Getting into a motorcycle accident can be traumatic, causing severe injuries that result in a mountain of medical debt and a changed life. Traumatic brain injury (or TBI) is one type of injury common in motorcycle accident cases. How common are they? And can the use of a helmet decrease the chance of getting a traumatic brain injury?
Statistics on Motorcycle Accidents in Minnesota
In 2018, there were 4,985 motorcycle accident fatalities. That same year, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to die in crashes than passenger vehicle occupants per vehicle miles traveled. This is because of the lack of protection that motorcycle riders have. While the vehicle’s exterior protects passenger vehicle occupants, motorcyclists only have a helmet and thick outerwear, which isn’t enough to protect against serious injury.
In Minnesota, there were 63 motorcycle accident fatalities in 2020. In 65% of those fatalities, the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet.
How Common are Traumatic Brain Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents?
Whether or not you develop a traumatic brain injury because of your motorcycle accident depends on a few key factors, such as where the main impact was, was the victim thrown from their bike, and were they wearing a helmet?
Wearing a helmet is the first step in protecting oneself self against a traumatic brain injury. However, Minnesota does not have a helmet law for people who carry a license and are above eighteen. Those under the age of eighteen, or those with a permit, must wear a DOT-approved helmet.
However, while wearing a helmet is always the right choice, not wearing one won’t make you at fault for any brain or head injuries because of an accident. The at-fault party may try to claim that you’re lack of precautions made you partially liable for your injuries, which is why you need a good attorney on your side.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that helmets are 37% effective in preventing deaths and 67% effective in preventing brain injuries.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury occurs when the head is struck or penetrated by a great force. However, many different classifications fall under the umbrella term “traumatic brain injury,” including the following.
A skull fracture is a break to the skull bone. There are three different types of skull fractures, including:
- Linear skull fractures
- Depressed skull fractures
- Basilar skull fractures
Each presents different complications, such as increased pressure on the brain or leakage of cerebral spinal fluid.
Contusions and Coup/Contrecoup
Contusions and coup/contrecoup injuries are a bruise of the brain tissue. A coup injury refers to a contusion present at the site of impact. A contrecoup injury means there’s a contusion on the opposite side of the head, from the brain hitting the skull. Coup/contrecoup means that both sides are affected.
Diffuse Axonal Injury
Diffuse axonal injuries, or DAI, occur because of rotational forces, such as slamming on the breaks or being stopped by the force of a motor vehicle. DAI occurs when the connections between the brain cells are torn, causing lasting and painful damage.
Concussions can be minor or major but are generally nothing to worry about. A concussion usually requires the victim to remain under strict watch, even while sleeping. Concussions cause brain fog, anxiety, fatigue, loss of balance, memory problems, and more.
Brain injury victims can expect to have large medical bills and a high risk of serious complications (depending on the type of trauma they experience).
When to Hire an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident that leaves you with a brain injury, you should always contact a motorcycle accident attorney to represent you. After you’ve left the scene of the crime and received medical attention, you should begin to look for an attorney.
You should always speak with an attorney before you file your claim with the insurance companies. Once you file your claim, both your insurance company and the at-fault party’s insurance company will reach out to you. They may ask for statements or try to get you to sign a waiver in exchange for a low settlement offer.
Insurance companies are tricky and devious. And they may be able to convince you to sign something or admit fault without even knowing it. To avoid this, hire an attorney before you speak to anyone. That way, they can speak with the insurance companies on your behalf.
Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact our talented team of attorneys here at Sand Law as soon as possible. With our years of experience and track record in receiving high settlements for our clients, we can help you get the compensation and justice that you deserve for your claim.