According to statistics released by the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 7,481 motorcycle crashes occurring in the state in 2020. With little to no protection on bikers when traveling, it is not uncommon for accidents involving motorcycle riders to result in a serious injury – and the statistics back it up. About 25 percent (1,856) of those resulted in a serious injury, while more than six percent (482) were killed.
However, despite having ample protection, motorcycle accidents can still result in injuries, the most common of which is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that more than 15 percent of TBI cases are helmeted riders while 21 percent are unhelmeted.
Considering that traffic laws exist mandating motorcycle riders to wear helmets, can you still expect some form of compensation when you suffer a TBI from an accident while not wearing a helmet? When you or a loved one has been involved in this situation, it is imperative that you call an experienced motorcycle accident attorney right away to find legal recourse and seek the compensation you deserve.
The Texas Motorcycle Helmet Law
Texas laws mandate the wearing of helmets for all persons under the age of 21 while riding a motorcycle, regardless of whether you are the driver or the passenger. However, those under 21 are only allowed to forgo the wearing of a helmet if one of the following can be proven to be true:
- The individual in question has completed an approved safety course involving motorcycle safety.
- Having medical insurance coverage of at least $10,000 to cover injuries sustained in the event of an accident.
Regardless of whether any of the above is proven to be true, the Texas Department of Transportation still mandates all individuals of any age to wear an approved helmet when riding a motorcycle for increased safety.
How Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Defined
There is linguistic ambiguity surrounding TBI as different experts have varying diagnoses on TBI patients. For example, some experts use the term synonymously with a head injury, while others consider actual damage to the brain as TBI.
For the purposes of this discussion, a TBI is to be defined as sustained trauma to the head that results in a loss of consciousness, short-term memory, and short-term to long-term neurological deficits. This definition gives rise to the following five different conditions medical professionals use to distinguish the trauma suffered by different accident victims.
- Concussion. As the most commonly-occurring type of TBI, concussions can occur in almost all vehicular accidents involving head trauma and can range from mild to severe. It is caused by an immediate blow to the head during impact, dealing trauma to the brain.
- Contusion. A contusion is a deep bruise that indicates bleeding in the brain. Although most contusions are mild, severe enough cases often need surgery in order to remove large contusions in the head that put pressure on the brain.
- Coup-contrecoup Injury. The most significant sign of a coup-contrecoup injury is when there are contusions on both sides of the head. This is caused by a substantial impact on the head causing the brain to slam on the opposite side of the skull, dealing contusions on both sides of the head.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury. In accidents that occur at high speeds, various interactions with surrounding areas may lead to varying impact causes. When this happens, the movement of the head and the brain may oppose each other, which causes the nervous tissue in the brain to tear. These usually lead to a slight interruption of normal brain function in mild cases. However, more severe cases can lead to permanent brain damage and short-term or permanent coma.
- Penetration Injury. At high-speed accidents, the sheer force of the impact might be enough to cause particular objects to lodge in your skull and into the brain. Aside from the object itself, this may also cause other foreign things like skin, bone fragments, and hair to enter the brain.
The Financial Impact Of A Brain Injury
When sustaining a brain injury, some effects may be temporary, but many of these injuries have long-term effects that can also lead to significant consequences, especially concerning the financial burden it leaves on you and your family. Here are some of the economic costs and additional expenses you could face when you suffer a brain injury as a result of a motorcycle accident:
- Medical expenses can include the cost of transport using an ambulance, emergency services, hospitalization, diagnostic imaging of your brain, follow-up visits for persistent symptoms, pain medication, and in severe cases, surgery.
- Rehabilitation expenses can include but are not limited to physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioral therapy.
- Long-term medical care expenses can pile up if you need in-home medical care such as home care equipment and caregivers or nurses.
- Home modifications may be necessary for increased accessibility when long-term or permanent damage is involved. These include handrails, wheelchair ramps, extra features on faucets, and extra doors, locks, and alarms.
- Lost wages can add to the financial burden since temporary or permanent disability could mean being unable to return to work.
Other costs can include expenses incurred when hiring help to perform household functions, especially when you require extra care at home.
What The Law Says About Compensation
Compensation can be awarded to the aggrieved party when sufficient evidence is present and can prove that injuries sustained resulted from the offending party’s negligence. This means that you may be entitled to compensation when you can prove that the accident was not your fault.
However, by not wearing a helmet, you could be held liable for taking the proper precautions that could have prevented or lessened the extent of your injuries. This could result in less compensation or no compensation at all.
When you or a family member have been involved in a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet, it is imperative that you call a motorcycle accident attorney right away. With an experienced motorcycle attorney by your side, you can gain access to expert legal advice that can help you form a case for compensation.
Moreover, a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of personal claims in cases involving the non-wearing of a helmet. Gain access to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer today by calling our offices near your city through the following numbers:
- Arlington (817) 522-4451
- Dallas (972) 362-6848
- Fort Worth (817) 764-1375
- Plano (972) 354-4602
- Cedar Hill (972) 338-9427
- McKinney (469) 522-3688
- Lewisville (972) 354-4605
- Frisco (972) 725-7681
- Grapevine (817) 835-8677
- Irving (972) 354-4610
- Keller (817) 204-0904
- Garland (214) 572-2251
- Denton (940) 222-4060
- Addison (972) 564-8108
You can also contact us online by using our quick contact form.