Can You Suffer A Head Injury in a Motorcycle Accident?Last updated on: February 9, 2015
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Motorcycles are lighter, faster, and quicker than the average car on the road. However, they are often more difficult to see, and with fewer structural safety measures, riders are more likely to be seriously injured in a crash. The injuries that may be most devastating are those involving the head of the motorcycle driver; a head injury can cause death of course, but even when motorcyclists survive, they often experience significant pain and suffering, and require long-lasting rehabilitation; many motorcycle accidents also leave victims with serious financial burdens from lost wages and medical bills.
The injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience representing motorcycle accident victims, many of whom suffered terrible head injuries. We have helped them seek the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (800)-863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers.
common head injuries
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is estimated that since 2002, more than 25,000 lives have been saved by wearing motorcycle helmets. In fact, motorcycle helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle drivers and 41% effective for motorcycle passengers. However, helmets do not always protect riders, who can still be left with serious head and brain injuries; some of the most common head injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes include:
Traumatic Brain Injury
The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Injuries can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe; however, all TBIs should be taken seriously. After an injury, some victims may feel recovered after a few days while others will face life-long, lasting effects.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is usually caused by a blow to the head. In a motorcycle accident, smashing your head against a car, the ground, or another object may be enough to cause a concussion. The effects of a concussion are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance, and coordination.
There are several types of hematomas, which can range from mild head injuries to serious, life-threatening ones. Hematomas are classified by where they are located in the brain, but generally involve blood clots in or around the brain. In serious cases, surgery may be needed to relieve the pressure on the brain.
Skull fractures occur when the skull bone breaks. The most common type of skull fractures are linear skull fractures, which do not usually require surgery. However, in cases where part of the skull is sunken in, surgery may be needed to correct the fracture.
In some cases, a head injury may alter the brain’s ability to regulate moods. Depression, anxiety, and mood swings can occur after a head injury. Victims may also be irritable, angry, or express a lack of empathy; these changes in an individual’s personality may be especially noticeable and difficult for loved ones to adjust to and manage.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
A motorcycle accident may leave you upset, confused, and hurt. The days and weeks following an accident may feel overwhelming. However, the following steps should be taken to help ensure that you are able to pursue the maximum damages after a motorcycle accident.
1. Get Evaluated by A Medical Professional
Be sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible to determine whether you need medical treatment if you do not immediately receive medical care at the scene of the accident. Even after you leave the hospital or doctor’s office, be sure to watch for any additional signs or symptoms of injuries that can occur in the days following an accident. A head injury may not always be apparent after a motorcycle crash, so it is important to continue to monitor your symptoms and seek immediate medical attention if you don’t feel well.
2. Document Your Damage
If you were unable to take pictures at the scene of the accident, be sure to take photos of the damage to your motorcycle, your helmet, and any personal property, as well as any injuries you sustained as soon as possible. These pictures may be used later on to demonstrate the extent of your injuries and damage.
Additionally, you should obtain the police report if an officer responded to your accident. If you were not given a copy at the scene of the accident, call the police department to ask for a copy of the accident report or how to access this report once it becomes available.
3. Notify Your Insurance Company
After you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, your insurance company needs to be notified. However, it is best to call an experienced motorcycle injury attorney first for a few reasons. When an insurance agent speaks with you, they will frequently record the call, hoping to find evidence that an accident was your fault; these recordings can be used in court to hurt your chances of recovering money from the other party.
Additionally, you may not know how severe your injuries are when you talk to an insurance agent. A call that occurs a day or two after an accident will not account for the many long-lasting medical issues that can arise in the future as a result of your motorcycle accident. While it may be tempting to settle the accident with an insurance company right away, this may not be the actual value of your case and may be insufficient to cover your ongoing expenses; an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help ensure that if you settle, it’s for a fair amount.
4. Document Expenses Related to the Crash
It’s important that you keep track of all receipts and paperwork related to your accident. This could include hospital and doctor bills, emergency transportation costs, physical therapy invoices, documented time taken off from work due to your injuries, and receipts for the repair or replacement of your motorcycle.
5. Contact an Attorney
Our motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help walk you through every step of the process. If retained, they will ensure you receive proper medical treatment for your head injuries. The tasks they can perform on your behalf are very good reasons for hiring a personal injury lawyer when you’ve been in a motorcycle crash of any kind; they can:
- investigate the accident,
- interview witnesses,
- collect crash reports,
- negotiate with the insurance company,
- file a lawsuit,
- and go to trial if necessary.
At Zinda Law Group, our attorneys can help you determine the damages you are entitled to; if hired, they can help you pursue them. The amount of compensation you are eligible for will depend on the amount of your medical bills and the extent of your injuries and pain and suffering, among other things.
What If I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet When I Was Injured in the Accident?
Even if you believe you may be partially at fault for not wearing a helmet when you were injured, you may still be entitled to recover money. Each state sets its own law about motorcycle helmet usage that can depend on the age of the rider, whether they are the driver or a passenger, and the type of motorcycle. You can find the laws governing helmet usage for motorcyclists in your state by searching for “motorcycle helmet law in my state” using any Internet search engine; here we have listed some states which have particular laws pertaining to various aspects of the motorcycle riding experience:
Colorado motorcycle helmet law
Texas motorcycle helmet law
New Mexico motorcycle helmet law
Failing to wear a helmet when required will not usually bar victims from recovering; however, it may reduce the amount they are able to recover. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will be familiar with the applicable helmet laws in your state and once they have been retained will be able to provide more insight into the specific facts of your case.
What Compensation Can I Seek After a Motorcycle Accident?
After a motorcycle accident, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and pain and suffering. You may also be able to recover the costs for motorcycle repairs and time taken off from work due to your injuries. You must save receipts and bills related to your accident so that a personal injury attorney can help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
In order to file a lawsuit for injuries that you received in a motorcycle accident, you’ll need to be aware of the time limits, or statutes of limitations, that are in place. Each state sets its own time limits to file a personal injury case. While most states generally give victims two to three years to file a lawsuit, it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer near you as soon as possible to help ensure that you are able to pursue the money you deserve.
Contact a Lawyer Who Handles Motorcycle Accident Cases
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, our motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help. We understand the financial and emotional toll that a serious head injury can take on you and your loved ones and we want to help you receive the hospital costs, missed wages, and pain and suffering compensation that you deserve.
We believe an accident victim should never have to worry about being able to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case; that’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. Call Zinda Law Group at (800)-863-5312 to receive your free consultation with one of our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.