Anytime you are involved in an accident, it can be a scary and overwhelming process. If you are riding a motorcycle at the time of the accident, the incident may be life-threatening.
This is especially true if you decide to ride without a helmet. In fact, riding without a helmet increases the likelihood of a motorcycle accident being fatal by 37%.
Before diving into the specifics of injuries with and without a helmet while riding a motorcycle, it may be helpful to know what the law says.
Georgia Motorcycle Helmet Law
The law in Georgia requires all motorcyclists and passengers to wear an approved helmet. The helmet must be DOT (Department of Transportation) approved regarding construction and protection.
Additionally, state law says that anyone riding a motorcycle must have a big enough windshield to provide eye protection, use approved eyewear, or have a visor on their motorcycle helmet.
How a Motorcycle Helmet Can Reduce the Possibility of a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)
Motorcycles are more vulnerable if involved in an accident than other vehicles are. Drivers of traditional passenger vehicles are protected by the frame and airbags, which help reduce the potential for head injuries. However, motorcyclists have no protection, and their heads may collide with the road or a vehicle when struck.
According to information from the NHTSA, helmets are effective in preventing motorcycle accident-related deaths. They can also help prevent brain injuries.
The Type of Helmet Worn Matters
It is important to note that not all helmets have the same level of effectiveness when an accident occurs. For example, novelty or ornamental helmets that have not met the safety standards will have little success in preventing a TBI in an accident.
Many modern motorcycle helmets are specially designed to help protect the skull from begin fractured if an accident occurs. However, only some models can reduce the potential of brain damage in an accident. An accident’s jarring movement and force can cause your brain to spin in the skull. These types of brain movements, called angular or rotational acceleration, can cause a concussion or mild TBI.
It is important to purchase a protective, well-made helmet that meets safety standards. In fact, this is just as important as keeping your bike operating safely. The helmet’s outer shell needs to be rugged but should also compress when an impact occurs to disperse the energy created away from your head. The interior cushioning layer in the helmet shell should absorb the impact force – this is what safety-approved helmets do effectively.
Choosing a motorcycle helmet is a personal decision. However, wearing a helmet should be non-negotiable. Not only is it the law, but it will also help you avoid a fatal accident.
Common Types of Head and Brain Injuries That Are Seen in Motorcycle Accidents
A motorcycle head or brain injury can occur due to blunt force trauma or a sudden deceleration when the rider’s body strikes the road after being thrown from the bike. The deceleration causes the brain to hit the side of the skull, which can cause serious brain bruising.
Diagnosis of Motorcycle Accident-Related Brain Injuries
If you strike your head in a motorcycle accident, you may be diagnosed with an intracranial injury. This means the injury occurred inside the cranial cavity. The injury can also cause a skull fracture, but the fracture is not always a result of this type of injury. It is also possible for accident victims to experience skull fractures without intracranial involvement.
Most diagnoses of brain injuries include a closed-head injury or open-head injury. Open-head injuries mean there was damage to the head’s skin, bone, and exterior tissue. There are often no signs that a closed-head injury occurred. A closed-head injury is challenging to diagnose because symptoms may not appear immediately. This can cause silent damage if fluid builds up and gets trapped in the skull. When this happens, it can put pressure on the brain and cause clots or swelling.
Signs and Symptoms of a TBI
Some of the signs of a TBI include disorientation, confusion, and behavior, physical and cognitive changes. These may be permanent in some cases. In some severe situations, TBIs result in comas that last for several days or weeks. Brain injury survivors may experience depression, a loss of basic functions, and other cognitive and mental impairments.
Different Types of Brain Injuries Seen in Motorcycle Accidents
An injury to the brain after a motorcycle accident can be mild, moderate, or severe. A mild head injury may only require medication and rest. However, treatment like surgery, physical therapy, and cognitive rehabilitation may be required for more severe cases for weeks, months, or years. Sometimes, those who suffer a severe TBI will never be able to return to their former level of function.
A common mild TBI is a concussion. This can occur if you experience a brief loss of consciousness that lasts for under 60 minutes. If someone is diagnosed with a concussion, they may not lose consciousness. It is important to note that if the concussion does not have time to heal, it may result in post-concussion syndrome, which can have long-term effects.
Get Help with Your Head Injury After a Motorcycle Accident
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident with a negligent or reckless driver, you may be able to recover compensation by contacting our legal team. If you experience a head injury, we will ensure you get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Georgia law states that you must wear a helmet when riding. If you are injured while not wearing a helmet, this may impact the compensation you can receive. Contact our Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney for more information.
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