Motorcycle Accidents: Brain Trauma and Your Legal Rights

You probably ride a motorcycle because you love the thrill of being out on the open road, feeling the breeze through your hair, and enjoying that inexplicable freedom that only a motorcycle can give. However, you should also realize that enjoying the ride comes with safety concerns. On average, there are 27 times more fatalities in accidents involving motorcycles than those involving cars, since motorcycles lack the protective enclosure that the body of a car provides.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Crashes

Head injuries and resulting brain trauma are the most common injuries in motorcycle accidents. While helmets significantly reduce the severity of head injuries, some riders either go on the road without them or try out dangerous stunts that could still cause injury even with a helmet.

Traumatic brain injuries come in three categories based on how the injury was sustained, and its severity. These categories are:


  • Mild


The injured person will be conscious but disoriented. There may be some memory loss, light sensitivity, and headache, and the person may lose consciousness briefly. Concussions are categorized as mild traumatic brain injuries and are the most common kind of such injuries. While nominally referred to as mild brain trauma, concussions can cause serious harm and patients should be closely monitored.


  • Moderate


Loss of consciousness can last between 20 minutes and 6 hours in with moderate brain injuries. There may be some swelling or bleeding in the brain, but the person can be woken up with some stimulation. As with mild brain injuries, a moderate brain injury is cause for serious concern and medical attention.


  • Severe


In this case, a person can lose consciousness for more than 6 hours and may have prolonged memory loss even after regaining consciousness. Severe trauma to the brain can lead to permanent disability or even death.

Each of these categories requires immediate medical attention to give the victim the best chance to fully recover and return to a normal life.

Legal Implications of a Brain Injury Resulting from a Motorcycle Accident

If you or your loved one suffered brain trauma resulting from a motorcycle accident, you should contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Time is of the essence to begin the investigation and determine what caused the accident, which parties is responsible and the best strategy to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Many motorcycle accidents are caused by other motorists and not the riders. This is because motorcycles are harder to see and so motorists may fail to give motorcyclists their right of way. Accidents can also be caused (and injuries exacerbated) by defects in design or manufacturing, which may lead to a claim against the manufacturer for a defective design or part. Here again, time is of the essence. Your lawyer needs to interview witnesses and investigate the accident scene including the vehicles involved before evidence is lost or forgotten.

Your lawyer will also need to review your medical records to assess the damage to your body and your motorcycle. Your ability to resume your normal activities after brain trauma as well as past and future medical expenses will factor into your settlement or the evidence presented to the jury if your case goes to trial.

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