Taking your bike down an open Virginia road might be a great way to spend an afternoon, but even simple motorcycle ride can come with serious risks. When other drivers don’t pay attention or follow the rules of the road, motorcyclists are susceptible to major injuries—including the possibility of a life-altering traumatic brain injury (TBI).
How Brain Injuries Occur During Motorcycle Accidents
Due to the lack of a physical frame surrounding a driver, motorcycle accidents often result in more serious wounds than a car crash. This is particularly true when large vehicles like cargo trucks or passenger busses are involved.
A TBI can occur during a collision if you are directly struck by a car, dragged underneath a vehicle, or strike a stationary object after being thrown from your motorcycle. Hitting pavement after a collision often leads to severe head and neck injuries, including TBIs. No matter how the accident occurs, a motorcycle driver can potentially experience any of these types of brain injuries:
This TBI involves direct tearing of the actual brain tissue if the skull is punctured during an accident.
Although one of the milder types of brain injury, a concussion’s symptoms may still be serious and aren’t always visible directly after the accident. Concussions may result in loss of consciousness, slurred speech, and slowing of normal thought processes.
A “coup” injury occurs when the brain strikes the side of your skull, while a “contrecoup” is the corresponding alternate injury if the brain bounces back and hits the other side. These injuries can occur even when wearing a helmet.
Cranial nerve damage
If nerves are damaged in a motorcycle crash, you may experience facial paralysis, difficulty swallowing, or loss of smell or hearing.
Diffuse axonal injury
Even if you don’t directly strike your head in a crash, you may experience a diffuse axonal injury when brain tissue is compressed or stretched due to the sudden, violent movement of a motorcycle accident.
Any motorcycle crash can be a traumatic ordeal that doesn’t end just with the physical head wound itself. You may further deal with post-traumatic stress disorder and other emotional issues that can interfere with your daily life, cause friction in relationships, and make it difficult to engage in normal work or leisure activities.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash
Whether you experience mild or severe TBI symptoms after a motorcycle accident, a knowledgeable attorney can be your best ally in holding the other driver responsible for your injuries, as well as recovering damages you are owed.
Between damage to your property, the price of an initial ER visit, medical bills for surgeries, out of pocket costs, and loss of wages, a motorcycle crash can be financially devastating. To protect your right to compensation, you need to take these steps after a crash:
Visit a doctor as soon as possible
Always see a doctor after any motorcycle collision, even if you don’t immediately feel hurt. Internal damage is common, particularly with traumatic brain injuries where the full scope of the problem may not be immediately visible.
Follow medical advice
You want to establish a paper trail on your injuries and show exactly how the crash has impacted your life, which may involve expensive therapy sessions and ongoing treatments.
With the help of a traumatic brain injury lawyer, you can acquire contact information for witnesses who saw the crash, utilize accident reconstruction experts, and use other sources to prove negligence caused your injury.
Avoid social media
Your traumatic brain injury lawyer should advise you to never discuss your accident on social media, as insurance carriers or attorneys for the at-fault party may use your photos and words against you in court.
Besides using medical records and eyewitness statements to prove your case, an attorney serves another important role. It is vitally important to have a legal professional handling communication with insurance adjusters. Insurers may put pressure on you to accept a low-ball settlement quickly, or even attempt to avoid paying out anything at all. An attorney with experience in motorcycle crashes and a focus on brain injuries can help overcome these obstacles.