Anything from a quick jolt to a strong blow can create a motorcycle head injury. It’s important to understand one’s rights when suffering a traumatic brain injury after a motorcycle accident, especially when the head injury after the motorcycle accident was caused by somebody other than the driver.
Complications of a Traumatic Brain injury after a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists are especially prone to suffer head injuries because of the limited protection they have on a bike. Although helmets can diminish the severity of a motorcycle head injury significantly, it’s not always enough.
Sometimes the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury after a motorcycle accident manifest right away, and other times, they don’t. It could take days or even weeks before they appear. This is why it’s important to seek immediate medical attention and return to the doctor if new symptoms arise or they become worse. Persistent headaches, vomiting, seizures, slurred speech, dilated pupils, changes in behavior, and weakness in the arms and legs are just some examples.
There are a variety of complications and long-term consequences that can accompany a motorcycle head injury. The more severe the injury, the more likely they are to happen. In the most severe cases, the person may slip into unconsciousness, such as a coma or vegetative state.
The following are other long-term effects of a moderate to severe motorcycle head injury:
- seizures (post-traumatic epilepsy);
- nerve damage;
- cerebrospinal fluid buildup (swelling and pressure in the brain);
- damage to blood vessels;
- cognitive impairment (affecting concentration, memory, thinking, attention and judgment);
- changes in behavior/mood (depression, emotional swings, aggression, lethargy, outbursts);
- difficulties communicating (talking, understanding, following conversations);
- vision problems (loss of or blurred vision); and
- altered senses of smell, taste, touch and hearing.
The prognosis for someone who has a motorcycle head injury depends on a variety of factors — such as how quickly treatment was received, the extent of damage and even the person’s health prior to the accident. Some will recover, but others may never be the same. This could mean a lifetime of special care and a diminished quality of life.
How Motorcycle Helmet Laws May Impact Recovery of Damages
When someone else was at fault for the motorcycle accident, it may be possible to seek damages for medical expenses and other damages. One of the issues that may arise is whether or not wearing a helmet impacts recovery. In Texas, helmets are required. But there are also exceptions to the law.
Those who are at least 21 years old and have health insurance that meets Texas Department of Insurance requirements do not have to wear a helmet. This means that either a letter or the insurance card will indicate “motorcycle health” is provided.
So someone is 20 or younger, or is required to carry motorcycle health coverage and doesn’t, may have their ability to recover damages impacted if a helmet wasn’t worn. At the very least, it could diminish the amount available because it may be argued that had the person followed the law, the head injury might not have been as severe.
Whatever the circumstances, it’s important to seek legal advice from an attorney. Moderate to severe head injuries can result in substantial medical costs, missed time from work and even permanent disability. Julie Johnson is a motorcycle accident lawyer in Dallas who has a unique background that can benefit victims of motorcycle accidents. Because she represented corporations and insurance companies prior to opening her own firm, she knows the defenses they use to minimize insurance payouts and reduce their own bottom lines when it comes to rewarding monies to accident victims. Read Julie Johnson’s biography for more detail.