Each year, accidents involving motorcycles cause thousands of fatalities and tens of thousands of injuries. Brain trauma is among the most serious of these injuries, since it can cause paralysis, epilepsy and even death. In short, the sudden impact of a motorcycle crash may cause irreparable damage either to the entire brain or to specific areas of the brain.
What to look for if your loved one has sustained a brain injury
The symptoms of an accident victim who has sustained a brain injury can range from pronounced to imperceptible. A victim with mild symptoms may appear confused or disoriented and complain of headache or memory loss. Moderate symptoms include loss of consciousness, lethargy, and swelling or bleeding. Those with severe symptoms remain unconscious for more than six hours, even when they are stimulated. Most brain injury victims experience a combination of injuries, such as concussions, contusions and swelling, with symptoms that are not always easily identifiable.
Helmets, injuries and riders’ rights
While helmets may mitigate the extent to which brain injuries affect motorcycle accident victims, even those who wear helmets may still experience debilitating brain injuries. Additionally, those who do not wear helmets may face an uphill battle in lawsuits to recover for their head injuries. In Florida, where the law requires riders to wear a helmet unless they are covered by an insurance policy providing at least $10,000 in medical benefits, the decision not to wear a helmet may reduce potential damages for brain injuries. While riders with proper medical insurance have the right not to wear a helmet, they should seriously consider the consequences of their decision.
Success stories from the road to recovery
Even for those with the most serious brain injuries, recovery may be possible. While life may never be quite the same, many return to some degree of normalcy, even going back to their jobs and families when their injuries heal. With excellent medical care and the spirit to persevere, those who have suffered serious brain injuries can enjoy healthy and productive lives.
Assessing legal options after a serious brain injury is challenging at best. Guidance from medical and legal experts is critical to assessing next steps for those injured in motorcycle accidents.