Data collected by the Iowa Department of Transportation reports that there were 41 motorcycle fatalities in 2013, and 34 of them involved a motorcyclist who was not wearing a helmet. Wearing a helmet could save your life, but it's not mandatory in Iowa. Below is an overview of motorcycle head injuries that bikers might sustain in motorcycle accidents. Speak with an attorney if you suffered serious injuries in an accident in Des Moines because you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you experienced.
Types of Head Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
There are a number of different types of head injuries. Motorcyclists could suffer a relatively simple concussion that improves after a couple of days or could end up in a coma with a traumatic brain injury. Many head injuries from a motorcycle accident are traumatic brain injuries in which the brain violently moved around within the skull. Others are penetrating injuries, in which an object is embedded into the brain tissue.
Intracranial hemorrhaging may occur when blood from the trauma pools in the brain and puts pressure on brain tissue, restricting blood flow. All of these conditions can be fatal if proper treatment is not administered immediately. Motorcycle accident victims require immediate care, and those who suffer serious injuries require long-term care and rehabilitation. This can create extensive medical bills that victims may pursue in an injury claim against an at-fault driver.
What are the long-term consequences of motorcycle head injuries?
Like any type of severe head trauma, the consequences of a motorcycle accident head injury can be long-term and life-altering. Victims of a brain injury may experience:
- communication problems;
- cognitive limitations;
- trouble with mobility and balance;
- fine motor skill limitations;
- hearing and vision problems;
- lost feeling in parts of the body; and
- emotional and mental health problems, like depression and anxiety.
The effects will vary greatly from one patient to the next, depending on several factors. The type of head injury and severity of damage can determine the short- and long-term effects of the head injury.
Helmets, Head Injury and Motorcycle Accident Claims
Iowa does not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet. But even if it is within a motorcyclist's rights not to wear a helmet, not wearing one might indicate the biker's contributory negligence for head injuries. If the biker suffered a leg injury, then helmet use would not have an effect on the injury and the resultant accident claim. But in the case of a head injury, a defendant may argue that the motorcyclist's decision not to wear a helmet contributed to the injury severity.
If a motorcyclist is found contributory negligent, he or she would recover damages minus his or her own degree of negligence. If the claimant's fault is more than 50 percent, then he or she cannot recover damages at all.
Proving the other party's liability is clearly important. An attorney can collect and present evidence of the other driver's responsibility for the accident and can address any allegations that helmet use worsened the injury and damages.
Talk to an Attorney at Walker, Billingsley & Bair in Des Moines
If you or a loved one suffered a severe head injury, talk to an attorney about seeking compensation for damages. It may not be in your best interest to accept the initial offer from the insurance company. Speak to an attorney at Walker, Billingsley & Bair about your case and any offers you receive. We can help you collect the evidence you need and pursue fair compensation for your motorcycle head injuries. Call us at (888) 435-9886 to set up a confidential appointment.