike or the road and the car. It might also hit the road at an unnatural angle.
Bikers commonly suffer muscle damage, sprains, and strains, even in the “best-case scenario” accident.
In the worst accidents, especially those that occur at high speeds, soft tissue damage might include torn ligaments and or tendons that connect the foot to the ankle and leg. Soft tissue damage to the foot can impact the entire leg.
It is not uncommon to sustain one or more fractured or broken bones in the foot from an accident. In fact, the most common injury to the foot in a motorcycle accident is a metatarsal fracture.
Your metatarsals are the main bones that connect to your toes on the top of your feet. Serious breaks require a cast and weeks of healing.
If a biker is unfortunate enough to have multiple metatarsal fractures, he or she will likely need one or more surgeries to reconstruct their foot and may face chronic pain and limited mobility for life.
Although it’s not an injury to the foot itself, the ankle is still attached to the foot which could result in a serious injury as well. Not wearing the proper riding gear could result in serious injuries such as sprains, fractures, or dislocations.
In some severe cases, a biker can sustain severe injuries to the foot and can be crushed by the bike or another vehicle. A crush injury often stops blood flow to the foot. Doctors do their best to restore blood flow to the crushed area, but if they fail, an infection can set in and spread to the rest of the foot, leg, and body.
Ultimately, the spread of infection can lead to death. As a last resort, crushed feet may require doctors to amputate the foot and sometimes part of the lower leg.
Motorcycle riders can not only sustain road rash, but also deep wounds and cuts in a crash.
Severe lacerations can leave permanent scars, but the risk of infection also poses a severe risk. Lacerations need immediate medical treatment so the wounds can be cleaned and stitched to prevent infection.
Sustaining a leg injury in an accident can affect your knees, hips, and other parts of the leg. Such injuries can lead to replacement surgeries and other complications down the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), you should wear leather or heavy denim pants to help minimize the risk of a leg injury.
Aftermath of Injuries to the Feet in Motorcycle Crashes
One of the worst parts of sustaining an injury in a motorcycle accident is the mobility limitations that accident victims face in the short- and long-term. Initially, a foot injury almost always means you cannot bear weight and walk for days, weeks, or months, depending on the severity of the injury. Casts, braces, and surgery might also be involved.
After medical care, and even surgery to repair soft tissues or bones in your foot, you might face long-term mobility struggles, chronic pain, nerve damage, and arthritis for life.
Suffering a foot injury in a crash can also inflict a heavy emotional toll for some motorcyclists. The injury suddenly deprives them of the ability to engage in activities they took for granted, such as taking the dog for a walk, going dancing with friends or a partner, and playing with their kids in the backyard.
Severe foot injuries not only jeopardize your ability to enjoy these activities, but they can also prevent you from doing your job, adding financial insecurity to the physical and emotional toll of your injury.
How Motorcyclists Can Prevent Foot Injuries
You cannot control whether a poorly maintained road or another motorists causes an accident, but you can do a couple of things to help prevent a foot injury or reduce the severity of one.
First, it’s important to know you can safely handle and operate your motorcycle. Having the ability to recover your bike before you crash could potentially save you from a crushed foot that needs multiple corrective surgeries, or worse, amputation.
Second, you must not underestimate the benefit of wearing protective gear. The single most effective way to protect your feet and prevent injuries while riding is to wear a sturdy pair of motorcycle boots. Often made of hard leather, boots can absorb much of the impact to your feet if an accident occurs.
The same is true of other protective gear. Leather jackets, pants, gloves, a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmet, and proper eyewear go a long way in helping you avoid other serious personal injuries such as a neck injury or head injury if you are involved in a motorcycle crash. Following these guidelines can help reduce the risk of motorcycle fatalities.
What to Do if You Have a Foot Injury Caused by a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accident injuries can be costly, especially when your feet sustain serious injuries. Multiple surgeries can cost tens of thousands of dollars, making it difficult to afford the medical care an accident victim needs.
If you get into a wreck, you need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to ensure you don’t do any further damage and to create a medical record of your injury. The next step is to get in touch with a motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your options.
After sustaining any injury in a motorcycle wreck, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and advocate to get you the compensation you deserve from the parties at-fault.
Contact the skilled legal team at The Miley Legal Group today to schedule a free consultation and to discuss the details of your motorcycle accident and foot injury.