Biker’s arm (or rider’s arm) is a type of injury that frequently occurs when a motorcyclist is involved in a collision with a car or truck. Because of its inherent instability, a motorcycle is likely to go down in a serious accident, either throwing the rider from the bike or causing the bike to land on the rider.
Whether a falling rider uses their arms to brace against impact with the ground or the bike actually falls on the biker, serious damage to the nerves in the upper arm can occur. This nerve damage results in injuries with symptoms ranging from minor discomfort to severe pain, limited mobility, and paralysis.
Biker’s Arm Is a Result of Nerve Damage
There are three nerves that originate in the brachial plexus below your neck and control the movement of your fingers, arms, and hands:
The Ulnar Nerve that runs behind your elbow is called the “musician’s nerve” because it controls the small movements of your fingers.
The Radial Nerve controls movement in your upper arm, as well as in your wrist, fingers, and hand.
The Median Nerve which is called the “laborer’s nerve,” runs down the inside of your arm to your wrist and controls movement in your forearm and the palm of your hand.
Damage to one or more of these nerves can result in the symptoms of biker’s arm:
- Tingling or numbness of the fingers, hand, or arm
- Maintaining mobility in your arm but losing the use of your fingers and hand
- A loss of sensation in the shoulder and upper arm
- Limited arm mobility
- Paralysis of the arm
These symptoms might not present themselves immediately after your bike accident. It could be days or weeks before you become aware that you’ve sustained a biker’s arm injury in your wreck. For this reason, you should see a doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible after your crash.
Diagnostic tests and a medical exam can reveal injuries of which you’re not yet aware, so you can begin treatment immediately. An exam right after the accident also documents the connection between your wreck and your injuries. Evidence of this link is vital to the claim you’ll file with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for your damages: medical bills, property damage, lost wages, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering.
Causes and Treatment of Biker’s Arm
Motorcycle mishaps resulting in biker’s arm can occur due to a number of factors, including bad weather, poor road conditions, defective equipment, failure of the at-fault driver to check blind spots or yield to a motorcycle, and drug or alcohol impairment on the part of the negligent motorist. Good bike maintenance, riding sober, wearing protective clothing, and careful operation can all reduce the chance of suffering biker’s arm in a crash.
If you’re diagnosed with biker’s arm, your treatment might include massage, chiropractic care, physical therapy, medication, or surgery. Whatever treatments you undergo, the length of your nerve damage recovery is hard to predict. Your condition might improve in time, but reduced mobility and impaired arm or hand function can be prolonged. The worst cases of biker’s arm lead to paralysis of your fingers, hands, or arms. Because you might not be able to continue working at your job, enjoying family activities, or performing normal daily tasks that were possible before the accident, your insurance claim could be a valuable one that the insurer tries to dispute. In such a case, the services of an experienced lawyer are highly recommended.
Overcoming Bias Against Bikers
Biker bias refers to a type of prejudice on the part of people who think all motorcyclists are reckless outlaws responsible for their own accidents. In reality, a collision involving a bike and a larger vehicle is often caused by the driver of the larger vehicle. Your attorney will be vigilant for any signs of biker bias on the part of the defendants or the court and work to overcome it by clearly proving the liability of the at-fault driver in your accident.
Have You Suffered Rider’s Arm in a Motorcycle Crash?
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney who understands the potential cost of a biker’s arm injury can evaluate your claim, make a reasonable settlement demand, negotiate with the insurer to get fair compensation and take your case to trial if necessary. Please contact us online, start a chat, or call us at 605-306-4100 to schedule a free consultation. We accept cases on a contingency-fee basis, so you pay no attorney fees until we win your case.