Signs of brain injury after a bike accident may be subtle and unexpected, especially if you were wearing a helmet during the accident. Sadly, while the widespread use of bicycle helmets — mandated by law for anyone under 18 in California — has decreased traumatic brain injury significantly, even the best helmet isn’t enough to remove all risk from situations where bicycles and automobiles mix. At best, the risk of serious brain injury drops by about 40%.
What do you do if you’ve suffered injuries from a bike accident in Los Angeles? In addition to seeking medical help, turn to Los Angeles bike accident attorney Michael Stephenson at Los Angeles Bicycle Law. Not only can we represent you in your case against the person who hit you, we can advise you of your options and inform you of your rights.
In this article, we discuss the signs of brain injury that may result from a serious bicycle accident, and provide legal advice on what to do about it.
TBIs From Bike Accidents Are Especially Common in Urban Areas
While the city has bike lanes for cyclists in most areas, drivers don’t always pay attention to them, and it’s too easy for them to lose concentration long enough to hurt you. Unfortunately, in addition to other injuries, about 50% of those suffering bicycle accidents end up with a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, you’re much more likely to incur TBI at night or in urban areas with heavy traffic.
Not All TBIs Are Obvious
Even if you didn’t suffer a head injury in your bike accident, that doesn’t mean you won’t end up with a brain injury. The initial or secondary impact can damage your brain indirectly. Although the interior of your skull is cushioned by fluid and other tissues, the brain itself can still impact the inside of the skull, causing damage or swelling that leads to a concussion — or worse.
So remain alert for signs of brain injury after a bike-vehicle accident. Those signs may not be as obvious as you expect.
What Are Some Signs of Brain Injury?
Some brain injuries like concussions are relatively minor, and heal over time. But TBIs can ruin your life with their profound and dangerous consequences. Your personality may change, you may lose chunks of memory, or you may lose the executive function that allows you to make plans and understand and reproduce complex behavior. Signs of brain injury, for TBIs and lesser injuries, may include (but aren’t limited to):
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Inability to concentrate
- Loss of memory
- Inability to store new memories
- Decreased reasoning ability
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty comprehending speech
- Difficult reading, or loss of ability to read
- Double/blurred vision
- Poor depth perception
- Damaged sense of touch
- Difficulty feeling temperature variations
- Damaged kinesthetic senses involved with posture and physical coordination
- Bowel or bladder control issues
- Loss of emotional stability
- Rapid personality changes
TBI Damages and Effects
Although treatment for TBIs has come a long way in the last few decades, the long-term prognosis for TBI patients remains uncertain. The extent of your injury will determine how much medical care you need, and for how long. A brain injury may pass fairly quickly without major side-effects, or you may be affected for the rest of your life. Even if you improve after a few years, the result will probably be financial devastation. Among the damages you can expect to face include:
- Funerary costs if a loved one was the victim
- Psychological pain and loss
- Permanent disfigurement and disability
- Lost potential earnings
- Current and future medical costs
- Pain and suffering
You need someone to actively protect your rights, to ensure that the driver who hit you or your loved one pays for their mistake. As for-profit businesses, most insurance companies will do their best to get out of paying expensive claims. Don’t let them.
If You Show Signs of Brain Injury From a Bike Accident, Contact a Bike Accident Attorney
We specialize in obtaining monetary compensation for victims of bicycle accidents, including those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. In fact, we represent cyclists exclusively. If you’ve suffered brain injury, even just a concussion, in a bicycle accident, call Los Angeles Bicycle Law. No one in southern California knows this aspect of the law better than we do. Contact us immediately at the first signs of brain injury.