Motorcycle Accidents Relating to Brain Injuries

By: Peter Kent

There are many possible causes of brain injuries (TBIs), but some of the leading causes are motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle accidents combined with auto accidents are the biggest cause of TBIs in the United States. Auto drivers often do not see motorcyclists on the road or give them the right away which means that motorcyclists are at a higher risk of accident than drivers. For motorcyclists, one out of five involved in accidents sustain head or neck injuries which lead to most motorcyclist deaths.

Motorcyclists, even those who wear helmets, are most likely to sustain non-penetrative injuries to the front of the head, damaging parts of the brain responsible for speech and higher functions. Those without helmets may also be susceptible to a penetrating brain injury, in which an object enters the head and skull, damaging the soft tissue of the brain itself. Helmets Essential to Prevent Traumatic Brain Injury

Study after study shows that the best way to prevent a traumatic brain injury is to wear a helmet approved by the federal Department of Transportation. (Some also carry approval from the Snell Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to testing the effectiveness of commercial helmets.) In January of 2006, only four states in the U.S.

 Colorado, Illinois, New Hampshire and Iowa  had no law that required motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Twenty-six others had limited helmet laws, usually ones that require helmets for riders who are under 18 or 21.

But even in states without strict helmet laws, riders are still strongly advised that their chances of death or serious head injury are seriously reduced by wearing a helmet. A rider's failure to equip passengers, particularly passengers who are under 21, with helmets may be considered negligent. And if the helmet is below state and federal standards, poorly fitted, old or has been through a previous accident, that helmet is not safe, may not be legal and will not prevent death, brain damage or another traumatic injury. Other Brain Injury Risks for Motorcyclists

Even though proper equipment significantly cuts down a motorcyclist's chance of a traumatic brain injury, it is not foolproof. There are other factors that might lead to a motorcycle accident that results in a traumatic brain injury that riders must be cautious of. Before each ride, motorcyclists are encouraged to check their equipment and bikes for troubles; adjust the motorcycle's tire pressure and suspension when carrying another passenger; wear boots, gloves and other protective gear; and adjust for changing road conditions.

The cost of an accident that causes traumatic brain injury can be severe. A traumatic brain injury causes brain damage that can range from a mild concussion to severe, life-changing disabilities such as trouble communicating, personality changes, schizophrenia, or even a coma. Because the brain cannot heal itself the way other organs do, these are often lifelong problems that cost tens of thousands of dollars to treat. Family members are also affect by brain injuries as they place a serious emotion and financial burden on them. If you or someone you know is the victim of a motorcycle accident causing traumatic brain injury, it is essential to seek out an expert in accidents and TBI who can help reconstruct the accident and secure compensation.

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