The Sunshine State has amazing weather and scenery making it obvious that cycling there would be a fun activity. However, each time you ride a bike, you are at risk of an accident and serious injuries.
Head injuries are especially common in these accidents because of cyclists’ limited protection. Keep reading to learn more about head trauma, bicycle accidents, and what legal rights you have if you are struck by a vehicle while riding a bike.
Bicycle Accidents and Head Trauma
Even small passenger vehicles weigh several thousand pounds. The results can be devastating when this large object collides with a cyclist. It is rare for a cyclist to walk away from this type of collision unscathed.
In many situations, the impact of an accident sends the rider and bike flying and eventually colliding with the ground or a nearby object.
Remember, bicycles do not have restraints, crumple zones, or airbags like cars do. Because of this, a cyclist’s body is completely vulnerable to the physical impact of an accident. It is not uncommon for cyclists to experience extreme physical trauma, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
The Importance of Wearing a Helmet
The data on the topic is clear – wearing a helmet can help reduce the possibility of experiencing a serious head injury if you are involved in a bicycle accident. With that in mind, you can experience serious injuries if you wear a helmet.
As a bicycle accident victim, you should never assume that your injuries will resolve independently just because you had a helmet on when the accident occurred.
If you wore a helmet when you were involved in a bicycle accident but still experienced a head injury, it could be a sign that the helmet had manufacturing flaws or a defective design. In this case, it may be possible to hold the helmet manufacturer or designer liable for your injuries. This is something you can discuss with your bicycle accident attorney.
Common Types of Head Injuries Experienced in Bicycle Accidents
You may sustain several injuries if you hit your head during a bicycle accident. Unfortunately, any head injury has the potential to be serious.
Some of the most common types of head injuries that occur in a bicycle accident include the following:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A TBI is an injury to the brain caused by trauma. Usually, it is caused by a penetrating injury, severe shaking, or blunt trauma. Depending on the part of the brain affected, TBIs can cause behavioral, physical, and cognitive impairments.
TBIs range in severity, and some patients will recover quickly, while others will experience permanent disabilities that impact their lives in many ways.
A concussion is a type of TBI and is usually classified as a “mild” injury. However, new studies and information have revealed that this injury has the potential to be quite serious.
While some concussions will only have a minor impact on a victim’s life, others have a lasting impact. The symptoms of a concussion can last for a few weeks, a few months, or longer. Some victims experience post-concussion syndrome, which is a complication that can increase the impact of this injury.
The skull is a strong bone. However, the impact of a bicycle accident may cause it to fracture.
Skull fractures can be depressions in the skull or cracks in the bone. Sometimes, pieces of the bone may shift inward (toward your brain) or chip off. In a shifting skull fracture, the piece of the skull may put pressure on or pierce brain tissue resulting in a tear or bleeding. Many cases of skull fractures require surgery.
About 40% of people who experience head trauma develop intracranial hematomas. This injury results in blood clotting or pooling inside or on the brain.
In cases of hematomas, the intracranial pressure may increase, becoming life-threatening. Hematomas have symptoms similar to other TBIs, and recovery time depends on the patient.
Seek Help Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Florida Bicycle Accident
If you are involved in a Florida bicycle accident, you have rights. One right is to file an accident claim against the at-fault party and recover compensation.
While this is true, personal injury law can be challenging and complex. Because of this, it is recommended that you seek assistance from an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. At Fetterman Law, we will work for you and ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.