Chicago, IL (PRWEB) June 07, 2012
Chicago, Illinois bicycle accident lawyer Michael S. Keating has seen a sharp increase in the number of victims of bicycle accidents that are diagnosed with a concussion since the recent news reports of the effects of collisions on football players.
Media outlets including Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and the HBO program “Real Sports” have documented the frequency of concussions in NFL players and the long-term effects of concussions. Currently, over 100 former NFL players have joined in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Georgia against the NFL for allegedly failing to protect the players from head injuries and to treat those injuries. As a result of the attention now given to the medicine behind concussions and the common causes of concussions, it appears that medical professionals are taking notice and checking for the signs and symptoms of concussions in the victims of bicycle accidents. This apparently has led to an influx in the number of diagnoses of concussions in victims of bicycle accidents.
Keating, whose firm concentrates part of its practice specifically on representing victims of bicycle accidents in personal injury and wrongful death cases, says that bicyclists don’t benefit from the same protection of persons in passenger vehicles and are therefore at a high risk of suffering a concussion.
“Bicyclists are very vulnerable and at a high risk for a concussion or other traumatic brain injury when they are involved in a bicycle accident or collision. An injury to the brain can even occur from the force of the head being jerked around; a direct impact is not necessary to suffer a brain injury,” Keating said.
Concussions can be difficult to diagnose because the signs and symptoms are common to many injuries and illnesses. Physical symptoms of a concussion can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, sleep disturbance, quickness to fatigue, lethargy or other sensory loss. In addition, a person who suffers a concussion may suffer from attention and concentration lapses, perception issues, memory loss, speech/language difficulties and even behavioral changes in the form of irritability, anger management issues or disinhibition.
“Bicycle riding is extremely popular throughout Illinois. In Chicago and the suburbs the increase in the number of bicycle paths and pro-bicycles ordinances has seen a large increase of riders who ride on a daily basis not just for recreation but also for basic transportation including commuting to work.”
With this increase in the number of bicycle riders, there has also been an increase in the number of bike accidents. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reports that in 2010 there were 1,484 reported bicycle accidents, with six bicyclists dying as a result of a bicycle accident.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 70 percent of all fatal bicycle crashes involve head injuries. However, only 20 to 25 percent of all bicyclists wear helmets even though the NHTSA estimates that bicycle helmets are 85 to 88 percent effective in mitigating head and brain injuries.
Keating added, “While the law in Illinois does not require adults to wear a helmet, it is good practice to choose to wear a helmet to lessen the risk of suffering a concussion or other head injury. Parents should also teach their kids early on that you don’t get on your bike until you have your helmet strapped on.”
A bicyclist injured in a bike accident has the opportunity under Illinois law to seek compensation for their injuries. An injured bicyclist can make a claim that includes such elements as medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of a normal life while healing from the injuries sustained in an accident.
“A neurologist who treated one of my client's that suffered a concussion once told me that there is no such thing as a “minor” brain injury. Your brain in the most important part of your body. Sometimes even the most careful bicyclist can’t prevent a bike accident caused by a negligent driver. You should do everything you can to protect your brain, and that includes wearing a helmet.” Keating added.
About Keating Law Offices, P.C.
Keating Law Offices, P.C. is a leading Chicago, Illinois personal injury law firm that concentrates part of its practice on cases stemming from a bicycle accident. Keating Law Offices has successfully resolved an extensive list of bicycle accident cases through settlement and verdicts at trial throughout Illinois. The firm also publishes the legal blog http://www.IllinoisBicycleLaw.com. For more information call Keating Law Offices at (312) 239-6787 or visit http://www.IllinoisBicycleLaw.com.