Jason Stephens | February 6, 2021 | Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle drivers often enjoy the adventure and exhilaration their bikes can offer. Motorcycles connect riders with their surroundings. They also provide a feeling of freedom that typical passenger vehicles do not afford.
Despite the excitement motorcycles can deliver, they can also be very dangerous. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in injury or death for the motorcyclist or their passengers.
Because they provide less physical protection than cars or trucks, motorcycle riders are at an increased risk for severe and long-lasting injuries. One of the most common and dangerous types of harm motorcyclists can sustain is a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
If you have sustained a brain injury as the result of a motorcycle collision, you may be owed financial compensation for your associated costs. In the following post, we will discuss everything you need to know when it comes to traumatic brain injuries that result from motorcycle accidents.
Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries
Motorcycles do not provide the same safety features that typical passenger vehicles offer. Cars, trucks, and vans include the following elements, which motorcycles lack:
- Seat belts
- Surrounding steel frame
Because motorcyclists are so exposed to the surrounding environment, they are at an increased risk of brain injuries during a collision. The lack of seat belts, for example, means motorcyclists are nearly always ejected from the bike during a crash.
Typically, traumatic brain injuries are caused by a significant impact or blow to the head. There are two main categories of traumatic brain injuries.
“Closed head” injuries are those in which the brain suffers damage, but the bone of the skull is not breached. “Open head” injuries, also called penetrating head injuries, occur when the skull bone is cracked or otherwise pierced.
If the victim’s head collides with the roadway or another object, the likelihood of traumatic brain injury is incredibly high. Medical professionals classify brain injuries based on three levels of severity. The severity classifications they use are mild, moderate, and severe.
Even mild brain injuries can cause significant and damaging symptoms, such as chronic pain or memory loss. Because the brain is responsible for so many physiological systems, the severity of TBI can be difficult to determine immediately following an accident.
The symptoms of TBI may be temporary or permanent and can include:
- Short-term or long-term memory loss
- Loss of control over behavior or emotional responses
- Increased impulsivity
- Inability to understand speech or verbally communicate
- Loss of senses, including smell, taste, or vision
- Decreased mobility or range of motion
- Psychological symptoms, such as anxiety or depression
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms after a motorcycle accident, seek medical care immediately.
Common Medical Complications From TBI
Beyond the cognitive and emotional symptoms listed above, TBI can result in a wide range of medical complications. Some of the common medical complications TBI victims might experience are:
This condition involves a harmful accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid after a brain injury. This can cause further physical damage to the brain and should be treated quickly.
Even people with mild TBI may experience seizures as a result of their accident. Seizures typically appear shortly after the inciting event. However, victims sometimes suffer from long-term or continuous seizures. This is known as post-traumatic epilepsy.
Open head injuries make the victim particularly susceptible to infections. Bacteria may find its way into the tissue inside the skull, allowing infection to occur.
Infections from open head injuries may result in severe fevers as the body attempts to fight pathogens. Certain types of damage to the structure of the brain may also cause fevers.
Blood Clots and Stroke
When a victim suffers from TBI, the blood vessels inside the brain may become damaged. This can lead to blood clots and, if left untreated, stroke.
Blood clots may also occur in the veins inside of the limbs if a victim is immobilized for a long period of time following the injury.
All of these medical complications can become severe and lead to long-term damage. If you have sustained an injury to your head or neck from a motorcycle accident, you may be owed financial compensation.
The Importance of Helmets
It should be obvious, but all motorcyclists should wear a helmet at all times. Helmets are the only type of motorcycle safety equipment that can effectively help to prevent traumatic brain injuries.
Motorcycle helmets prevent billions of dollars in medical costs every year. The lives of over 1,800 people are saved through the use of helmets annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Motorcyclists reduce their chances of suffering from TBI by almost 70% through helmet use. Wearing a helmet cuts the likelihood of a fatal collision by 42%. Because TBI can be so damaging, wearing a helmet is a vital safety practice for motorcyclists.
Seeking Financial Recovery After an Accident
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to another party’s negligence, you may be owed financial compensation. Contacting a qualified personal injury lawyer can give you the best chance of recovering the money you are owed.
There are many different factors that go into the final amount of compensation you might receive. Common types of financial recovery from motorcycle accident settlements and verdicts include:
- Medical bills and expenses, such as hospitalization, appointment costs, and ambulance rides
- Lost income and missed wages
- Decreased earning capacity if your injuries result in long-term disabilities
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life activities
- Emotional distress, including panic, stress, and anxiety
- Loss of relationship or consortium – typically invoked in wrongful death cases
The physical and psychological damages from a traumatic brain injury are difficult enough. You should not bear the additional financial burdens from your motorcycle accident alone. Speaking with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you recover the money that is rightfully yours.