Traumatic brain injuries are among the most common injuries from motorcycle accidents. Although all brain injuries are serious, some are relatively mild and some are severe and life-altering. If you have been in a motorcycle crash and experienced any of the symptoms below, you should seek medical attention immediately. The effects of traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, can be disastrous. Even mild TBI can require weeks to recover completely.
TBI is the result of a blow to the head or a jolt to the body that creates a strong pressure within the skull. Brain injury can occur when there is bruising or bleeding on the brain, such as in acute subdural hematoma, when blood vessels of the brain rupture. It can also be the result of swelling of the brain due to severe impact.
TBI is often caused by a head injury incurred in a motorcycle accident. Severe brain injury can even be fatal. Motorcycle helmets can help prevent head injury, but concussions are still commonly seen in motorcycle accident victims. Motorcycle helmet use has increased dramatically over the years as helmet laws have taken effect in many states.
Motorcycle crashes are notorious for causing traumatic brain injuries, with some even leading to permanent brain damage. This is because when traffic accidents occur, unlike those in a car, motorcyclists are exposed to the brunt of the impact. There is nothing to shield them, and severe injuries can occur even if they wear a motorcycle helmet.
Signs of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury:
- A brief or no lapse of consciousness
- Confusion or disorientation
- Inability to focus
- Dizziness or trouble maintaining balance
Mild traumatic brain injuries are often called concussions. Sometimes the person loses consciousness for a very short time, but often they simply seem confused and dazed. They may be unsure what happened and may complain of a headache. Even though these injuries are mild in severity, all brain injuries must be taken seriously. Brain tissue does not handle the force of impact well, and TBI victims often suffer symptoms for some time after a motorcycle accident.
Signs of Moderate Traumatic Brain Injuries:
- Loss of consciousness from a few minutes to several hours
- Confusion that lingers for weeks
- Ongoing cognitive and physical struggles that can last months or can even be permanent
- Behavioral changes that may seem to affect personality and moods
Moderate TBI can occur when the head strikes a surface suddenly, such as when someone is thrown in a motorcycle accident and hits their head against the pavement. Some people with moderate traumatic brain injury seem to recover relatively quickly with few lingering aftereffects, but others face a lifetime of disability. Most individuals who experience moderate traumatic brain injury will require some degree of ongoing physical and occupational therapy.
Signs of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury:
- Extended loss of consciousness, coma, and memory loss
- Seizures and convulsions
- Fractures of the skull or invasive brain injuries
- Permanent neurological damage
- Ongoing cognitive, speech and language, and physical effects
- These injuries may be life threatening
- Often these are open head injuries, but even closed head injuries can result in severe TBI
Severe traumatic brain injuries are devastating, and some will be fatal injuries. Others will recover some functioning and, with extensive treatment and support, may be able to regain some normal abilities. Some motorcycle accident victims may have an ongoing struggle with memory loss. But most people who experience severe TBI face a lifetime of disability. Individuals with severe TBI may require extended treatment in a rehabilitation or complete care facility. Remember that even helmeted riders can suffer serious injuries in a motorcycle crash.
As you have read, brain injuries in a motorcycle accident victim can range from relatively minor to severe. Any time a head injury is involved, you should seek appropriate medical care. Brain injury victims can struggle - a brain injury can effect the person's ability to exercise good judgment when it comes to seeking medical treatment. Brain trauma can interfere with their ability to think clearly and have rational thoughts.
If a friend or a loved one has been in a motorcycle wreck, especially if they exhibit common symptoms of brain injury, help them consult with medical professionals as soon as possible. Serious complications can occur if they do not get proper care in the immediate aftermath of a crash.
In recent years, we have learned about the cumulative effects of repeated concussions. Doctors and researchers have found that cognitive defects increase each time someone experiences a concussion. In addition, concussions have been linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Helmet Use in Motorcycle Accidents
In recent years, much research has been done into the use of helmets, especially for those involved in motorcycle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 1,870 motorcyclists lives were saved by helmet use in 2017 alone. Further, they found that an additional 750 bikers could have survived their motorcycle accident had they only been wearing a helmet. Ask most any brain injury victim if helmets make sense and they will certainly have an opinion.
Safety features of helmets have improved tremendously over the years. Today's helmets are better than ever when it comes to preventing brain injuries caused by motorcycle accidents. Although no helmet can protect from all brain injury, modern helmets can provide tremendous protection and greatly reduce your risk of being a TBI victim.
Just as football players wear specialized helmets, we recommend wearing a helmet for even experienced motorcycle riders. Head injuries that occur in motorcycle accidents often result in brain damage. The brain simply cannot repair itself, so losses to cognitive functioning are usually permanent. But we understand that some bikers feel that helmets are restrictive and, in some areas, are not required by law.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tracks motorcycle and motor vehicle accidents. They show that helmet use helps lower the rate of fatalities. Helmeted motorcyclists are simply less likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when a motorcycle accident occurs.
Medical costs associated with brain injuries caused by motorcycle accidents add up quickly. In addition to emergency medical care, victims of TBI may require ongoing physical therapy or occupational therapy. They may not be able to work for an extended period of time while they recover from their brain injury. Some motorcycle accident victims will not be able to return to their former jobs. Medical expenses alone can be crippling, but the emotional turmoil these victims and their families suffer can be devastating.
In these complicated cases, the attorney client relationship is especially important. Motorcycle accident victims needs to know they can rely on their personal injury attorney to put their needs first. We take pride in our ability to be reached by accident victims and their families any time, day or night. We have a long term record of representing motorcycle riders and are part of the motorcycle community ourselves.
If you or a family member have been in a motorcycle accident and have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, you need to have legal representation to help get you fair compensation. The medical bills, lost wages, emotional suffering, and other associated costs related to traumatic brain injury are tremendous, and can quickly devastate a family. We do not believe that individuals suffering from traumatic brain injuries should have to struggle with the economic costs, as well.
You do not need to go it alone. Contact The Law Office of Kass & Moses today for a free consultation. We will help you take legal action and will pursue potentially liable parties. With over 25 years of experience representing bikers with traumatic brain injury nationwide, we understand your needs and will strive to use the law to your advantage.