Catastrophic Brain Injury Following A Cycling Accident

Lives Changed Forever – Catastrophic Brain Injury Following A Cycling Accident

Newsreader and Strictly Come Dancing contestant, Dan Walker, suffered concussion and facial injuries after being knocked off his bike by a car in February. Fortunately, he made a full recovery, despite having no memory of the vehicle hitting him. He was lucky. Between 2016 and 2021, an average of two pedal cyclists died and 84 were seriously injured per week. Data shows that in cycling accidents over 40 per cent of adults, and 45 per cent of children admitted to hospital are suffering from head injuries. ROSPA reported in 2017 that over 70 per cent of cyclist fatalities in London involved moderate or serious head injuries and this increased to over 80 per cent in those killed in collisions on rural roads.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can result in lifelong complications, even if the TBI was relatively moderate. Making a claim for compensation is often essential to not only cover the loss of income due to a patient not being able to work following a TBI, but also to swiftly access and fund rehabilitation. In cases of severe TBIs, compensation is required to pay for a lifetime of care and special accommodation needs.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

It does not take much force to cause a mild TBI and new research by scientists at Cambridge University found that 45 per cent of patients had symptoms such as fatigue, poor concentration, and depression at least six months after suffering a concussion.

When your head meets with something hard such as a road surface or the side of a vehicle, the force can cause the brain to move inside the skull, twisting and tearing its millions of nerve fibres. If arteries or veins are damaged, blood can leak into the brain causing additional harm. Further injury to the brain can result from a lack of oxygen due to the patient being unconscious, choking on vomit, or because blood is blocking the airways. In addition, swelling, bleeding, and blood clots, which can occur in the hours and days following the accident, can damage the brain even more.

Do cycle helmets protect against traumatic brain injury?

The debate regarding whether wearing a helmet protects cyclists from TBI or simply encourages more risky behaviour remains alive and well in Britain. However, a 2019 study published in the British Medical Journal concluded that:

“there are significantly differing rates of severe TBI between a cyclist who wears a helmet and those who do not….injuries such as skull fractures, meningeal and parenchymal bleeds are at least three times more likely in the non-helmet wearing cycling group in comparison to their counterparts; all these results were highly statistically significant. We have demonstrated statistically significant reductions in the incidence of facial injuries, impaired consciousness, need for neurosurgical intervention and ICU admission between cyclists injured wearing a helmet and those who do not.”

This, along with studies from other countries such as the Netherlands show conclusively that wearing a helmet provides significant protection against suffering a TBI. As the saying goes, “cool kids wear lids.”

Can I claim compensation if I suffer a TBI following a cycling accident?

If you can prove on the balance of probabilities that another cyclist, driver, or private or public body (in the case of accidents involving potholes or other road defects) was negligent you may be able to claim compensation. To establish negligence, you, as the Claimant, must show that:

• The Defendant owed you a duty of care,
• They breached this duty, and
• The breach resulted in you suffering damage.

Although on the surface this may seem relatively straightforward, complications can arise when establishing whether or not the damage suffered by the Claimant was foreseeable and/or whether the Defendant breached their duty. To build your compensation case, your Solicitor will examine your medical records, the scene of the accident, and call on expert witnesses to provide an opinion on matters such as how the injury was caused and your long-term prognosis.

In summary

Complex TBI personal injury claims resulting from a cycling accident require the talent and experience of a Solicitor who is both compassionate as well as determined. You need to be confident they will not give up until they get you the rehabilitation and compensation you and your family need to move forward. Although TBI personal injury claims process can be long and arduous, especially in cases involving catastrophic brain injuries, an experienced Personal Injury Solicitor will take care of your legal case, as well as organise a rehabilitation care plan, so you can focus on your recovery.

Our team has decades of combined experience in successfully advising and representing clients in TBI personal injury cases resulting from cycling accidents. We are sympathetic and understanding and are here to help you every step of the way.

Call us on 01 625 667166 or email us today to discuss your claim.


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