While California might be more green-minded and accepting than most other states, there still exists something of a stigma here against bicyclists as some like to blame cyclists for any accident regardless of fault. Because of this, we’ve seen many cyclists walk away from an accident without assessing the full extent of their injuries. Others will deny the severity of their pain as a means of coping and distancing themselves from the traumatic event, but doing so can have serious consequences.
Traumatic Brain Injuries are Not Always Immediately Evident
One of the most common injuries sustained from motor vehicle accidents, particularly in cases of vehicles vs. bicycles, is traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a sudden physical force, such as hitting one’s head on concrete or being struck in the head by a heavy object. Also known as “The Silent Epidemic,” traumatic brain injuries are largely unseen, but can have serious long-term repercussions.
Victims might experience physical, behavior, or mental changes (or a combination thereof) immediately or even months after the accident. Some symptoms may be gradual and it might take a loved one to notice the differences in the victim’s personality or mental state. Common symptoms include mental confusion, increased agitation, sleeplessness, and impaired vision.
Not All Force Impacts are Alike
How a traumatic brain injury might impact a person depends largely upon where the brain was injured and how. For instance, a slip-and-fall injury is more likely to result in a localized brain injury where damage is confined to the specific area where the head was hit. Serious and complicated injuries, such as those incurred during a high-speed vehicle accident with brain whiplash, more frequently result in closed-head injuries in which diffuse damage is caused by the brain thrashing back and forth against the skull.
- Brain stem damage at the brain’s base can impact basic arousal and regulatory functions. This can lead to disorientation, anger, and impact short-term memory functions.
- Limbic system damage above the brain stem can impact emotional functions and interfere with basic balance and movement controls.
- Temporal lobe damages at the side of the head can impact both long and short-term memory functions, make new learning difficult, and cause persistent talking.
- Parietal lobe damages near the back and top of the head can impact how a body processes external information. A traumatic brain injury here may impair a person’s ability to identify objects by touch and create an inability to draw and follow maps.
- Occipital lobe damages at the very back of the brain can impact vision functions. This includes causing various degrees of blindness, producing hallucinations, and negating a person’s ability to recognize written words. Due to its exposed location on the head, even when wearing a helmet, bicyclists tend to be a bit more susceptible to this type of traumatic brain injury.
Never Ignore a Head Injury
Even seemingly low-impact head injuries can result in a devastating traumatic brain injury. If you are involved in a slip-and-fall or motor vehicle accident and your head was hit, it is vital for you to seek medical assistance and begin early treatment. Because such treatment can be very expensive, it’s often necessary to seek out compensation in cases of negligence and vehicle accidents.
Attorney Josh Cohen
At the Law Offices of Josh Cohen, we specialize in cases related to cycling and personal injury law. We’ll help you get the financial compensation you need to overcome a traumatic brain injury and continue with your life. Contact your local Los Angeles lawyer at Los Angles Bicycle Attorney, or at 855-377-2453 to learn more.