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Handling personal injury claims for Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Marcos and beyond.
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to take the best course of action after a serious accident

Attorney Jared Pursley
Carlsbad Personal Injury LawyerBlogBicycle AccidentBicycle Accidents and Head Injuries

Bicycle Accidents and Head Injuries


Bicycle crash victims sustained head injuries in about a third of bicycle accidents. That’s a third of all victims, not just serious crash victims. Many of these incidents aren’t classified a ”serious” because the victim sustained no other serious injuries and didn’t immediately require extended hospitalization. Diagnosis and treatment issues plague these injuries, often causing minor head injuries to become life-threatening wounds. More on that below.

All head injuries are permanent. Dead brain cells never regenerate. So, these victims usually face a lifetime of mounting medical bills as well as increasing emotional distress. A Carlsbad personal injury lawyer can obtain the compensation these victims need and deserve. Usually, these victims don’t need to go to court to obtain this compensation. Over 95 percent of civil cases settle before trial.

mTBIs, sTBIs, and PTSD

A moderate traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is basically a concussion. By themselves, concussions normally aren’t life threatening and often require limited medical treatment.

However, the cumulative effect of multiple mTBIs causes CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a progressive condition that, in the end, is often fatal. The symptoms begin with headaches and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). They then progress to dementia-type symptoms. AT that point the victim’s medical condition rapidly deteriorates.

No one knows how many mTBIs cause CTE. It could be one or one hundred. Furthermore, the figure varies among different victims. A previous mTBI is a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies cannot use a pre-existing condition as an excuse to reduce or deny compensation.

A severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI) usually involves brain bleeding and swelling. The fall off a bicycle typically causes an sTBI. When victims fall, their brains, which aren’t much larger than oversize coffee mugs, violently slam against the insides of their skulls.

Highly-skilled brain surgeons and physical therapists must treat these injuries. Usually, a Carlsbad personal injury lawyer can connect victims with the proper medical professionals who, in most cases, charge no money upfront.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is also a physical brain injury. Severe stress, like the stress of a serious bicycle accident, alters the brain’s chemical composition. The imbalance causes symptoms like anger, hypervigilance, and depression.

Like other head injuries, PTSD is difficult to treat. Many victims cannot tolerate strong PTSD drugs. Furthermore, pinpointing the correct PTSD therapy is usually a trial-and-error process.

Bicycle Helmets and Legal Issues

California law on this subject is quite complex. Bicycle riders under 17 must wear helmets. If the victim is older, the failure to wear a helmet could affect the amo8nt of compensation. Usually, the defense is a two-step process.

First, the insurance company must prove the victim had a legal duty to wear a helmet. If the victim was under 17, the helmet law applies. If the victim was older, the insurance company must prove that the duty of reasonable care required the victim to wear a helmet or take other such precautions.

Second, the insurance company must prove the failure to wear a helmet substantially contributed to the victim’s head injury. Depending on the nature and severity of the head injury, this element could be difficult to prove. That’s especially true since most bicycle helmets are made from foam or plastic and don’t offer much protection in a high-speed collision.

Incidentally, evidence suggests that bicycle helmets increase the risk of serious injury. Subconsciously, tortfeasors (negligent drivers)  believe helmeted riders could survive collisions, so these tortfeasors take risky chances.

Count on a Hard-Working San Diego County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Carlsbad, contact the Pursley Law Firm. We routinely handle matters throughout the Golden State.



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