Head Injuries Resulting From Motorcycle Accidents

Illinois Motorcycle Accidents Involving Head Injuries

Motorcycle accidents can cause a range of injuries that vary in both their severity and effect.  As seen on this site – which largely focuses on Illinois motorcycle crashes and other motorcycle traffic safety issues – accident injuries stemming from such crashes have often been serious in nature and in many cases have been either life-threatening or fatal.

There are many reasons why such motorcycle accidents are so traumatic and harmful.  Some reasons include:

  • motorcycle accidents typical happen “at speed,” and unlike other vehicle accidents (such as car or truck accidents) there is little or no structural impact protection provided by the motorcycle
  • many motorcycle accidents involve loss of motorcycle control which often leads to motorcycle rider ejections, which frequently leads to various traumatic injuries

Should you be injured in a motorcycle accident, there are steps you should take to protect both your health as well as your legal rights.  These rights include your ability to collect injury compensation if the accident was the fault of another person or entity.   Elman Law Group has published a page with 10 steps you should take if you are involved in a motorcycle accident.  That page is titled “10 Steps To Take Following A Motorcycle Accident.”

As seen on that page, should you be hurt in an accident it is recommended that you get a comprehensive medical exam.  This recommendation is based upon many health and legal reasons.  Aside from obvious injuries that need medical treatment, there have been many accidents after which someone is seriously injured but is not aware of such injuries for some time after the accident…i.e. some accident injury symptoms are what some refer to as “delayed onset.”  A thorough medical examination can check for accident injuries that have occurred but may not yet be obvious.  Depending upon the injury, a delay in proper health care treatment can possibly become life-threatening if not fatal.  Serious injuries with symptoms that may not be apparent for a considerable time period include internal injuries as well as concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).  Those head injuries are discussed on the “Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) And Concussions” page, in which various issues are discussed, including defining TBI as well as signs and symptoms of concussions and other head injuries.

As seen on this site, there have been many Illinois motorcycle accidents in which motorcyclists as well as passengers have had head injuries.  Many of these accidents involving head injuries have resulted in fatalities.  Of note, as discussed on the “Illinois Motorcyclist Safety And Helmet Use” page, one of the best preventative measures to avoid a head injury resulting from a motorcycle crash is to wear a motorcycle helmet.

Accidents that have been summarized on this site that have involved head trauma, concussions or other types of traumatic brain injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents include the following:

  • April 24, 2017 – a Hanover Park hit & run motorcycle accident that resulted in massive head trauma [fatal]
  • March 11, 2017 – a motorcycle accident in Mt. Zion involving massive head trauma [fatal]
  • April 24, 2016 – a traumatic brain injury in a Decatur motorcycle accident
  • November 3, 2015 – a serious head injury during a motorcycle crash in unincorporated Lake Villa
  • June 25, 2015 – a motorcycle accident on I-255 near Dupo in which there may have been head trauma
  • September 18, 2011 – a motorcycle accident in Freeport in which there was a serious head injury [fatal]
  • June 19, 2011 – a serious head injury during a Gurnee motorcycle accident
  • October 12, 2010 – a Waukegan motorcycle accident involving a head injury [fatal]

As seen in the eight accidents mentioned above, as well as many others – with head trauma there is always the possibility of such trauma becoming a life-threatening injury.  As such, it is common for such injuries to be assessed in the emergency room (ER) at which point a CT scan (frequently called a “CAT scan”) is often run to test for certain conditions including bleeding on the brain.

The subject of head trauma that includes bleeding on the brain that can lead to death is discussed in the March 18, 2009 CNN article titled “‘Minor’ head injuries can turn serious rapidly, experts say.”

Notable excerpts from this article include:

It’s very common for someone who’s had a fall or been in a car accident to appear perfectly lucid just after the impact but then to suddenly, rapidly deteriorate, Dr. Carmelo Graffagnino, director of Duke University Medical Center’s Neurosciences Critical Care Unit, told CNN.

also:

“A patient can appear so deceivingly normal at first,” said Graffagnino, director of Duke University Medical Center’s Neurosciences Critical Care Unit. “But they actually have a brain bleed and as the pressure builds up, they’ll experience classic symptoms of a traumatic brain injury.”

Such injuries are known as epidural hemorrhage. Blood gets trapped between the skull and the hard layer of skin between the bone and brain, known as the dura mater. As the blood flows from the ruptured artery, the fluid builds and punctures the dura.

The article also discusses “talk and die” syndrome, as well as recognizing the signs of brain injury and the importance of having such an injury promptly diagnosed and treated.

Also discussed in the article are two notable aspects of head injuries; one is that blows to the head do not have to be “hard” in order to cause significant damage; another is that head injuries can be (very) serious even if there is no visible damage to the outside of the head.

There are various types of head injuries.  Generally speaking, head injuries are classified into “closed head injuries” and “open (penetrating) head injuries.”  Definitions of each, as seen on the MedlinePlus (U.S. National Library Of Medicine) page titled “Head injury – first aid” page:

  • A closed head injury means you received a hard blow to the head from striking an object, but the object did not break the skull.
  • An open, or penetrating, head injury means you were hit with an object that broke the skull and entered the brain. This is more likely to happen when you move at high speed, such as going through the windshield during a car accident. It can also happen from a gunshot to the head.

Another Example Of A Brain Injury In An Accident 

An incident in which a person thought they were not injured in a vehicle accident, only to find out later that they were seriously injured, is described in the Justia Opinion Summary of October 10, 2014, titled “Christiansen v. Alaska Sales & Service, Inc.”  As seen in the lawsuit summary, in this accident, a woman who was involved in a collision while driving in 2008 suffered deteriorating health after the accident.  At the time just after the accident, she didn’t realize the extent of her injuries, which, according to the lawsuit, included brain damage.

Injury Costs and Expenses For Head Injuries 

In cases where the injury was the fault of another person or entity, many people seek compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit.  This is especially so in the case of head injuries in which there are long-term impairments, disabilities, and other types of permanent injuries.  Furthermore, it is common for people who have had head injuries to also have other serious accompanying injuries, such as injuries to the neck and/or spinal column.

Depending upon the characteristics of an accident, there are many types of expenses that can result from any injuries and permanent impairments.  Typically, medical bills may be (very) high, especially if the injured person does not have health insurance to pay for medical bills.  Even for those people who have insurance coverage, bills can be substantial, as many aspects of medical care, including diagnostic tests, medical procedures, surgeries, and various types of rehabilitation tend to be expensive.  Further increasing out-of-pocket medical costs are:

  • insurance deductibles
  • costs that aren’t covered
  • paramedic and ambulance fees, if applicable

Given these medical costs – as well as other direct and indirect costs discussed below -compensation sought in these lawsuits can include many different types.  Compensation types can include (but are not limited to) that for:

  • Medical costs (past, current and future)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of function
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of consortium
  • Other economic damages

The Elman Law Group, Illinois personal injury trial lawyers, can provide an overview as to what types of compensation – as well as what amounts – may be reasonably expected given the specific characteristics of the accident, the injuries, and the overall legal and medical situations.

If you were injured in an accident, call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney at the Elman Law Group, at (773) 392-8182 to discuss the accident and see what legal actions – including the filing of a lawsuit – may be appropriate.  This discussion is provided free of charge and is confidential in nature.

Elman Law Group, LLC has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for 25+ years, and during this time has handled over 10,000 personal injury cases.  Through this extensive experience, the Elman Law Group has built a reputation for its court trial performance.  As seen in many of its cases, this successful trial experience may (substantially) increase potential accident injury compensation.

Elman Law Group, LLC handles cases on a “contingency” basis…clients are not charged legal fees unless and until they get money.

For further reference regarding traumatic brain injuries and their consequences: