Any car, truck, or motorcycle collision comes with the possibility of suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Unfortunately, that likelihood increases when a pedestrian is directly struck by a vehicle. With no protection offered by a helmet, airbag, or even a vehicle’s chassis, a pedestrian hurt while crossing a Richmond street can experience devastating head wounds with lifelong repercussions.
How Brain Injuries Occur in Virginia Pedestrian Accidents
Everyone has a basic duty of care they are required to uphold while driving. That includes being on the lookout for pedestrians and not engaging in negligent behaviors that are likely to cause a collision. Distracted driving, backing up without checking the rearview mirror, failing to yield, running a red light, or driving under the influence can all easily result in serious injury for someone walking or jogging on a sidewalk.
Senior citizens in particular have an increased risk of brain injury during pedestrian accidents, but Virginians of any age can suffer a TBI when struck by a vehicle. Colliding with a vehicle may cause closed head wounds with no visible penetration, particularly if the violent motion of the accident forces the victim’s brain to strike the sides of the skull. In other cases, hitting the front of a vehicle or striking the pavement may result in skull fractures and penetration of the brain.
In either case, the impacts of traumatic brain injuries suffered by a pedestrian may include:
Depression and emotional outbursts are common after brain injuries, while some people will also experience difficulty understanding and interpreting social cues. Pedestrians with serious brain injuries may have problems with impulse control or behave in ways that violate social norms.
Loss of concentration, difficulty forming or retaining memories, and inhibited problem-solving can all occur after a brain injury. In some cases, victims also suffer from language and communication problems.
There may be an immediate physical reaction from a TBI, like loss of consciousness, but the potential also exists for recurring, long-term physical issues like nausea, headaches, vision or hearing impairment, and seizures.
Recovering After a Pedestrian Accident Traumatic Brain Injury
Pedestrians often have extremely high medical bills to deal with after a TBI, but those expenses aren’t just from hospital stays and surgeries. There may additionally be costs associated with long-term therapy to deal with the cognitive issues listed above.
Nearly any type of traumatic brain injury can have a major impact on all aspects of your daily life, from the inability to work to problems with romantic and family relationships. That’s why anyone hurt in a pedestrian accident has a legal right to recover damages for:
- Pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, and other non-economic damages that don’t have a specific dollar amount
- Lost earning potential
- Wages specifically lost while recovering from the accident
- Long-term medical costs like therapy, in-home care, or future surgeries
- Medical bills stemming from the accident
Your ability to recover these types of damages depends on what you do after the accident. While you should photograph the scene and gather contact information from witnesses when possible, many accidents with a traumatic brain injury may require immediate hospitalization. Even if you are able to remain at the scene, always visit a doctor after any pedestrian injury, as traumatic brain injuries with closed head wounds aren’t directly visible and symptoms may not appear for days.
The most important step after seeking proper medical attention is to get in touch with an attorney specializing in traumatic brain injury cases. An attorney can investigate the accident, determine who was at fault, and find the best path forward to recovering damages. An experienced attorney will further help you steer clear of mistakes that could prevent you from receiving compensation or give an insurance provider an excuse to pay you less than you deserve.