With the warmer months fast approaching, drivers will soon notice more motorcycles on the roads alongside them. Over the last two years, interest in motorcycling has seen a significant increase. In 2021, motorcycle sales went up almost nine percent.

We have previously written about motorcycle accidents as part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As motorcyclists have few options by way of protection compared to operators of other vehicles, the risk of serious injury in accidents is heightened. Just as much as motorcyclists need to do their part to ensure their own safety, drivers of other vehicles should watch out and be alert for these more vulnerable motorists.

Motorcycling Comes With Serious Risks

Although a fun way to experience the outdoors, when motorcycle accidents occur, they can be devastating. For many injuries, the residual pain and suffering may not be temporary. If you or a loved one has been injured, it is crucial to speak with a personal injury lawyer to understand your case. You may be entitled to compensation to help cover out-of-pocket costs caused by a motorcycle accident.

Personal injury claims, including those related to motorcycle accidents, can be legally and technically complex. The terms outlined below are commonly used in many such cases and are important to know.



The division of liability between two or more parties, depending on their proportionate fault for a motorcycle accident.

Chronic pain syndrome

Mild to unbearable pain anywhere in the body that lasts for a prolonged period (more than three to six months). The pain does not need to be ongoing; it can be intermittent to be classified as chronic pain syndrome.

Contributory negligence

A defence based on the argument that a claimant’s negligence contributed to the motorcycle accident. Typically, a claim for damages will be reduced if the claimant shares responsibility for the injuries they experienced.


The compensation one receives for losses suffered. The operating principle is that “the injured person should be put in the position he or she would have been in if not injured.” Damages can be awarded for pain and suffering, financial loss, or punitive purposes, such as when the action causing the accident is so egregious as to warrant something more.


Describes a partial or complete break of a bone. There are many different fractures, including compound fractures, hairline fractures, spinal fractures, and impacted fractures. Fractures can be dangerous as they come with the risk of infection and other complications.

Mild traumatic brain injury (MBTI)

Also referred to as a concussion, occurs due to the brain being shaken in the skull. MBTI can lead to anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other conditions.


A motor vehicle, other than a moped, that is mounted on two or three wheels and includes those motor vehicles known in the automotive trade as motorcycles and scooters.

Motor vehicle

A vehicle that is propelled by any power other than muscular power or a moped but does not include a bicycle, a power bicycle, an aircraft, an implement of husbandry, or a motor vehicle that runs only on rails.


When a person fails to follow an objective standard of care for others, regardless of their intention.

Open fracture

Also known as compound fractures, occurs when the force of impact in an accident causes a bone fragment to come through the skin.

Orthopedic injuries

Injuries that affect joints, muscles, and/or nerves. This can include bone fractures and injuries to muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Some orthopedic injuries can heal quickly, while others can result in long-term or permanent disability.

Pecuniary damages

Damages are awarded to the plaintiff for economic losses that have been or will be incurred by reason of the accident. These include special damages and future losses. Pecuniary damages can include past and future loss of income, travel expenses, funeral expenses, and future care costs.

Punitive damages

Damages are ordered for the express purpose of punishing a party for conduct that is malicious, oppressive, or high-handed.

Road rash

An injury that occurs in an accident when a person’s body slides across pavement. This type of injury is more often experienced by riders who do not wear protective clothing such as leather jackets, motorcycle jeans, gloves, and kneepads.

Simple fracture

Also known as a closed fracture, occurs when there is a fracture, but the bones do not break through the skin.

Soft tissue injuries

Injuries involve damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons throughout the body. Symptoms of these injuries may not appear until the next day. Some soft tissue injury signs include back pain, joint swelling and stiffness, difficulty turning your head, and headache or nausea.

Special damages

Out-of-pocket expenses that occur before the trial of a personal injury claim.

Spinal injury

An injury to the spinal cord that changes, either permanently or temporarily, one’s typical motor, sensory or autonomic functions in the body. Spinal injuries can result from trauma to the spinal cord, either directly or indirectly, by the impact on bones, soft tissue, and vessels around the spinal cord. There are two types: complete (loss of feeling and voluntary movement below the injury) and incomplete (some function and movement below the injury remain).

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Occurs from sudden blows, humps, or hits to the head, which causes the brain to bruise from its impact against the skull. This may also result in bleeding and the tearing of nerve fibres. A traumatic brain injury’s potential effects include memory loss, difficulty thinking and concentrating, headaches, emotional instability, loss of language skills, loss of function in the arms and legs, and a coma.

Calgary Lawyers Representing Those Who Have Been Injured or Who Have Lost Loved One Due To Motorcycle Accidents

At Cuming & Gillespie LLP, we represent those injured or who have lost loved ones in motorcycle accidents. Our skilled personal injury lawyers have over 20 years of experience helping clients suffering from catastrophic or severe accident injuries. We value the responsibility of acting for these individuals and understand the importance of getting compensation to help rebuild their lives and provide the best quality of life possible. 

Cuming & Gillespie LLP is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Calgary and proudly serves clients in Calgary, Edmonton, and throughout Alberta. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call 403-571-0555 (toll-free at 1-800-682-2480).