Motorcycle Accident Head Injuries and Recovery

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Motorcycle accident head injuries cause significant physical and psychological harm. Victims often need significant medical treatment to diagnose, stabilize and treat injuries. The recovery period can be long.

Our Greenville motorcycle accident lawyer at Bobby Jones Law explains motorcycle accident head injuries and recovery.

Injuries to the Head in a Motorcycle Accident

Diffuse axonal injury (DAI)

Diffuse axonal injury is the shearing or tearing of brain fibers. When the brain accelerates quickly, in response to the forces of a motorcycle accident, the skull may rotate. In turn, the axons may tear. This tearing damages the gray and white brain matter.

The result to the victim may be catastrophic. Mechanical and physiological breakdowns in the brain may occur, disrupting processing and communication. Diffuse axonal injury is a cause of coma and death from motorcycle accidents.

Skull fracture

The brain is protected by the bones that comprise the skull. The cranium protects the brain. Blunt force trauma may cause the skull to fracture. A break may occur with or without the bone becoming dislodged from its position. The bone may sink in from the injury.

A skull fracture may be penetrating, where an object pierces the skull. Alternatively, it may be non-penetrating and the result of blunt trauma that the bone cannot withstand.

Skull fracture may cause complications including brain damage, infection, seizures, bruises behind the eyes and leaking cerebrospinal fluids.

Axial hematoma

Hematoma is a bruise, where bleeding occurs under the skin. Hematoma in the skull includes subdural hematoma (SDH), epidural hematoma (EDH) and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Axial hematoma can put pressure on the brain, damaging brain tissue.

A victim may require surgery to drain blood from the skull. Pressure on the brain may cause numerous complications, including interruption of normal brain function causing headache, mobility difficulties, loss of speech, and confusion.


A concussion is the interruption of normal brain function. When the head encounters sudden force, the brain may shake inside the skull. Concussion may occur with or without the head striking an object. It may or may not result in a loss of consciousness.

The disruption caused by a concussion may vary in severity. Some concussions are mild, causing temporary headaches and confusion. Others are serious, causing a loss of consciousness, coordination problems and cognitive difficulties. A person suffering from concussion is at an elevated risk of harm if they suffer additional trauma before the concussion has fully healed.

Complications From Motorcycle Head Injuries

Motorcycle head injuries may be primary, resulting from the immediate impact of the crash. In addition, secondary chemical and physical changes in the brain following the crash may result in loss of function, cognitive difficulties, and death.

Head injuries from a motorcycle accident may result in significant complications. A person may suffer from:

  • Pain
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headaches
  • Mood changes and irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty processing information
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion, dementia
  • Seizures
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Depression, anxiety, substance abuse
  • Sleep disorder
  • Meningitis, lung infection
  • Loss of joint range, muscle weakness
  • Mortality

These problems may reduce the victim’s independence and quality of life. Complications may arise long after the brain injury occurs.

Treatment After a Motorcycle Accident Brain Injury

Victims of motorcycle brain injury face a long recovery. Treatment for a brain injury must be immediate to stabilize the injury. A person may need surgery to drain blood, reduce pressure or set broken bones of the skull. The risk of secondary brain injury must be mitigated during emergency and urgent care.

Physical therapy can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life. Passive stretching and electrical stimulation may strengthen muscles. The person may need daily living support. Medication may help address the secondary effects of brain trauma including preventing seizures, stopping blood clots and improving cognitive function.

In addition to physical treatment and rehabilitation, a person’s emotional care should be addressed. They may need treatment for depression or anxiety. Counseling and medication may be appropriate.

Brain Injury Prevention with Motorcycle Helmets

Motorcycle helmets save lives.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists who wear helmets have a 73% lower fatality rate. In addition, they suffer serious and critical injuries at an 85% lower rate than non-helmeted riders.

Motorcycle helmets reduce brain injuries from crashes and collisions by 67%. Riders who don’t wear a helmet are three times more likely to suffer a brain injury than those who wear a helmet.

States that have helmet laws have lower motorcycle brain injury rates than states where helmet use is optional.

One thing that a motorcyclist can do to reduce the chance of a brain injury is wear the right helmet whenever they ride.

How to Select a Good Motorcycle Helmet

Motorcycle helmets sold in the United States must meet federal safety standards. These standards are minimums. Helmets vary significantly in their design and function.

49 CFR § 571.218 – Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 218 is the motorcycle helmet safety standard in the United States. Regulations address many aspects of a helmet including its weight, thickness, chin straps, rivets, and labeling.

A helmet must fit your head shape. There are different shapes because people’s heads vary in shape. The important thing is the head shape rather than the shape of the face. The helmet must sit completely on the person’s head. It should not be too loose. It should attach around the head without any especially heavy pressure points.

Most compliant helmets weigh about three pounds. Chin straps must be sturdy. There should be a label on the back of the helmet indicating that the helmet is DOT-compliant. There are also private organizations that approve helmets, like SNELL and ANSI, and you may also see their certification labels on a helmet.

Schedule a Consultation With Our Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has suffered brain trauma in a motorcycle accident, getting the financial compensation that you deserve is so important. Compensation for a motorcycle accident can help the victim receive the medical and personal care that they need.

To talk to a lawyer about your case, contact our team at Bobby Jones Law. We offer free consultations for motorcycle accident victims and their families.

The team at Bobby Jones Law LLC works tirelessly for the injured in South Carolina. His achievements include:
  • More than $60 million collected for our clients
  • Multiple recoveries exceeding $1 million, including an eight-figure settlement
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America
  • Named among the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report
  • Named to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers
  • Named to Super Lawyers 2017–2024
  • Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Selected as Legal Elite of the Upstate 2021–2023
We’re humbled to be considered one of the top firms in the Upstate and invite you to learn what sets our award-winning legal services apart. Call or request a consultation online.
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