Motorcycle Riders: What You Need to Know about Head Injuries


The High Price of Freedom

For many people, the feel of riding a motorcycle down a winding country road is hard to beat with any other experience. Riding without a helmet adds to a sense of freedom for many of these riders. Unfortunately, that sensation often comes at a very high price. Almost every cyclist can share one or more stories about accidents. When a serious motorcycle accident does occur, brain injury is a leading cause of death. Without a helmet, a motorcyclist in a serious accident is 85 percent more likely to experience serious traumatic brain injury.

While there is no desire to discourage motorcycle riding, awareness of the risks will hopefully produce more cautious cyclists. Regardless of who causes an accident, statistics show that riding a motorcycle is a dangerous proposition. Consider these additional facts:

  • More than 34,000 motorcyclists were killed between 2001 and 2008
  • During this period, 1.2 million riders were treated for serious injuries
  • 150,000 of the 300,000 brain injuries that require hospitalization each year are related to motorcycle accidents.
  • Motorcycle death rates have increased 55 percent in the past decade.
  • 22 percent of all motorcycle accidents involve injury to the neck or head.

The Tragedy of Traumatic Brain Injury

With more than 50,000 fatalities a year attributed to TBI, it is a leading cause of death in 18 to 30 year olds. Equally tragic is the number of individuals who are disabled for life due to TBI. The brain and spinal cord are unique in that they are unable to heal themselves. One who survives an injury will likely be disabled and require continued medical care and therapy.

When a patient is admitted to a medical facility with TBI, the doctors can do little but relieve the internal pressure on the brain and allow time to reduce the swelling that occurs. After 24 to 72 hours an initial assessment is made of the extent of injury. Again, the purpose of this assessment is not for treatment or healing, it is necessary to gauge the degree of function that remains.

The costs of long-term treatment of TBI easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Such injuries are often responsible for secondary medical complications, increasing the medical, therapy and caregiver costs.

When an Injury Occurs

These facts underscore the importance of wearing a DOT approved helmet whenever a motorcycle is ridden. However, even with a helmet, the risk of TBI and other serious injuries remain.

If you or a loved one is involved in a motorcycle accident in Nevada or elsewhere that causes a death or serious injury such as TBI, you must act to protect your rights and improve your chances of receiving help with the burdensome medical expenses. By contacting an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer you will be taking the first important step to understanding your rights and legal options. With that information, you are able to develop an appropriate plan for dealing with your particular situation.