Motorcycle riding is a thrilling experience that is typically hard to match in a car. Another benefit of motorcycles is their lower purchase and maintenance costs compared to cars or trucks. Unfortunately, the risk of accidents is much higher for motorcycle riders than it is for other motorists, and the risk of severe injuries or even death also increases.
Wearing a helmet helps alleviate some risk, but no helmet can completely eliminate the risk of a motorcyclist sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Brain injuries can be life-altering for an accident victim in many ways. This quick guide will show what life can look like for those who suffer a brain injury from a motorcycle accident.
What Is a Brain Injury?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a brain injury as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” Sadly, the brain can’t regenerate like most other areas of the body, so when brain tissues suffer damage, the condition can be permanent.
How a Brain Injury Can Impact Your Life
Our brains are our control centers and the hubs for our physical function, emotions and consciousness. When the brain sustains damage, these functions can be compromised.
Here are some challenges those with brain injuries may face:
- Impaired motor skills: Reduced motor skills can impact simple movements such as swallowing or chewing to extremity weakness and paralysis.
- Loss of consciousness: Many TBI victims fall into a coma or semi-conscious state.
- Cognitive impairments: These difficulties include loss of memory, problems concentrating and difficulty with reasoning or processing information.
- Problems with speech: Many slur their speech and have a hard time forming words. Reading and comprehending speech can also be a challenge for some.
- Functional impairments: People with a traumatic brain injury often find it difficult to understand the nuances of social interaction. Many also live with insomnia, chronic headaches, and excessive fatigue.
- Emotional issues: Depression, anxiety, and mood swings are just a few of the emotional challenges TBI sufferers face.
Traumatic brain injuries affect loved ones without injury as well. For example, family members often find it hard to deal with someone who is suddenly behaving much differently or has reduced abilities due to a brain injury.
If you’re dealing with a brain injury from a motorcycle accident, take these steps to take care of yourself and protect yourself legally:
- Get medical help immediately to maximize your recovery potential.
- Inform your employer of your injury and let them know you may have to miss work while you recover. Notifying your employer establishes your right to job protections under the law if you have disabilities. When you inform your employer of your injury, they know you haven’t quit your job when you don’t show up.
- Contact a reputable lawyer to determine if you have a case for financial compensation for your injury-related losses.
Medical Care Is Costly
Motorcycle accident victims should always seek medical attention whether or not they notice any signs of a brain injury or any other type of injury. This is because every accident victim is different, and some may notice common symptoms right away, while others have unique symptoms or perhaps no symptoms at all. Some people mistake disorientation and similar feelings as “normal” trauma from the crash instead of signs of a brain injury.
Most brain injuries, save those that are very minor, require hospitalization. Depending on the severity of the injury, a period in an intensive care unit may be necessary. Recovery can also involve long-term care, including physical rehab and occupational therapy, to improve skills needed for everyday life. Additional devices may be essential to help victims move about and engage in social interaction. Some victims of severe brain injuries must remain in long-term nursing care or have in-home nurse care to help them in their transition to everyday living.
Treatment for serious brain injuries can often require multiple specialists and result in substantial medical costs. That means, in addition to suffering a life-altering injury, victims also must deal with the financial burden that accompanies a brain injury. That’s why it’s so important to seek legal counsel. A skilled personal injury attorney can help brain injury victims recover financially by pursuing compensation from the responsible party or their insurance carrier.
Other Losses That Accompany a Brain Injury
Are you beginning to see the financial hardship those with brain injuries must deal with? These victims often face significant hardship during their recovery and for the long term thereafter.
If you’ve suffered a brain injury from a motorcycle accident, here are a few financial losses you may incur:
- Medical-related expenses: We’ve touched on some of the costs of medical care above, including long-term nursing care and rehabilitation. Additional expenses include ambulance transportation, emergency care, hospitalization, brain imaging, follow-up care, and medications. Surgery may even be necessary if the injury is severe.
- Lost wages: Brain injury victims typically miss time at work. Some may even be permanently unable to return to their jobs. The loss of wages can inflict enormous financial strain on victims and their families. Disability helps, but it usually does not replace the full income.
- Outside help: It’s not uncommon for families of a brain injury victim to call on outside help to perform duties the victim previously performed. This could include childcare, grocery shopping or meal delivery services, and home care such as cleaning and lawn care.
- Home improvements: Many victims require modifications to their home to make it more accessible. Handrails and other safety measures can be essential to assist the victim.
Why You Should Always Seek Legal Counsel
The losses a brain injury victim incurs after a motorcycle accident can be overwhelming. Victims and their families shouldn’t deal with it by themselves.
If you’re in this situation, consider connecting with a motorcycle accident attorney who has the experience to seek financial compensation for your damages. Motorcycle accident law firms should offer a free initial consultation to review your case and give you an honest evaluation of your rights and your best course of action.