Riding a bicycle is fun and a good form of exercise, but head injuries are common in accidents. Unfortunately, some of these head injuries may lead to long-term difficulties and cause permanent disability in certain cases. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of head injuries that occur in bicycle accidents and what you can do to reduce your risk.
A bicycle accident can happen in an instant and cause serious, sometimes life-altering injuries. If this has happened to you or someone you love, the insurance company may try to fight you on paying your claim while you struggle with medical bills and lost income from missing work. Attorney Ali Awad and the knowledgeable bicycle accident attorneys at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve after a bicycle collision. Contact us any time for a free consultation to learn your options – there is no obligation, and if we take your case, we won’t charge any fees until we finalize your settlement.
What Percentage of Bicycle Accidents Result in Head Injuries?
The CDC reports that about 30 percent of Emergency Department visits for bicycle accidents involve a head injury – that’s about 180,000 people a year who suffer a head injury due to a bike crash. Head injuries are also responsible for about 60 percent of deaths from bicycle accidents.
Types of Head Injuries Common in Bicycle Accidents
There are several ways to suffer a head injury when you fall or are thrown off a bicycle due to a collision. Many of these injuries may be serious or even life-threatening, so you should always seek medical attention after a head injury, even if it seems minor at the time. Symptoms of a potentially severe condition don’t always appear immediately after an accident.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury or TBI occurs when the brain is damaged by some sort of trauma. This can happen in three ways:
A hard blow to the head.
A strong impact that shakes the brain (no contact with the head is necessary)
A penetrating wound that reaches into the brain.
A direct blow to the head is the most common way for a TBI to manifest in a bicycle accident, but the other two types are still possible in some kinds of collisions.
The potential symptoms of a TBI depend on what area of the brain is injured. Because the brain is connected to the rest of the body, many problems may occur. Patients could suffer from physical, cognitive, or behavioral difficulties. Some may have difficulty walking, talking, or doing everyday tasks, while others might have difficulty with memory, mood changes, headaches, or seizures. If you develop any new symptoms after a head injury, contact your doctor right away, even if you already saw them after the accident.
Treatment for TBI depends on the severity and location of the injury, and the symptoms presented. Some patients benefit from medication, while those with a severe injury may need surgery to reduce swelling in the brain. People with a TBI might need physical or occupational therapy to help them regain lost skills or improve symptoms. Some patients eventually recover fully, while others suffer a permanent disability or chronic pain.
This is a type of TBI in which the impact causes chemical changes to the brain and may even damage some brain cells. Although they are thought of as a “mild” type of TBI, concussions can still cause serious problems. This is a functional injury rather than a structural one – essentially, the injury changes how the brain works.
As with other TBIs, concussions may heal fully, but some people have lingering symptoms. Post-concussion syndrome is the name for a long-term ailment that follows a concussion. Women and older adults are at higher risk of this syndrome, but it can happen to anyone who experiences a concussion. Symptoms continue well past the expected recovery period – typically weeks or months – and may include headaches, dizziness, memory issues, insomnia, vision or hearing difficulties, or difficulty concentrating. Medication or therapy may help address these symptoms for some patients.
In some bicycle accidents, the rider is thrown from their bike with a great deal of force, especially if they were struck by a fast-moving vehicle. When this happens, the bicyclist may hit their head hard enough to receive a skull fracture. If the fracture is mild, it may heal on its own, but if pieces of the skull have broken off, the patient could need surgery to prevent bleeding or damage to the brain. Skull fractures often co-occur with facial fractures, such as those in the jaw, cheekbone, or eye socket, and with TBI/concussions.
A hematoma is the result of blood pooling or clotting in or on the brain after a head injury. You might think of it as a bruise on the brain – but one that can cause serious issues in some cases. If the hematoma is small, it might not require any treatment, but your doctor may want to keep you in the hospital for observation to ensure it doesn’t grow larger. Some hematomas may require surgery to stop the bleeding or relieve intracranial pressure. Symptoms may be comparable to a TBI, and recovery time varies depending on the severity of the hematoma.
How Do Bicycle Helmets Protect the Head in an Accident?
The best way to lower the risk of the above injuries, or reduce their severity if they do happen, is to wear a bicycle helmet. A 2018 analysis found that bicycle helmets reduced the risk of head injury by 48 percent, serious head injury by 60 percent, TBI by 53 percent, and facial injury by 23 percent. But how do helmets work?
A bike helmet is filled with foam, and when your head makes impact with a solid object – such as the sidewalk – the foam is crushed, absorbing much of the force of the blow so your head doesn’t have to. This process also lengthens your head’s stopping time by six-thousandths of a second, or six milliseconds. You may be wondering what good six milliseconds can do, but lab tests show that this small delay reduces the peak impact on the brain, further lessening your risk of injury.
Although there is ample evidence that bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head injuries and death, many bicyclists don’t take advantage of this safety precaution. One CDC study found that only about 29 percent of adults always wear a helmet when riding, compared to 42 percent of children who report always wearing one. Although Georgia law only requires that kids 16 and under wear a bike helmet, the legality of going without one won’t protect you from a head injury if you have an accident, but wearing a helmet will significantly reduce your risk.
Choosing the Right Helmet
The thicker the foam inside your helmet, the better the level of protection you’ll have – 30mm of foam will give your head more cushioning than 15mm, for example. Fit is also important. Try on the helmet, adjust the straps, and make certain that it fits your head snugly. It’s also important to replace your helmet after being in an accident, because once the foam is crushed, it doesn’t bounce back – the helmet has done its job and you’ll need to get a new one.
Getting Help After a Bicycle Collision: Call the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you’ve suffered a head injury or other injuries in a bicycle accident, you may be struggling with medical bills and lost income. The CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm can help you seek compensation from a driver whose negligence led to your bicycle accident injuries. Please contact us any time for a free consultation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process.
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today.
We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.