Head injuries are one of the most commonly sustained injuries among bicycle accident victims. These injuries can vary in seriousness from a small abrasion or laceration to a severe traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, when it comes to cyclists who are injured in accidents, head trauma is rarely minor. Instead, cyclists, who are much more exposed to the road, and often travel at relatively high speeds, are more likely to sustain serious head trauma. It is, however, possible for cyclists who are injured in accidents because of someone else’s negligence, to recover compensation for their losses from the at-fault parties, so if you suffered a head injury in a bicycle crash, you should consider reaching out to an experienced Miami bicycle accident attorney for help.
Bicycle Accidents and TBIs
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when an outside force causes trauma to the head or brain. Although they can occur in a number of different ways, many TBIs are the result of car crashes, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle collisions. Collisions between vehicles and bicycles in particular, often have the most severe consequences, as more than ten percent of the cyclists injured in crashes with motorists require treatment for some sort of head trauma. Even more alarmingly, head injuries are thought to account for more than 60 percent of bicycle accident-related fatalities.
There are a number of different reasons for the increased likelihood that a cyclist will suffer from a traumatic brain injury. Cyclists, for instance, are much more exposed to the road than motorists and are more likely to be thrown onto the asphalt, or even into another vehicle. Even a significant change in speed could be enough to cause a head injury, with the brain striking the insides of the skull upon impact.
Cyclists who are involved in collisions with motorists and who suspect that they may have suffered a head injury should keep an eye out for certain symptoms, including:
- Bleeding from the nose or ears;
- Consistent headaches;
- Loss of consciousness;
- A loss of balance;
- Bruising on the face or head;
- Changes in pupil size;
- Slurred speech; and
- Repeated vomiting.
Confusion, disorientation, or memory loss could also be indicative of a serious head injury.
Long-Term Consequences of a Head Injury
Even after obtaining treatment, a cyclist who sustained a head injury in an accident could suffer from permanent disability, including:
- Physical changes, like sleep disturbances, involuntary muscle movement, headaches, neck and jaw pain, limited physical activity, and weakness;
- Personality and behavioral changes, such as mood swings, anxiety, depression, lowered inhibitions, and difficulty socializing; and
- Cognitive changes, including memory loss, an inability to communicate, trouble with critical thinking and problem solving, and a decreased capacity for multitasking.
These problems can all have far-reaching consequences for a victim and his or her family. Fortunately, it is possible for accident victims to seek compensation from the at-fault party who caused their injury.