There has been a great deal of news about concussions lately. If you are reading the St. Petersburg newspapers, watching the headlines scroll online, or watching the morning newscasters, then you have likely seen these head injuries mentioned many times. Athletes are the ones most directly impacted by this news, as changes to sports and sports equipment are being made in order to prevent such injuries among both young and adult players. However, this should also be closely regarded by those who regularly ride motorcycles. As is the case with football players, many motorcyclists wear helmets that are meant to prevent head injuries in case of a hard impact. However, these helmets will not always protect against concussion should a biker go down on the Saint Petersburg highway.
The trouble is that many people don’t fully appreciate the serious nature of concussions. Because they are relatively common injuries and the sufferers don’t always show signs of any trouble, people have come to consider them minor issues that can be figuratively “swept under the rug.” In fact, for years, coaches, knowing there was reason to suspect a concussion, sent players right back onto the court, field, or ice, without a second thought.
Motorcyclists must understand that even minor accidents must be treated with a level of seriousness. While the rider might be able to get up and walk away, the impact suffered by the head – even when helmeted – can be severe enough to cause a concussion. That is, the force can result in the brain striking the skull hard enough to cause bruising. In the majority of cases, the symptoms of concussion – confusion, headache, loss of consciousness, dizziness, nausea, etc. – will last only a short period of time. However, some of the symptoms can be last longer or may not even be immediately evident. Additionally, a second such impact, shortly after the first, can greatly increase the damage done. The damage done by concussion is now considered permanent, as studies have shown that these injuries do not fully heal, though there may be no symptoms to suggest as much. When the damage is severe, it is far more likely that the person will suffer with ongoing mental trouble. Age can also be a factor: the older a motorcyclist is at the time of the accident, the more likely he or she is to suffer ongoing symptoms as a result of brain damage done.
So, what should you do after a motorcycle accident, if you suspect that you might have suffered a concussion?
- See a Doctor. Do not refuse medical attention. It is never wise to do so after a car accident, and is even more risky after a motorcycle accident. Internal damage is not always immediately evident; therefore, it is best to be checked out right away so injuries can be discovered and treated as quickly as possible. In the case of a concussion, medical care is absolutely necessary to determine the severity. Furthermore, if symptoms get worse after returning home, it might be necessary to seek emergency care. This is especially true if a headache gets worse, if there is decreased coordination, or if the victim starts to vomit.
- File a Report. Regardless of who caused the accident, it is always wise to get a police report in case there should be any legal ramifications later.
- Contact an Attorney. If the accident was caused by a negligent driver of another party, then be sure that you consult a personal injury attorney, who is a legal professional. It may be possible to collect compensation, which will be very helpful when it comes to paying medical bills related to concussion symptoms.