Most people riding bicycles don’t think about being injured. Compared to the speed of cars and the dangers of motorcycles, bicycles seem relatively safe. Unfortunately, brain injuries in bicycle accidents are more common than you might think, especially if you fail to wear a helmet. In fact, the risk of brain damage or injury is the reason some states have enacted helmet laws for children.
The Risk of Brain Injury
Because of the lack of protection for the rider and the fact that many people do not wear helmets when riding a bicycle, head injuries are common in bicycle accidents. Riders may flip over the handlebars and strike their head against the pavement or other object in a collision. This can cause a concussion or TBI (traumatic brain injury). A concussion is a minor brain injury which typically heals in a short time; however, some concussions can result in long-term medical conditions. Even a slight concussion can develop into a more serious condition that can lead to memory loss, emotional instability, or the inability to control body functions.
A bicycle accident can happen at any time. The rider may miss a turn or the driver of a motor vehicle may fail to yield the right of way, sideswipe, or rear-end the bicycle. Furthermore, riders who perform stunts on their bicycles are more likely to be in an accident. The faster the rider is going, the more serious the injury can be for the bicyclist. When a car is involved in the collision, the rider’s injuries are more likely to be severe and the possibility of permanent damage increases.
The Seriousness of Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injury
You often see athletes being taken out of a game or competition with a concussion only to return the next day or two seeming perfectly fine. This leads many to downplay the seriousness of a concussion when it can actually be quite serious. Complications that can result from a concussion include:
- Vertigo – dizziness or the sensation of spinning for weeks after the injury
- Headaches – the person may suffer for days or weeks later
- Epilepsy – according to the Mayo clinic, people with a concussion are twice as likely to develop epilepsy within five years after the injury
In addition, a person may experience memory loss or experience nausea and other physical symptoms. This can go on for weeks or months after the bicycle accident.
You cannot ignore the risks of health issues that accompany a concussion, which is often seen as a minor brain injury. The levels of chemicals in the brain are changed upon impact and it can take several days for these levels to return to normal. Other complications may take much longer or may result in long-term disabilities.
A concussion is one form of traumatic brain injury or TBI. This diagnosis occurs when a sudden trauma to the head results in damage to the brain. The damage can be slight, mild, moderate or severe. The person may still be conscious and even seem to function normally. They may suffer a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or the situation may be more severe, leaving them confused, dazed, or unconscious for longer periods.
Have You Been Injured In A Central California Valley Bicycle Accident?
Bicyclists do not have the same level of protection as drivers and passengers in vehicles. The rider receives the full impact of a collision because there is nothing protecting the rider in the impact. Even with a helmet, the risk of injury is still present. Brain injuries are one of the most common injuries in bicycle accidents. Never ignore symptoms, even minor symptoms, after a bicycle accident. A chronic headache or a stiff neck could be the sign of a more serious brain injury.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you need an attorney to protect your right to receive compensation from the negligent driver who caused the collision. Call Torem & Associates at 1-800-954-4444 to speak with a Fresno bicycle accident attorney or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.