Motorcycle accidents are notorious for causing severe and life-altering injuries. One of these catastrophic injuries is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even if you were wearing a helmet, your helmet only reduces your chances of a brain injury by about 33 percent, according to neurological experts. Unfortunately, TBIs are common following motorcycle crashes, and navigating life afterward can be a challenging experience.
Brain injuries of all degrees should receive medical attention. Even mild TBIs – often called concussions – should be diagnosed, and you might need rest and time to recover. For moderate or severe brain injuries, however, your medical treatment can be much more extensive.
Moderate brain injuries often result in impairments that can last for months. It is common for patients to be monitored in the hospital for a while before they are released, and then, they might need time in a rehabilitation center before they can go home again. Outpatient occupational therapy might last a long time, and you might need assistance with basic tasks at home.
Severe brain injuries can result in a long period of unconsciousness, which doctors refer to as a coma. This can require time in the intensive care unit (ICU). In addition, many patients with severe TBIs also experience potentially life-threatening complications such as intracranial swelling or bleeding, which can lead to increased intracranial pressure. Patients might need surgery to remove part of the skull to release pressure, as well as insert a pressure monitor. When patients with severe brain injuries are released, they often spend a significant amount of time in rehab centers and might need home health care for a long time.
Even after you have completed medical treatment for a serious brain injury, the effects of your injury can persist for years, or the rest of your life. Brain injuries can result in a wide range of impairments, depending on where the injury took place on your brain and the severity of the damage.
Some impairments that might result include:
- Cognitive impairments – These can impact your ability to process information, follow instructions, communicate verbally or in writing, read and comprehend information, and more.
- Physical impairments – A TBI can cause problems with sensory abilities, coordination, balance, slurred speech, walking gait, and other physical issues.
- Behavioral and emotional impairments – Some people who sustained serious TBIs have difficulty with judgment and behavioral control. This injury can result in depression, anxiety, angry outbursts, and changes in personality for some victims.
No matter what combination of the above you might experience, it can certainly impact your life in many ways. Some people are unable to return to their previous jobs following a brain injury, and they might need to find a lower-paying job or rely on disability benefits. You might not be able to participate fully in many activities you previously enjoyed, which can be devastating.
Overall, life after a brain injury from a motorcycle accident can be costly and challenging in many ways, and you should discuss your legal rights with an experienced California motorcycle accident lawyer right away.