Head and Brain Trauma After a Bicycle Accident

Head and Brain Trauma After a Bicycle Accident

Bicyclists are generally required to wear helmets in most jurisdictions or should even if they are not mandatory. Falling from a bicycle or colliding with a motor vehicle or object in the road can produce severe head trauma leading to concussions and brain trauma in some cases. Wearing a bike helmet, though, has consistently been shown to reduce the incidence of head injuries by up to 70%.

Concussions are being taken more seriously than ever since it was revealed that NFL players who had sustained multiple concussions or repeated hits to the head over many years were suffering severe brain injuries and succumbing only a few years after retiring. Further studies have shown that even a seemingly mild concussion can produce symptoms that last for months in some people.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is also a consequence of a bicycle injury when the rider is thrown from the bike to the asphalt or strikes a car door or other object. If you sustain a facial fracture, your chances of a TBI is increased.

A concussion is a jarring of the brain inside the skull and is a mild TBI. If you begin to lose cognitive functions, it can develop into a severe one that may be permanent. Symptoms of a concussion following a bicycle accident include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Difficulty in thinking
  • Change in mood–persistent feelings of sadness and sleeplessness
  • Inability to control your emotions (severe cases)

If you experience any of these, immediately be checked out by your doctor to rule out further complications. You may need a CT scan or MRI if your symptoms are severe. Most concussive injuries require that you rest and slowly integrate back into normal activities including physical ones. If you do not, getting a second concussion can lead to permanent cognitive changes.

A skull fracture is another injury suffered by bike riders. Trauma can cause sharp edges of the skull to penetrate the brain, causing bleeding. An obvious sign of a skull fracture is bleeding or clear fluid draining from the ears or nose.

Head trauma can also cause bleeding in your brain when the blood vessels are damaged. The blood can pool because it is trapped, creating a hematoma. This can cause pressure on the brain and cut off blood flow creating a medical emergency that will require surgery.

Most people who suffer concussions do recover completely. But if you had prior concussions, then you risk long lasting or even permanent damage. Your injury claim is based on the nature and extent of your injuries, so naturally, an injury that produces a skull fracture or hematoma leads to greater damages in a claim or lawsuit. But if a mild head injury leads to permanent damage because of a prior concussion, you are still entitled to substantial compensation for your damages regardless of your prior compromised or weakened condition.

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