Many people in Redmond, WA bike for transportation or pleasure. One of the biggest risks that cyclists may face if in an accident is traumatic brain injury (TBI), a condition that can cause short- and long-term effects. If someone suffers TBI in a bike accident that was a motorist’s fault, the cyclist can pursue compensation through insurance claims or a personal injury lawsuit.
TBI is a broad term that fundamentally describes an injury to the brain. The severity of a TBI can range from mild (concussions) to severe.
Some of the effects of a TBI may include:
- loss of consciousness;
- memory loss;
- cognitive difficulty;
- trouble using language;
- communication trouble;
- depression and anxiety;
- alcohol abuse;
- sleepiness; and
- trouble sleeping.
The symptoms can affect a person's ability to perform job duties or advance in their career. It can also damage relationships with friends and family.
Doctors may use a variety of different methods to treat a brain injury and its symptoms. Physical, occupational, speech and language therapy may help patients learn how to express themselves and re-learn how to perform daily activities following a severe TBI. To treat the depression, moodiness and sleep problems associated with TBI, doctors may prescribe antidepressants, mood stabilizers and sleep medication.
Recovering Expenses and Losses after a Bicycle Accident
The motorist's auto liability insurance can pay for expenses after a bicycle accident. This might include damages related to the medical expenses necessary to treat the injury. Depending on the severity of the head injury, bicyclists can face significant costs associated with emergency care, hospitalization, and therapy or medication such as that mentioned above.
Cyclists may also miss work as they recover from their TBI. Mild injuries may allow the bicyclist to return to work within a few days or weeks, but severe injuries may require a much longer recovery period. Some bicyclists may no longer be able to work after suffering a serious TBI. As such, a liability claim against the motorist who caused the accident can cover lost wages and lost earning capacity.
Other damages may apply as well depending on the details of the case. Cyclists may pursue pain and suffering damages or other noneconomic damages related to the accident and injury. Speak with an attorney about the damages that might be recoverable.
How the Law Affects Bicycle Accidents
Washington is a pure comparative fault state, so the cyclist can recover damages even if he or she is partially at fault for the accident or injuries. But any fault the cyclist has for the accident will reduce recovery of damages. For example, if the cyclist is 10 percent at fault and suffered $100,000 in damages, the cyclist would only recover $90,000 instead of the full amount.
This may be especially applicable in traumatic brain injury cases where the bicyclist was not wearing a helmet. If the bicyclist’s decision not to wear a helmet contributed to injury severity, then he or she may be partially at fault. Defendants or insurance companies may argue that wearing a helmet could have prevented or reduced the severity of the injury.
If you're considering legal action to recover costs associated with the accident and TBI, hire an attorney. Max Meyers Law PLLC can help with your TBI bike accident case in Redmond. Contact our office at 425-399-7000 to set up a free consultation.