Articles Posted in Brain injury from motorcycle accidents

Accidents on the roadways cause the most serious traumatic brain injuries. Even more specifically, head injuries are quite common for those travelers who are in exposed vehicles–motorcycles–without the layer of protection that cars provide. It does not take much imagination to visualize how all manners of motorcycle accidents result in trauma to the head, which can cause significant long-term harm. When someone is in a car accident, being thrown from the vehicle is an exception, not the norm–especially when safety belts are used. However, the opposite is true for motorcycles, as most riders are launched off the machine, even in smaller accidents.

The official start of summer won’t come for another month, but with warming weather, the outdoor activities associated with the hot season are already in full swing. That includes riders enjoying the open road and winds that come with traveling on their motorcycle. In fact, as we’ve explained before, motorcycle travel is actually growing in popularity and more and more local residents are purchasing these machines as an alternative form of travel. Most bike owners still travel in cars but enjoy bringing out the motorcycle on nicer days or when they want a chance of pace.

Sadly, for far too many of these travelers, the desire to take in the open road may result in serious injury or even death. Accident and fatality rates are far higher among motorcycle riders than those who only travel in cars. There has been an increase in awareness campaigns recently in order to reminder all travelers–including truck and car drivers who share the road with bikers–to be familiar with the basic safety protocols that must be followed at all times to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safety.

Brain injury prevention is a complex task, because the injuries are caused in so many different ways. There is no single solution to the problem. Minimizing the toll that these harms take requires appreciating the seriousness of the consequences and understanding the situations that often cause them.

So what causes brain injuries?

Reports indicate that the single largest cause of all such injuries are falls. From toddlers to the elderly, falling and hitting one’s head on a solid object can occur virtually anywhere. That contact can prove damaging, leading to concussions or more severe forms of brain damage.

Automobile accidents are likely the single biggest cause of traumatic brain injury. Thousands of accidents strike across the country virtually every day–from fender benders to deadly multi-car collisions. Anytime you are involved in a car accident there is a chance that the force from the incident will cause head contact to a hard surface. These brain injuries can range from concussions to permanent, life-altering brain trauma. No matter what the severity, it is critical to take these head injuries seriously. Every day medical experts are learning more and more about the long-term harm that comes from even seemingly “minor” TBIs. There is no point risking anything, so be sure to visit medical professionals for guidance.

If you are involved in a car accident, chances are you will deal with an insurance company–either yours, that of other drivers, or both. It is absolutely essential not to deal with these businesses on your own. Never forget that following an accident it is in the insurance company’s best interest to pay out as little as possible on a claim. That means that there is a good chance they will offer you less than your full damages. The offer often come right away with the goal of having you accept it without fully thinking through the matter or consulting legal advice. You should fight the temptation every time.

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One of the most common causes of Illinois brain injuries that our Chicago brain injury attorneys have seen through the years involve auto accidents. Most of these injuries are caused by severe trauma to the head. When an individual is thrown around at high speeds after being involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, that trauma often results. Many local residents have had their lives turned upside down in an instant after suffering one of these injuries following a traffic accident.

As we have frequently reported, there remain precious few scientifically viable treatments for many brain injuries. Medical experts are still hard at work unraveling the mysteries of the human brain, and therefore many of these victims never fully recover to their normal selves. Instead they are forced to spend years relearning many things, and even then, some skills remain out of grasp. However, out of tragedy often comes triumph, and many brain injury victims have made the most of their situation and are working to help other struggling through the consequences of these injuries.

The Sheboygan Press published a story this week that shares the story of a man whose life changed forever when he suffered a traumatic brain injury following a car accident. In April 2005, the man reports that he was stopped an intersection of two highways when his small car was rear-ended by an 80,000 pound semi trailer truck. At first the man thought he was going to escape the accident relatively unscathed. He had a CT scan at the hospital, and everything seemed fine. His doctors told him that his headaches and dizziness should go away.

Our Illinois personal injury attorneys were sad to hear about an Illinois motorcycle accident, which left one passenger dead and two others seriously injured. The motorcycle accident occurred this past weekend when one motorcycle attempted to make a u-turn and struck another motorcycle that was heading in the other direction. The drivers of both motorcycles were injured, and the passenger of the motorcycle suffered serious brain injuries. According to the State Journal-Register, none of the riders were wearing helmets at the time of the motorcycle accident and the young woman that died as a result of her injuries suffered severe head injuries after she was thrown of the motorcycle during the accident.

Our Chicago brain injury attorneys strongly encourage all motorcycle drivers and riders to always wear a helmet whenever they are on a motorcycle. Given the danger of severe head injuries in a motorcycle accident, the importance of wearing a helmet is very high, and wearing a helmet will hopefully keep tragedies like this from occurring again. Though the state of Illinois unfortunately does not require helmets when driving or riding on a motorcycle, it is something that each motorcycle driver or passenger should definitely choose to do themselves anytime they get on a motorcycle. While you or a loved one may feel that you are very safe on a motorcycle and will not get into an accident and therefore do not need a helmet, it is important to realize that not everyone else out there on the road may be as careful, cautious, and skilled of a driver and could cause an accident that you may be unable to avoid.

Unfortunately, the overall usage of helmets has been decreasing greatly in recent years and a 2010 study showed that only 54% of drivers and passengers wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. This incredibly low percentage of helmet usage even includes those states where wearing a helmet is required to ride a motorcycle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as of 2010 only 20 states and the District of Columbia required helmets on motorcyclists. It is upsetting that so many states do not require helmets, because helmets can offer so much protection when a person is thrown off of a motorcycle and can protect against traumatic brain injuries and even against fatalities.

According to the National Trauma Databank, 62,840 cases of motorcycle collisions were reported between 2002 and 2006. According to a new study by Johns Hopkin’s University School of Medicine, motorcycle injures have increased by about 5,000 injuries per year since 1997 and motorcycle fatalities have nearly doubled. As the weather warms up, more motorcyclists will share the road and with this comes an increase in motorcycle accident-related brain and spine injuries. Chicago brain injury lawyers and spine injury lawyers recommend that everyone wear helmets at all times in order to prevent serious personal injury or death.

Trauma caused by a motorcycle collision can result in brain and spine injuries, as well as death. The newest study from Johns Hopkin’s University School of Medicine suggests that helmets dramatically reduce the risk of those injuries. Contrary to popular belief, the study also concludes that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle can lower one’s risk for cervical spine injury. According to the study, wearing a helmet can reduce the likelihood of suffering a cervical spine injury by 22 percent and reduce the odds of death by 37 percent. This new information contradicts a popular 25 year-old study often cited by anti-helmet lobbyists that found that the weight of a helmet can cause neck injury that damages the spine. However, improvement in helmet technology has created lighter, sturdier, and overall more protective helmets.

Today only 20 states have laws that require the use of a helmet when riding a motorcycle. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, Florida, and Texas, have repealed their mandatory helmet laws. As for Illinois, although Illinois does not currently require the use of a helmet, on January 27, 2011, a new bill was introduced into the Illinois House of Representatives to require the use of helmets for those operators and passengers of motorcycles who are under the age of 27.
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Nearly three decades ago Terry Pomatto “lost” her son to a motorcycle accident. Steven Paul Fowler, Terry’s son, suffered a traumatic brain injury while riding his motorcycle when an animal ran into the road in front of him. Unable to stop Steven crashed, killing one passenger, while personally suffering a traumatic brain injury. Steven did not pass away, but his life was never the same. After weeks in a coma, Steven woke up unable to do even the most mundane tasks. “It took months just for him to learn to open his mouth, to chew food, to swallow,” Pomatto said. Steven eventually regained the ability to speak, and eat, but only in a limited capacity, and he was never able to truly function as he was before the accident. Steven never made it out of the nursing home.

Steven’s mother had bought him a helmet a few weeks prior to the accident, but unfortunately Steven was not wearing it when he collided with the wild animal on May 31, 1981. A few days after the accident, Steven’s mother went to his house to pick up a few things and found the helmet sitting on the kitchen table. As a mixture of emotions swelled inside her, Terry picked up the helmet and threw it against the wall.

Steven suffered from a traumatic brain injury. The Mayo Clinic describes a traumatic brain injury as “the result of a sudden, violent blow to the head – which launches the brain on a collision course with the inside of the skull. This collision can bruise the brain, tear nerve fibers and cause bleeding.” Additionally, According to the National Institutes of Health, “half of all traumatic brain injuries are caused by collisions involving cars, motorcycles and bicycles.”

In the summer months there are an increased number of motorcycles on the road and with this, the number of injuries and fatalities among riders increases. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 40% of motorcyclist deaths in 2008 occurred during June-August, compared to only 9% during December-February. They also reported that helmets are about 37% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67% effective in preventing brain injuries.

Brain injuries can be life altering and severe. Even if you suffer a minor brain injury such as a concussion, it can render you inoperative for some time. According to Dr. Angela F. Gardner in The New York Times, “Every concussion increases the likelihood that you will have an injury to the brain if another concussion occurs.” In addition, “You don’t have to be going fast to hurt your brain.”

Many states, including Illinois, do not require riders or passengers to wear helmets. However, your chance of survival in a motorcycle accident begins with wearing one. The Illinois Department of Transportation offers additional safety tips on their website. These tips include staying out of trucks blind spots, driving defensively and cautiously, wearing high visibility clothing and performing proper maintenance and safety checks on your motorcycle.

The Chicago City Council approved a $3 million settlement on behalf of a woman seriously injured when the car she was riding in was hit by a stolen vehicle during an unauthorized police chase, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The stolen vehicle was driven in excess of more than twice the speed limit when it slammed into the woman’s vehicle, and the collision was so strong that her body was thrown from the car and landed on the ground forty feet away. Doctors had to place the Chicago woman in an induced coma for two days and she was in the hospital for over two weeks. The woman suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the crash.

Mayo Clinic reports that half of all traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of car, motorcycle and bicycle collisions. When the head is struck too strongly, such as can occur in a collision, the brain can slam against the inside of the skull and cause bruising of the brain, bleeding, and torn nerve fibers. Sudden braking or stopping as a result of a car collision can also cause this to happen. A traumatic brain injury can be fatal. When serious brain injuries are not fatal, the consequences can still be severe. Traumatic brain injury can cause cognitive impairment, affecting a person’s thinking and reasoning skills, memory, and multitasking ability.

To help prevent against serious brain trauma, always wear a seatbelt while driving in a car. Motor vehicle collisions are sometimes unpreventable, but by taking the extra precaution of wearing something as simple as a seatbelt or child booster seat, lives can be saved and people can take steps toward recovery, whether by medical intervention, lawsuits, or both.

Head Injuries are the leading cause of death for Malaysians under 45, according to a Malaysian newspaper. The periodical notes that motorcycle accidents accounted for nearly 60% of Malaysian traumatic brain injuries in 2003 even in the face of national legislation requiring all riders to wear helmets. The article continues by noting that treatment for traumatic brain injuries is limited, but improving. To more about how traumatic brain injuries are affecting other nations worldwide, please click here.

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