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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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Spinal Cord Injuries & Motorcycle Accidents


While riding a motorcycle is fun and exhilarating, it does carry its fair share of risks. One of the most severe injuries that can occur from a motorcycle accident is to the spinal cord. This article will delve into the types of spinal cord injuries that can result from motorcycle accidents, their causes, and the long-term implications they can have on a person's life.

Spinal Cord Injuries as a Result of Motorcycle Accidents

The spinal cord, part of the central nervous system, is a bundle of nerves running down the middle of your back. It carries signals between the brain and the rest of the body, controlling movement and sensation. In a motorcycle accident, the force of impact can damage this vital structure in several ways, leading to different types of injuries.

A motorcycle accident can result in either a complete or an incomplete spinal cord injury. In the case of a complete spinal cord injury, the individual experiences a complete loss of both sensory and motor functions below the site of the injury.

This means that the person affected will not be able to feel or move anything below the site of the injury. For instance, an injury to the middle or lower parts of the spinal cord can result in paraplegia, which is paralysis of the lower body, while an injury to the neck area can cause quadriplegia, the paralysis of all four limbs.

An incomplete spinal cord injury refers to a condition where communication from or to the brain isn't entirely disrupted. This differs from a complete spinal cord injury that results in a total loss of sensation and movement below the injury level. With an incomplete injury, there's still some level of function beneath the injury site. The degree of retained function is contingent on the damage's severity and location.

Specific, common types of spinal cord injuries that a motorcyclist can sustain during an accident, including but not limited to:

  • Herniated discs. The spinal cord is protected by vertebrae, which are cushioned by discs. A high-impact crash can cause these discs to rupture or herniate, pressing against the spinal cord and causing pain, numbness, or weakness.
  • Fractures. The vertebrae can fracture or dislocate upon impact, potentially damaging the spinal cord. This can lead to loss of sensation and motor function below the point of injury, a condition known as paralysis.
  • Spinal cord contusions. This is essentially a bruise on the spinal cord resulting from a blunt force trauma. Symptoms can range from mild numbness to complete loss of function, which is dependent upon the severity of the contusion.
  • Spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a health issue characterized by the narrowing of the spaces within your spine. This condition can exert pressure on the nerves traversing the spine, often occurring in the neck and lower back areas. The common symptoms include discomfort, numbness, muscle weakness, as well as issues with bladder or bowel control.

Long-Term Effects & Treatment

Spinal cord injuries can lead to severe long-term consequences that are devastating. They often require extensive rehabilitation and, in severe cases, can result in permanent disability. Paralysis, chronic pain, and loss of bodily function control are among the potential outcomes.

The treatment for spinal cord injuries can vary based on the severity and type of injury. It typically involves surgery to stabilize the spine and reduce damage, followed by physical therapy to regain as much function as possible. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage pain and other symptoms.


Motorcyclists can take several precautions to prevent spinal cord injuries. Wearing a helmet and protective gear, following traffic rules, and riding defensively can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. Additionally, taking motorcycle safety courses can equip riders with the skills to handle emergency situations on the road.

Call (505) 219-2176 to Schedule an Initial Consultation

When a client is injured in a motorcycle accident due to another party's negligence, our approach is comprehensive and meticulous. The team at Michael Doyle, Attorney at Law begins by conducting thorough investigations to gather crucial details about the incident. We consult with witnesses, collect evidence, and analyze accident reports to build a robust case.

Negotiating with insurance companies is another critical aspect of our work. We can communicate assertively yet professionally with these entities, advocating for fair settlement offers that reflect our client's injuries and related expenses.

In instances where insurance negotiations do not yield satisfactory results, our team is prepared to take the case to court. We can present compelling arguments backed by solid evidence and expert testimonies to seek justice for our clients.

Contact our team to get started on your claim today.