Motorcyclists are injured when either directly struck by a vehicle; falling to the road or striking an object after contact with a vehicle or when cut off by a vehicle without contact; or some combination of impacts. Secondary impact with the road or another object poses additional risk for serious injuries.
Besides the obvious possibility of road rash, torn ligaments, or broken bones, non-obvious head injuries can be caused by contact with the vehicle, the road or another object. While road rash can cause serious scars and torn ligaments and broken bones are usually serious injuries, frequently overlooked are concussions which can be far more serious.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) which can have a serious long-term or permanent impact on a person’s livelihood, daily activities and quality of life. For a long list of symptoms which may become evident after a concussion, see doyouhaveTBI.com.
A recent study posted at PubMed.gov (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23046694) looked at accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists with head injuries. Contact with the road was responsible for more injuries (53.65%), while vehicles were responsible for 46.34% of injuries.
However, impact with a vehicle was more often responsible for serious head injuries. 24.87% of impacts with a vehicle were responsible for head injuries while 19.02% of impacts with the road were responsible for head injuries.
While life-threatening head injuries are usually diagnosed at the scene or in the hospital, non-life threatening head injuries are often overlooked at the time of the accident. At the time of a motorcycle accident, doctors are concerned about life-threatening issues and injuries which must and can be attended to immediately.
Even when a CT scan shows a small amount of blood in the brain, a patient may only be told to watch for life-threatening symptoms when released to go home. Days later, it is forgotten. Additionally, symptoms of a concussion may not be immediately noticeable and can take a long time to show up and are usually diagnosed long after the accident or not at all.
If you know that you hit your head or your helmet has any scratches or marks, keep your helmet and give it to us immediately so we can keep it as evidence. You should never reuse a helmet anyway. Don’t forget to see doyouhaveTBI.com.
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Franckel is well-known in New York for representing motorcyclists and created the motorcycle awareness campaign BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®.