Brain injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents. Riders who choose not to wear a helmet are at a 40% greater risk of dying from a brain injury.
We were recently involved in a motorcycle crash case in which the driver, who was not wearing a helmet, was killed and the passenger, who was wearing a helmet, survived with relatively minor injuries.
The simple truth is when you are on a motorcycle, bicycle or even walking near the road, you are severely under protected compared to the people riding in cars and trucks. They are protected by steel and aluminum, airbags and other cushions, whereas your body is completely exposed to other vehicles and the road.
Even in non-fatal injuries, the damage to the brain can be extremely severe and lead to life changing memory loss, problems with coordination and other cognitive and physical side effects that may keep you from ever being able to ride again.
What to Do When Florida No Fault/PIP Doesn’t Apply?
Motorcycle riders face another obstacle when it comes to accidents - paying for medical bills without Personal Injury Protection (PIP). In a typical car accident, PIP covers up to $10,000 worth of medical bills, lost wages and other expenses regardless of who was at fault in the accident. Florida law requires owners of cars, SUVs and trucks to purchase PIP, but it is not available for motorcycles.
There is another vital coverage called Uninsured Motorist (UM) Insurance. It pays you when you are injured by a driver with little to no liability insurance. Some insurance agents mistakenly advise people to save a little money by waiving UM coverage. This is a huge mistake! UM steps in to cover both the driver and a passenger on a motorcycle in the event of an accident caused by an irresponsible driver.
Often, when a motorcycle rider is in an accident, he or she assumes insurance will take care of everything until they start getting bills and realize they didn’t have adequate coverage. The average length of stay in a hospital after a motorcycle accident is 15 days for riders without helmets and 10 days for those with helmets. Not surprisingly, the costs associated with these stays are well into the tens of thousands of dollars range.
Are You Wondering if You Have the Right Insurance Coverage on Your Motorcycle?
Jim Dodson Law has a free auto insurance review program where you simply submit your vehicle and insurance information and we will evaluate your coverage. We do not sell insurance, but we want you to understand what coverage you have and what you need to make sure you will be taken care of in the event of an accident. Get yours today!
Silent Killer Within the Brain
Whether another motor vehicle turned in front of your motorcycle, cut into your lane, rear ended you, opened a door into your path or was careless enough to cause a crash another way, the results can be devastating. If you have any sign of losing consciousness, being ‘out of it’ or ‘foggy’ or have no recollection of the accident, it is essential that you get immediate medical care to evaluate a possible brain injury, even if it doesn’t seem that bad. Many brain injuries lead to life altering damage that cannot be repaired.
Do not think that just because you didn’t hit your head, you can’t have an injury. Coup countrecoup injuries occur when the brain hits the skull, not an outside object. When your head is violently jostled it can cause your brain to crash against the hard skull and cause serious damage to your brain.
Do not believe that just because you never lost consciousness, you can’t have a concussion. The fact is, most concussions do not result in a loss of consciousness. In addition, a concussion can result in damage to the brain which produces a slow bleed. This can lead to swelling, bruising and, ultimately, to unconsciousness or death. There are very specific imaging studies done by medical professionals to detect this kind of injury to the brain. A prompt medical evaluation is crucial in preventing further damage.
We have represented people whose lives have been permanently changed because of a brain injury. Sometimes the injury isn’t dramatic but presents itself in a variety of subtle changes that can change lives. If you have suffered a brain injury after an accident, we are here to help you.