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Nearly 20 percent of reported brain injuries in U.S. attributed to bicycle accidents

In a recent article that is posted on our website, we discussed the strong prevalence of brain injuries among bicycle accident victims. From a child who falls off a bike and hits his or her head on the curb to an adult cyclist who is riding down the street and is hit by a car, anyone who rides a bicycle is at risk of suffering a brain injury.

Statistics from 2009 indicate that bicycle accident-related brain injuries accounted for nearly 20 percent of all reported U.S. brain injuries. Given the significant role the human brain plays in nearly every aspect of bodily functioning, even a seemingly mild injury to the brain can have a devastating impact on an individual’s life and the lives of his or her family members. 

Damage to the brain is permanent and an individual’s long-term prognosis depends largely on the severity and location of a brain injury. In some cases, an individual may experience cognitive problems that affect one's ability to recall information, think clearly and communicate. Cognitive impairments may be temporary or permanent in nature, and can negatively impact an individual's personal relationships and ability to work.

In addition to reduced or impaired cognitive functioning, an individual who suffers a brain injury may also experience behavioral and emotional changes. Emotions and behaviors associated with aggression, depression and irritability are commonly experienced by individuals who suffer a brain injury to the frontal lobe portion of the brain. After an injury to this region of the brain, an individual who was previously outgoing and happy may seem withdrawn and depressed. 

Brain injuries are among the most devastating of all injuries and negatively impact an individual's life in numerous ways. Unfortunately, bicyclists are particularly prone to suffering brain injuries. For those who have been personally impacted by a bicycle accident, an attorney may be able to assist in the recovery of compensation related to medical expenses, lost wages and disability.

Source: Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, "Understanding TBI: Part 2 - Brain injury impact on individuals functioning," 2014

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