How Does Wearing a Helmet Protect Your Brain?

AUTHOR: A.J. Bruning | July 4, 2023
How Does Wearing a Helmet Protect Your Brain?

One of the most important safety precautions motorcycle and bicycle riders can take is always wearing a robust and sturdy helmet. A good helmet can withstand a solid blow to the head if a rider strikes the ground in a severe accident. A helmet provides a solid protective barrier between the accident victim's head and the ground.

Not only does a helmet protect the accident victim's head and skull, but it also helps to lessen the impact on the brain by providing a barrier.

When riders operate bicycles and motorcycles without a helmet and are in an accident, they will likely suffer severe traumatic head or brain injuries, such as a concussion or coma.

If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle or bicycle accident that a negligent driver caused, you should act quickly to learn about your legal rights from a skilled motorcycle or bicycle accident attorney.

Waiting too long to seek the legal representation you need may prevent you from recovering monetary compensation – especially if the statute of limitations runs in your case.

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you throughout your case and work to maximize the monetary damages you recover.

First, your lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your motorcycle or bicycle accident and then file a personal injury claim on your behalf with the at-fault driver's insurance company. Your lawyer can then handle all dealings with the insurance company, including settlement negotiations.

If your case does not settle out of court, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in the court system seeking monetary compensation and damages on your behalf. Your lawyer will do everything possible to maximize your total monetary award and ensure you recover the compensation you need.

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Qualities of a Good Helmet

motorcycle and bicycle accident attorneys in St. Louis

One of the best ways to prevent a severe head injury in a bicycle or motorcycle accident is to buy and wear a sturdy helmet.

A good motorcycle helmet, for example, should be made of sturdy material, comply with all applicable safety standards, and cover most of the rider’s face. Motorcycle helmets should also provide proper face ventilation and have a visor.

Similarly, a sturdy bicycle helmet should have a secure strap and cover the rider's entire head, including the back of the head.

Wearing a sturdy motorcycle or bicycle helmet can significantly lessen the blow if you strike your head on the ground in an accident. However, even well-made helmets can crack in an especially forceful motor vehicle collision.

Although wearing a helmet can help, motorcyclists and bicyclists do not have any control over the negligent actions and inactions of other drivers.

If you suffered a head injury in a recent motorcycle or bicycle accident, your personal injury attorney can investigate your accident circumstances right away and help you develop a plan of action for recovering the monetary compensation you need for your accident-related losses.

Causes of Bicycle and Motorcycle Crashes

Cyclists are at an extreme disadvantage compared to drivers and passengers in enclosed motor vehicles like cars and trucks because cyclists do not have the benefit of an outer metal shell or covering that surrounds them in an accident.

With no protective barrier between themselves and the ground, they may suffer severe injuries if they fall off their bike and strike their head in an accident.

Many bicycle and motorcycle accidents occur because other people drive carelessly and negligently.

One common cause of these accidents is distracted and inattentive driving. When drivers do not observe the road, they easily miss smaller vehicles, like motorcycles and bicycles, in the vicinity.

Drivers often become distracted with electronic devices in their cars, like GPS navigation systems, tablets, and cellular phones. Vehicle passengers may also prove distracting for drivers, especially when they roughhouse and engage in horseplay with the driver.

Bicycle and motorcycle accidents can also happen when other drivers speed excessively and violate traffic laws.

Moving violations that may lead to a bicycle or motorcycle accident include:

  • Tailgating
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way at traffic intersections and on busy roads

Motorcycle and bicycle accidents may also happen when drivers exhibit characteristics of road rage.

Drivers show road rage when they become angry with other drivers, usually because those individuals are not driving fast enough.

An enraged driver may tailgate a cyclist or attempt to cut them off in traffic. Unfortunately, this can have devastating consequences if the driver causes their vehicle to hit the cyclist, and the cyclist falls on the ground.

Accidents can also happen when drivers fail to use their vehicle technology, including their mirrors and backup cameras, while driving and while pulling out of parking spaces in parking lots and parking garages.

For example, if a driver fails to look into their backup camera before backing out of a parking space, they may not see a motorcycle or bicycle behind them, bringing about a severe accident.

Finally, some motorcycle and bicycle crashes happen when drivers are under the illegal influence of alcohol or drugs. These substances can alter a driver's mindset and prevent them from concentrating on the road attentively. Alcohol intoxication can lead to various physical symptoms, including nausea, dizziness, and blurred vision.

A driver with blurry vision may not see small vehicles like bicycles or motorcycles. Intoxication may also delay reflexes and reaction times. Therefore, even if a drunk driver sees a cyclist on the road, they may not brake in time to avoid a collision.

If you sustained physical injuries or property damage in a motorcycle crash that another driver caused, seek legal help right away.

A skilled personal injury attorney in your area can evaluate your claim and help you pursue the monetary recovery you need. Your lawyer can also answer all of your questions during every stage of the proceedings and work to maximize your total monetary award, either through a favorable settlement or litigation result.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today!

Head Injuries That Bicycle and Motorcycle Accident Victims Suffer

Although a sturdy helmet can help to lessen the blow to an accident victim's head, motorcyclists and bicyclists may still suffer serious head injuries in an accident. When a cyclist is not wearing a helmet at the time of their accident, their chances of suffering a severe head injury increase exponentially.

One common head injury that bicycle and motorcycle accident victims frequently suffer is a concussion. A concussion, or a brain bruise, happens when the accident victim’s brain moves around inside their skull upon striking the ground. This movement can disrupt the brain's internal hardware system – or the neurons and axons that transmit messages between the brain and other parts of the body.

Concussions can lead to both short-term and long-term symptoms. Some of the most common short-term symptoms associated with concussions include nausea, dizziness, frequent headaches, and short-term memory loss. However, other concussions are far more severe and may lead to permanent memory loss, post-concussive migraine syndrome, or a complete inability to function for some time.

Other head injuries are even more severe. For example, if an injured cyclist falls into a coma, they may be utterly unresponsive for an extended period. In some situations, comas are permanent, and the accident victim may fall into a permanent vegetative state. In that situation, they will rely upon life support to stay alive.

When riders wear proper helmets, they have a protective barrier between their skull/brain and the ground. Consequently, their injuries may not be as severe as they might have been if they had not worn a helmet.

If you or a person you love suffered head injuries in a motorcycle or bicycle crash due to another driver, you should receive the medical treatment you need and follow through with your treatment regimen. Doing so helps to increase your chances of making a full recovery from your injury.

In addition, consult legal counsel as quickly as possible so that they can safeguard your legal rights and begin pursuing the monetary recovery you deserve. Even while you finish your medical treatment, your attorney can start gathering necessary documentation in your case, including medical records and bills, police reports, and photographs of the accident scene.

Once your medical treatment concludes, your lawyer can submit a settlement demand package to the insurance company for the at-fault driver and begin pursuing the monetary recovery you deserve.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim after an Accident

To recover monetary compensation for head injuries and other medical complications following a motorcycle or bicycle accident, your lawyer can file a personal injury claim with the responsible driver's insurance company on your behalf.

As the injured accident victim, you have the legal burden of proof in any personal injury claim or lawsuit you file. Therefore, you will need to establish several legal elements to recover monetary damages.

First, you must show that the other driver owed you a legal duty of care they subsequently violated. Drivers must drive carefully, safely, and prudently. They must follow all applicable traffic laws and regulations while driving.

When drivers violate one or more of these laws, such as exceeding the speed limit, engaging in road rage, or driving while intoxicated, they breach the duty of care they owe to other drivers.

Next, you must establish that the other driver's breach was both a foreseeable and actual cause of your motorcycle or bicycle crash. Finally, through expert testimony, you must demonstrate that you suffered one or more injuries in the accident and that your injuries directly resulted from the accident.

When establishing medical causation, you will need a medical expert to draft a report or testify on your behalf. Specifically, a medical provider must state, based upon a reasonable degree of medical probability, that you suffered at least one physical injury in your accident.

Medical providers can also prove that one or more of your injuries are permanent, meaning that they are unlikely to get better with time. For example, an accident victim who suffers from post-concussive syndrome may experience migraines and painful symptoms for an extended time and possibly for the rest of their life.

A motorcycle accident attorney in your area can satisfy your legal burden of proof to recover compensable monetary damages in your case.

Recovering Monetary Damages for Head Injuries

Motorcycle and bicycle riders frequently suffer severe injuries in a crash. Consequently, they may recover various monetary damages to compensate them for those injuries and obtain justice from the at-fault driver.

The overall monetary compensation award that an accident victim recovers will depend upon various factors, including the nature and extent of their injuries, the extent of their medical treatment, the cost of their medical treatment, and other factors related to their accident.

First, accident victims can recover monetary compensation for all of their related medical expenses, including the costs of anticipated medical treatment if they suffered a permanent head injury in their accident. In addition, if they had to miss time from work, they can pursue a claim for lost earnings.

Head injury victims can also recover monetary compensation for their intangible losses, including their inconvenience, mental distress, pain and suffering, inability to function, permanent disability, loss of life enjoyment, loss of the ability to use a body part, and lifetime care costs, including the costs associated with residing at a nursing home or assisted living facility for an extended amount of time.

Your personal injury attorney will do everything they can to help you maximize these monetary damages and pursue the highest amount of compensation available to you through settlement or litigation.

Contact an Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer Near You Today

If you or someone you love suffered a head injury in a recent bicycle or motorcycle crash, you should talk with  knowledgeable personal injury lawyers in St. Louis right away. Your attorney can enter an appearance on your behalf, safeguard your legal rights, and pursue the compensation and justice you deserve for your traumatic brain injury.

A.J. Bruning


I was born and raised to represent individuals who have been needlessly injured. I mean that literally. At a young age my father would tell me about the clients he was representing. I would meet them and take pride in their admiration of my father. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer and represent clients that needed my help.

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