Bicycle helmets are a must for all riders, no matter what their age may be. While they won’t ensure that you won’t suffer an injury if you’re ever involved in an accident, the fact is that they will definitely help reduce the chances you’ll be severely hurt. Quite simply put, they could very well make the difference between living a normal life and having to endure a lifetime of debilitation – or even worse.
There are a lot of different reasons why bicycle accidents occur. In many instances, bicyclists are hurt due to the negligence of the driver of a car, or someone else. If you have been hurt in a bicycle wreck that was not your fault, you may be able to obtain compensation.
The Eberst Law Firm is staffed with attorneys who know how to help accident victims get the money they deserve. We may be able to do the same for you. Schedule a free consultation by giving us a call at 888-CALL-JON or contacting us online.
The following sections will hopefully convince you just how important it is to wear a helmet at all times when you ride a bicycle.
Bicycle Accident and Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
One of the biggest risks of any kind of bicycle accident is a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. As you’ll soon learn, a TBI can have a devastating impact on a person’s quality of life.
But research indicates that wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the chances of suffering a TBI. According to one study involving more than 64,000 cyclists, wearing a helmet makes you nearly 70% less likely to suffer a severe head injury such as a TBI. It reduces the risk of a fatal head injury by 65%, and any type of head injury by 51%.
Symptoms of Minor and Major Head Injuries
Any sort of head injury, such as a concussion, can lead to weeks, months, or even years of symptoms. When a TBI is severe, it’s very likely the victim will have to deal with the effects for the rest of their life. Here’s a quick look at just some of the symptoms associated with minor and severe head injuries.
Symptoms of a Minor Head Injury
Even a so-called “minor” head injury, if there’s even such a thing, can cause a victim to struggle for a long time.Symptoms include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drowsiness or extreme fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping
- Trouble seeing clearly
- Emotional issues, such as mood swings
- Issues with memory and concentration
Symptoms of a Major Head Injury
Wearing a helmet, as you learned earlier, will greatly decrease the chances of suffering a severe head injury. Unfortunately, a helmet can’t provide complete protection. The symptoms can, in some instances, be permanently debilitating.
- Seizures and convulsions
- Slurred speech
- Behavioral changes
- Limb numbness or weakness
Why You Shouldn’t Rely on a Helmet Alone
While wearing a helmet can save your life and reduce the chances you’ll suffer a severe head injury if you’re involved in an accident, there are many other ways to stay as safe as possible. Here are just a few.
- Be selective regarding the roads you use – Unless you’re a very skilled rider, you should try to avoid challenging trails that have substantial elevation changes, or rocky, rugged terrain. You should also do what you can to stay away from roads that have a lot of vehicle traffic. If you have to ride on those types of roads, try only to ride when traffic is light.
- Obey all traffic laws – The law requires everyone to follow the rules of the road, whether they’re travelling on four wheels or two. Always stay on the correct side of the road, and pay attention to all lights, signs and signals. This will not only help keep you safe, it will help everyone else stay safe as well.
- Observe everyone around you – While a lot of people ride a bicycle to relax, you still need to be keenly aware of all surrounding traffic. You would hope that motorists would do the same thing, and know that you’re there. But that doesn’t always happen. Drivers can get distracted very easily, and have no idea a cyclist is nearby until it’s too late. Always assume that motorists can’t see you.
- Don’t take risks – If you see that a driver is about to make a turn, a lane change, or perform some other maneuver that will put you in danger, either slow down or move away as far as you can.
How Does a Bicycle Accident Head Injury Impact One’s Life?
At The Eberst Law Firm, we are passionate when it comes to representing the victims of bicycle accidents. One of the main reasons is that we know how terrible a severe head injury can be. This kind of injury can cost millions of dollars over the lifetime of a victim, and we fight to make sure our clients get every penny to which they’re entitled.
There are both short- and long-term effects of a TBI. A victim might first lose consciousness, which actually gives the brain a little bit of time to start repairing itself. When proper medical treatment is provided, there are many instances where a person will eventually get back to normal after a few months.
When a severe TBI occurs, however, the issues last much longer – and will likely get worse. When the brain can’t perform self-repairs, the damage will typically lead to a decline in function – from both a physical and emotional perspective. People may have a lot of trouble with balance, for example, or become easily disoriented. They could also find it difficult to control their emotions, and lash out much faster than normal. Emotions can also become much more intense.
What to Do if You’re Injured in a Bike Accident
The first thing you’ll need to do, of course, if you’re hurt in a bicycle accident is to get whatever medical help you might need. Even if you think you’re okay, you really need to get checked out. There are certain kinds of injuries that might not start to show symptoms until several days have passed.
Also, you should immediately report the accident to police so they can investigate. This could provide powerful evidence that will support your claim that someone else’s negligence caused the accident. If you can, take photos and videos of the scene of the accident.
Once you’ve done all of that, contact a bicycle accident attorney with The Eberst Law Firm. We have an extensive amount of experience representing bike accident victims, and a long track record of success. Use our online form or call 888-CALL-JON for a free case review as soon as you can.