Bicycling leads to more traumatic brain injuries than any sport including basketball, football, hockey and soccer. Helmet wearing reduces penetrating head trauma and skull fractures but does it offer protection against other head injuries? Studies have shown that it may even increase the likelihood of certain injuries like concussions.
Concussions are not usually caused by the high impact that fractures skulls. In fact, concussions can occur from a low impact blow to the head that can also cause blood clots (hematoma) or rotation of the brain. Severe rotation can damage the axons of the brain leading to diffuse axonal injury, the leading cause of death due to bicycle traumatic brain injury. Many apparently mild concussions also go unreported and untreated by required. A second injury may then occur which can be debilitating or even fatal. Just as a football player re-enters the game after having his “bell rung”, a cyclist may be back on his bike only a day after striking his head on the pavement. The risk of additional severe traumatic brain injury is greatly increased in both situations.
Studies have shown that cyclists wearing helmets are more likely to be struck by a car as drivers tend to pass a helmeted rider more closely than one who is unprotected and assumed to be more vulnerable. A helmeted cyclist may also ignore other safety measures, such as learning how to avoid crashes, due to a false sense of security. Wearing a helmet is not the most important aspect of bicycle safety. Some bicyclists also claim that the wind noise through the helmet reduces the ability to hear vehicles approaching from behind.
Collisions between cars and bicyclists are the leading cause of bicycle traumatic brain injury, but injuries occur in other ways also. Objects in the road or improperly maintained roads are frequent causes. Improperly designed or manufactured bicycle parts can also be to blame. This was evident in a recent recall by Trek, a leading bike maker, following several serious crashes — one of which led to paralysis of the rider.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries vary greatly from mild to severe depending upon the impact force, direction, location and the extent of the affected area.
Typical symptoms of TBI include:
- Headache ranging from slight to excruciating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of coordination
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Depression and mood swings
Severe symptoms of TBI include:
- Problems with concentration or reasoning
- Blurred vision
- Severe headache
- Partial to complete loss of memory
- Unconsciousness or coma.
If you, or someone you know, suffered from a head injury, even one that seemed to be mild, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Many brain injuries can be asymptomatic but can be detected through testing. If you believe that the injury was due to the negligence of another person, seek the advice of an experienced brain injury attorney. You may be entitled to monetary compensation for pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, long term medical expenses, rehabilitation and loss of income.
Dolman Law has obtained countless large cash settlements for parties that were involved in bicycle crashes. These awards were for traumatic brain injuries as well as spinal and neck injuries and fractures. Call today for a free consultation with a skilled personal injury attorney. Do not wait as timing in these cases is critical.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765