Traumatic brain injuries, also called TBIs, are more common in motorcycle accidents than other types of automobile accidents. A motorcyclist can suffer severe damage to the brain from an impact between the skull and an external object in a crash, such as the hood of a car or asphalt. Understanding the mechanics of what happens to the brain in a motorcycle accident may be able to help you protect yourself as a motorcyclist in Dallas.
High Risk of Brain Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes
Traumatic brain injuries can occur in many different types of accidents. Some of the most common are motor vehicle collisions, falls, struck-by object incidents and acts of violence. Any incident that involves a strike, bump or blow to the head can damage the cells and tissues of the brain, causing long-term symptoms and damage.
Many different elements increase the risk of head and brain injuries in a motorcycle crash:
- No seat belt
- No airbags
- No surrounding metal frame
- No helmet (depending on the rider)
Without a seat belt available, the motorcyclist is typically ejected from the vehicle in an accident. This leaves the rider exposed to serious bodily injuries, including striking the skull against something and suffering a brain injury. Impacts to the head, or the brain jostling around inside of the skull, can cause bleeding, swelling, bruising and tearing in the brain.
About Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury can describe many types of damage to the brain in a traumatic accident. For example, if the brain starts to swell, it can only expand so far within the confines of the skull. The brain may press against the inside of the skull and cause further harm in addition to original damage from the collision. Common types of TBIs in motorcycle accidents are concussions, contusions, edemas, hemorrhages and coup-contrecoup injuries.
A TBI can cause many symptoms, some of which are immediately noticeable and others that appear later:
- Feeling dazed or disoriented
- Memory loss
- Cognitive challenges
- Trouble communicating
- Problems sleeping
- Changes in personality, mood or behavior
A severe brain injury can also inflict long-term problems, such as the permanent loss of motor skills, irreversible memory loss, seizures and an increased risk of dementia. Every patient is unique. The effects of a TBI after a motorcycle accident will vary according to the individual, the area of the brain that is injured and the severity of the injury.
The Importance of Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet
The best way to prevent serious and life-threatening brain injuries as a motorcyclist is by wearing a helmet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 69 percent and the risk of death by 37 percent.
Although Texas law does not require motorcyclists over the age of 21 (with proper insurance coverage or certification) to wear helmets, it is the most effective way to avoid a life-changing TBI. A helmet provides a barrier between your skull and other objects in a motorcycle crash. The protective shell and padding can make all the difference in how severely injured you are in a collision. While you may still suffer a brain injury even with a helmet, the odds of a severe or fatal TBI are significantly reduced.
Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury in a motorcycle accident in Dallas, consult with an attorney for assistance with the legal process. Any type of brain injury is serious enough to warrant a conversation with a personal injury lawyer.
Without hiring an attorney, you may be at risk of an insurance company taking advantage of you and offering less financial compensation than you deserve for your long-term medical needs and lost wages. A lawyer can help you negotiate with an insurance company or represent you at trial for the outcome you need.