What is the relationship between motorcycle accidents and brain injuries?
About two million head injuries happen every year, and 28% of them are caused by motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle riders are not safe and are not protected like a car rider, which is the reason why motorcycle accidents are life-changing incidents for the victims.
In a motorcycle accident, pain, suffering and medical expenses will be a source of stress for victims. It may even take a lifetime to recover completely from a head injury due to a motorcycle accident. Since the damage will affect a person physically, emotionally and financially, motorcycle accidents should be avoided. Please read our article regarding common motorcycle accidents and learn more on how to avoid them.
See our related article Motorcycle Accidents and Medical Issues: What to Expect
Brain Injuries Caused By Motorcycle Collisions
In most of the motorcycle accidents, the body will halt suddenly and the brain keeps on moving due to forward momentum. After collision in the front part of the skull, the brain may bounce back and strike the back side of the skull, resulting in swelling of the front and back portions of the brain. These injuries can harm the victim's ability to remember, concentrate, speak or perform regular motor functions like walking. If the victim is on a motorcycle and was thrown away from the vehicle onto hard surfaces, the resulting shock to the brain can be more serious because of a direct collision to the skull.
In case of motorcycle collisions and head injuries, doctors will look for symptoms of a concussion, since a concussion is the usual brain injury that is caused by a direct collision to the head. The impact of a concussion may last for a short period of time or may even result in lifetime complications. Usually the complication of a concussion depends on how fast it is identified, the damage caused and how quickly it is treated.
Other usual brain injuries that occur due to motorcycle accidents are subdural hematomas and a fractured skull. In this case, a major vein in the brain is not capable of removing blood from the cerebral cortex and it will bring about swelling that leads to severe injury or death.
See our related article Common Motorcycle Accidents Frequently Encountered On the Road
Treatments and costs for motorcycle accidents with brain injuries
Traumatic brain injuries cost more than $48 billion in the U.S. This indicates that traumatic injuries due to motorcycle accidents add a cost of 13$ billion annually. For a motorcycle accident victim, severe head injury can bring about costs as much as around $4 million. All expenses from initial scans for detecting the injury and treatments for treating the injury are included in this estimated amount.
The first step in treating a brain injury is to reduce the damage that is occurred before it goes out of control, because the damage cannot be reversed. So when doctors identify traumatic brain injury, they will try hard to stop the bleeding, tearing and swelling in the brain that may result in chronic damages. Evaluation by physicians is required to analyze the amount of damage once the patient attains a stable condition. Impaired memory, motor skills, speech, and behavioral changes and more severe signs like seizures are often seen in victims with traumatic brain injuries.
Prognosis for motorcycle accident victims with brain injuries
Various treatments may be used to restore complete cognitive functioning or at least make the person lead an independent and comfortable life. These therapies include speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and counseling. The duration of treatments vary based on the complexity of the damage.