Riding a motorcycle on a highway or through the countryside can be an enjoyable experience. However, in an accident scenario, motorcyclists are at an extreme disadvantage. Unlike car and truck occupants with a solid metal shell surrounding them, motorcyclists have very little protection in an accident, except for their helmets.
Moreover, even well-made, sturdy motorcycle helmets can crack if the collision is forceful enough. A cyclist may fall to the ground when a severe motorcycle accident occurs and suffer traumatic head and brain injuries requiring hospitalization and surgical procedures. They may also experience memory loss and other ongoing complications that prevent them from taking care of themselves going forward.
A lawyer can help after suffering a brain injury in a motorcycle accident. In many cases, motorcycle accidents result from driver carelessness and negligence. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a recent motorcycle crash, you may be eligible to recover monetary damages for your losses.
An experienced Edmonton motorcycle accident lawyer in your area can meet with you to discuss the circumstances surrounding your crash and help you develop a plan for moving forward. If you are eligible to file a personal injury claim for damages, your lawyer can pursue the monetary compensation you deserve from the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and work to maximize the damages you recover.
Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle crashes usually result from some type of driver error or negligence. However, at other times, these crashes result from defective motorcycle parts and deficient repair work. One of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes is violating traffic laws.
All drivers are responsible for watching their speeds, yielding the right-of-way to motorcyclists when appropriate, and refraining from aggressive driving maneuvers. When drivers violate these and other rules of the road, they may inadvertently cut motorcycle riders off in traffic, causing a severe collision and debilitating injuries.
Motorcycle accidents also occur when drivers are in a hurry. In those circumstances, drivers may tailgate cyclists, weave zealously in and out of heavy traffic, or fail to use their turn signals, causing a collision with a motorcycle.
At other times, motorcycle accidents occur when drivers fail to watch the road carefully. Instead of watching the road, a driver might be fiddling with a GPS navigation system, sending a text message, listening to loud music in their vehicle, or roughhousing with vehicle passengers. When a driver diverts their attention away from the road, they may not see a motorcycle in the vicinity since it sits very low to the ground. As a result, the driver may negligently strike the cyclist, knocking them to the ground and causing them to suffer injuries including a head injury or brain injuries.
Another unfortunate cause of motorcycle accidents is intoxicated driving. Passenger vehicle drivers are intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent. Alberta imposes administrative penalties when the BAC is 0.05 percent and higher. However, tractor-trailer drivers and other commercial vehicle operators must not have alcohol in their system while driving.
Alcohol significantly impairs a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle carefully and safely. It may also alter their vision, limit their depth perception, and delay their reaction time, preventing them from stopping their vehicle in time to avoid a motorcyclist.
At other times, motorcycle crashes result from defective parts like handlebars, steering mechanisms, and braking components. Motorcycle part manufacturers have to design and construct their products carefully. They must also be sure to test their products sufficiently before making them available for purchase by the public. When defective motorcycle parts break or malfunction while the cyclist is out on the road—and a crash occurs—the accident victim may be eligible to file a personal injury claim for damages against the manufacturer or some other entity in the product distribution chain.
Finally, some motorcycle accidents result from negligent repair work. Motorcycle repair facilities have to perform all repairs in a safe and workmanlike manner. When they fail to do so and a motorcycle malfunctions while on the road, a serious accident may occur, injuring the cyclist. When that happens, the injured cyclist can file a legal claim against the repair facility for damages.
If you or someone you love suffered a severe head injury in a recent motorcycle crash, you should talk to a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer in your area right away. Your lawyer can discuss your legal options with you and help you file the necessary claim or lawsuit to recover monetary damages for your head injuries.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries that Cyclists May Suffer in an Accident
No doubt, cyclists have very little protection in a traffic accident. If the force of a collision knocks the cyclist off their bike and onto the road, they may suffer serious head and brain injuries, in addition to road rash, fractures, and broken bones. The types of head injuries that a cyclist may suffer will depend upon the force of the collision and how hard their head, neck, or back strikes the ground.
A concussion is a common type of traumatic head injury resulting from a motorcycle crash. Some concussions are relatively minor, while others are more serious and may result in lifelong complications.
Essentially, a concussion is a brain bruise that occurs when a cyclist’s brain moves around inside their skull. The force of a motorcycle collision may cause the cyclist’s brain to strike the side of their skull, resulting in bruising. Moreover, this movement may disrupt neurons and axons, which serve as the brain’s internal wiring system. This can disturb brain communications and cause the accident victim to experience severe symptoms.
Short-term consequences of concussions include minor memory loss, nausea, headaches, and dizziness. Long-term effects include permanent memory loss and ongoing migraines.
Motorcycle accidents can also result in more severe head injuries that cause lifelong complications. For example, a motorcycle crash victim may wind up in a coma—or even in a permanent vegetative state. Moreover, their mental condition may deteriorate to such an extent that they must rely upon others for their daily care. In those instances, the accident victim may need to reside in a nursing facility or long-term care center permanently.
As soon as possible after a motorcycle crash, you should seek follow-up treatment at an emergency medical facility, such as a hospital or urgent care center. You should seek this treatment even if you are not experiencing significant head pain or symptoms following your accident. Untreated head injuries may worsen the longer you wait to seek treatment. Moreover, seeking prompt medical treatment after a motorcycle crash shows the insurance company that your injuries are severe and that you deserve to recover appropriate compensation.
At a hospital ER, the provider on duty can order the necessary brain scans and make an accurate medical diagnosis. If you require emergency treatment, you can undergo that treatment right away. Moreover, the medical provider on duty can make suggestions for follow-up care, such as with a neurologist or other medical provider in the future.
While you seek the medical care and treatment you need, your lawyer can begin advocating for you. First, they can start gathering up your medical records to date, as well as lost earning statements from your employer. After your medical treatment is complete, your lawyer can submit a settlement demand package to the insurance company and pursue monetary compensation for your traumatic head or brain injury.
Helping You File a Timely Claim or Lawsuit in the Court System
Motorcycle accident victims have a minimal window of time in which to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit seeking damages. That time period begins to run on the date of the motorcycle accident and continues for precisely two years. Once those two years are up, the statute of limitation expires. If an accident victim belatedly files a claim or lawsuit for monetary compensation, a court will bar them from seeking the recovery they need. Therefore, it is in your best interests to retain a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you right away.
Your lawyer can begin assembling the claim documents on your behalf, and if the statute of limitations is running short in your case, immediately file a lawsuit in court.
Helping You Recover Favorable Damages for Your Head or Brain Injury
To recover monetary compensation for your head or brain injury, your lawyer can file a claim on your behalf with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Next, your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company adjuster and try to convince them to increase their settlement offer incrementally. If that does not happen, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court.
As part of their claim or lawsuit, motorcycle crash victims may be eligible to recover various monetary damages. The damages that a crash victim will be eligible to recover depend upon the extent of their head or brain injury, the medical treatment they underwent, and whether their injuries prevent them from working and taking care of themselves.
First, if the accident victim had to miss work time as a result of their head or brain injury, they may be eligible to recover their lost earnings. To prove lost wages, accident victims may need to submit copies of their recent earnings statements and tax returns.
In some instances, traumatic brain injuries prevent accident victims from performing the same type of work that they did before their accident. If they had to switch to a lower-paying job, they might be eligible to file a claim for loss of earning capacity.
Traumatic head injuries often leave accident victims in tremendous pain and cause them to suffer ongoing symptoms. In those instances, accident victims can recover monetary compensation for their pain and suffering, lasting from the accident date up until the present time. Moreover, if a medical provider determines that they suffered a permanent head injury and that they will likely experience pain for the rest of their life, the accident victim may bring a claim for future pain, suffering, and inconvenience.
The trauma associated with a motorcycle accident may also cause accident victims to experience severe mental trauma and emotional distress. Accident victims, in turn, can recover monetary compensation for this distress.
In some cases, a severe traumatic brain injury is so catastrophic that accident victims become unable to care for themselves. Consequently, they may need to reside in an assisted living facility or nursing home and rely upon others for lifetime care. In many instances, these long-term caregiver costs are legally compensable.
Traumatic brain injuries may also significantly decrease an accident victim’s overall quality of life and their ability to spend time with family members and friends. They may be unable to complete daily living activities or care for themselves in any way. In that instance, they can recover monetary compensation for lost quality of life.
Finally, motorcycle accident victims may recover monetary damages for a permanent mental disability or head injury that they suffered in their accident. To establish that a particular head injury is permanent, a medical provider must state that fact on the record to a reasonable degree of medical probability.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in your area can help you maximize your compensation and ensure that you become whole again, to the greatest extent possible, after your motorcycle accident.
Call a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
If you or a person you love suffered a severe head or brain injury in a recent motorcycle crash, it is imperative that you retain an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you right away.
Your Edmonton personal injury lawyer can immediately begin gathering your medical records and other potential evidence to use in your case. Moreover, your lawyer can assist you during settlement negotiations with the insurance company and, if necessary, file and litigate a lawsuit on your behalf in court.
Your lawyer will do everything they can to highlight the strengths of your case, downplay any weaknesses, and recover the maximum amount of compensation you deserve to recover for your traumatic head or brain injury.