The most catastrophic injuries to a bicyclist in an accident involve the head. While wearing a properly fitted helmet can reduce severity of head injuries or actually prevent them, the head can sustain enough trauma during some serious accidents to cause brain injuries. Not wearing a bicycle helmet can increase this risk. One of the most common brain injuries is the concussion.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury typically caused by a blow, jolt or trauma to the head. Learning the signs of a concussion can help cyclists and others around them determine if the injured party needs immediate care.
What are the signs of a concussion?
Some of the symptoms of a concussion include the following.
- temporary memory loss.
- concentration difficulties.
- difficulty retaining new information.
- blurred vision.
- nausea or vomiting.
- sensitivity to noise or light.
- anxiety and depression.
- excessive sleep or inability to sleep.
- lack of balance.
Sometimes, concussions can result in a loss of consciousness, but this does not happen in every case. That's why these are such dangerous injuries, because persons who do not lose consciousness may not realize they suffered a concussion and need to rest.
Therefore, recognizing the signs of a concussion is vital to ensure that the injured cyclist receives proper care as soon as possible. Bicyclists who do not receive immediate care at the scene or emergency room should see a doctor for evaluation, even if they do not exhibit any of the symptoms of a concussion or other injuries. Some injuries may not be readily evident.
Types of Concussions
Concussions are divided into three categories based on the patient’s symptoms, including loss of consciousness at the time of the injury. There are a few different systems for grading concussions.
According to the American Academy of Neurology’s concussion grading guidelines, the grades of concussions are the following.
- Grade I concussion - the person suffers no loss of consciousness and will suffer mild symptoms that last less than 15 minutes.
- Grade II concussion - the person does not suffer from loss of consciousness, but may suffer from symptoms that last longer than 15 minutes.
- Grade III concussion (or the most severe form of concussion) - the person will lose consciousness.
In a grade III concussion, the patient must be rushed to a Kirkland hospital for evaluation and tests. The doctor will ask questions to test memory and concentration skills. The doctor will also conduct tests to measure coordination and reflexes, or may order diagnostic tests like an MRI scan or CT scan. A grade III concussion can also involve bleeding in the brain.
I suffered a concussion in a bicycle accident. Am I eligible for damages?
Concussions are some of the most neglected injuries, because very often these injuries are hard to diagnose as riders and others may not recognize the signs of a concussion. These injuries can have long-term consequences. Some patients may suffer from seizures after a head injury, for example.
If you have suffered a concussion during a bicycle accident, or have experienced symptoms of a concussion like headaches, fatigue and disorientation since the accident, seek medical attention first and speak to a lawyer about filing a claim for damages.
You may be eligible to recover compensation for damages.
- medical expenses.
- lost income.
- pain and suffering.
Speak with a bicycle accident lawyer at Max Meyers Law PLLC about your legal rights to damages if you exhibit signs of a concussion and a doctor diagnosed your head injury. Call to speak with an attorney or schedule a free case evaluation by filling out our online contact form.