Of the nearly two million head injuries that occur each year, it is estimated that around 28% of reported head injuries occur during motor vehicle accidents. Motorcyclists are not as protected on a bike as a driver or passenger in a car and these injuries can leave the victim with life changing injuries. The pain and suffering and financial burden that accompany these injuries need to be considered in any motorcycle injury case. It may take a lifetime of therapy and medical expenses to fully recover from trauma to the head, if the victim ever fully recovers at all.
The Damage Done to the Brain in an Accident
In most motor vehicle accidents, the body comes to a sudden halt and the brain continues to move do to forward momentum. After hitting the front of the skull, the brain may then rebound and hit the back of the skull, causing both the front and back of the brain to swell. These injuries can affect a person’s ability to speak, concentrate, remember things or perform normal motor functions, such as walking. If the victim is on a scooter, moped or motorcycle, and is thrown from the vehicle onto the ground, the resulting trauma to the brain can be much more severe due to a direct impact to the skull.
Doctors will first look for signs of a concussion, which is the most common traumatic brain injury that occurs from a direct impact to the head. The effects of a concussion may be short lived, or may cause complications that last a lifetime—depending on how quickly the concussion is discovered, the damage done and how soon it is treated. Other common brain injuries that result from motorcycle injuries are a fractured skull or subdural hematoma, which occurs when an important vein in the brain is unable to remove blood from the cerebral cortex and swelling that results causes massive injury or death.
Treatment Options and Costs
The annual cost of traumatic brain injuries in the United States totals over $48 billion. This means that traumatic injuries that result from motorcycle accidents contribute an estimated annual cost of $13 billion. The cost of a severe injury to the head might cost a person up to $4 million in his or her lifetime. These costs include the initial scans to detect the injury and the therapy and procedures that may be required in order to treat it.
Once damage is done to the brain, it cannot be reversed, so the first step of treatment is to minimize the amount of damage that is done before it gets out of hand. Once doctors detect a traumatic brain injury, they will make every effort to stop the bleeding, swelling and tearing in the brain that leads to lifelong impairment. After the patient has been stabilized, an evaluation needs to be performed in order to determine the extent of the damage. Victims of a brain injury may suffer from impaired memory, speech, motor skills, behavioral changes or more serious symptoms such as seizures.
Many therapies may be used in order to attempt to restore the patient to full cognitive function, or at the least, to try to allow the person to live as comfortable and independent a life as possible. These include physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and counseling. Treatment may be required for years, or even a lifetime.
Lawyers With Experience Advocated for Seriously Injured Motorcyclists
If you suffered an injury while riding a bike, scooter or moped, an experienced Chicago motorcycle attorney can help evaluate your case to determine the long-term costs that might be associated with your injury and whether you are owed damages for these expenses. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is the chosen advocate for injured motorcyclists in the State of Illinois. We have the knowledge and experience needed to present your case to an insurance company in a way that will maximize your recovery and we never charge a fee without recovery. Contact us for a free consultation and to find out which of our conveniently located offices is closest to you.