Motorcyclists and their passengers are at high risk of head trauma when accidents happen. The severity of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) depends on the type of injury and where the damage occurs. A motorcyclist with a TBI often faces high medical expenses, lost wages, and even permanent disabilities after a wreck.
In California, you can seek compensation if you were injured in a crash caused by someone else. But you’ll need an experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer to help you demand the money you are owed. Insurance companies tend to be biased against bikers and paint them as reckless riders regardless of the truth. At Custodio & Dubey LLP, we’ll fight for the justice you deserve.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Why are Brain Injuries Common in Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle riders are more vulnerable to TBIs for several reasons.
- Less protection: There’s little separating a rider with direct contact with another vehicle, the road, or a hazardous object in a collision.
- Harder to see: Motorcycles are smaller than other cars. Other drivers may pay more attention to larger vehicles and obstacles in traffic, forgetting to check for less visible motorcycles in their path.
- Force of impact: Even at lower speeds, the sudden bump or jolt from a crash is enough to damage the brain’s delicate nerves and tissues. What seems like a minor headache after a motorcycle accident can turn into a life-threatening emergency within hours or even minutes.
Research shows that motorcycle helmets are 69 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. California is one of 18 states with a universal helmet law that requires all motorcyclists and passengers to ride helmeted.
Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accident TBIs
- Open: Occur when an object (such as a bullet) or bone fragment pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue.
- Closed: No skull fracture, with damage caused by the rapid movement of the brain within the skull upon impact.
TBIs are further categorized by the damage resulting from the trauma:
- Concussion: The mildest type of brain injury, concussions happen from the violent shaking of the brain or whiplash-like motions that snap the head back and forth in rapid succession. Concussions are common after car accidents, falls, and sports injuries. They may be open or closed TBIs.
- Contusions: Bruising or bleeding on the brain can occur at the point of impact or on the opposite side of the skull. Depending on the severity of the contusion, victims may need surgery.
- Coup-contrecoup: This injury results in contusions on both sides of the skull, first at the injury site and then on the other side as the brain collides with the skull.
- Diffuse axonal: One of the most severe forms of TBI, a diffuse axonal injury causes microscopic damage or “shearing” to the nerve fibers in the brain. Though they can cause catastrophic harm, diffuse axonal injuries often can’t be captured on a CT scan or MRI.
- Penetrating: An open TBI, a penetrating injury occurs when an object such as a bullet or knife pierces the brain. Depending on the object and how far it protrudes into the brain, a penetrating TBI may cause localized or widespread damage.
- Second-impact syndrome: A condition caused by repeated TBIs before the first injury is fully healed. For example, if you sustained a concussion in a football game and then suffered a TBI in a motorcycle accident, you could suffer much more brain damage than you might have had if the other injury had healed completely.
Motorcyclists who suffer TBIs may experience temporary symptoms that heal with time or a lifetime of disabilities that affect their ability to work, live independently, and have meaningful social and family relationships. If you or someone you love lives with a TBI, a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer can determine whether you have a valid case and help you demand full and fair compensation from the at-fault party.
Compensation After a TBI in California
A successful claim for compensation after a California motorcycle accident can make a huge difference as you move forward in life. You may be awarded money for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income and benefits
- Lost earning potential
- Ongoing medical expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Most motorcycle accident claims are resolved through settlements with the at-fault party’s insurance companies. However, there are also cases where stubborn insurers refuse to make a fair payment out of court. Custodio & Dubey LLP won’t hesitate to take your case to trial and aggressively pursue compensation for you in those instances.
One thing to keep in mind: California awards compensation to injured people even if they are partly at fault for a motorcycle accident. However, the money you receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault you are assigned for the crash. Given this rule, it’s a safe bet that the liable party will attempt to argue that you’re more to blame. It’s a good idea to have an attorney by your side to prevent you from being under-compensated.
Contact an Experienced California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Don’t try to handle your brain injury claim alone after a motorcycle crash. TBIs are among the most complex legal cases. That’s because so many TBIs are “invisible injuries.” Though the brain damage is disabling, it can be challenging to prove your case for compensation without solid evidence and an advocate to negotiate fiercely on your behalf.
Trust Custodio & Dubey LLP with your claim. Our skilled California motorcycle accident lawyers provide high-quality legal representation that always keeps your best interests at heart. We’ll enforce your rights and position your case for the best possible outcome.
Our law firm has a reputation for excellence and a track record of success that speaks for itself. Call us today to learn what your case is worth. There’s no charge for the first consultation.