Brain Injury Basics To Know If You Get in A Cycling Accident

When cyclists hit their heads in accidents there are numerous ways that the brain can be damaged, and just as many ways for this damage to manifest itself. The following provides a brief explanation of what may happen and how your attorney can prove it in court.

Because the brain is such a delicate and complicated organ, brain injuries can be a tricky thing to treat–and to prove in court. When cyclists hit their heads in accidents there are numerous ways that the brain can be damaged, and just as many ways for this damage to manifest itself. Here is a brief explanation of what may happen and how your attorney can prove it in court.

Types of Brain Injuries

When the brain is damaged within the skull from violent movement, like you would see in a car accident, it’s very much like an ice cube that is shook in a drink when a glass is moved back and forth. This creates strains and pressures on the particular parts of the brain.

These strains can cause different types of cognitive malfunctions depending on where the damage occurs. For example, the frontal lobe deals with the executive function and the ability to multi-task and also regulates higher executive functions, i.e. conscious thought memory, intelligence, concentration, behavior, personality, and aggression. An injury to the parietal lobe, which is behind the frontal lobe, results in deficits in language and word function, as well as executive function like calculating finances, computer use, sports, and recreational activities.

The base of the human skull is very rough, it’s made up of three plateaus that have bony ridges, and when the brain is shaken, these ridges tear into the brain. When the brain is rotated, as well as moved violently back and forth, the areas that are most frequently damaged are the temporal lobes and frontal lobes.

The brain twists much like a water balloon would twist. i.e., if you took both ends of the water balloon and rotated them in different directions, and the area that twists the most is the middle near what we call the brain stem. This area has many fibers and connections called axons. This type of injury results in a diffused axonal injury. It is the most common kind of devastating head injury. When axons are sheared, the axons are stretched and they slow down how you visually process information. If you are seeking damages, you must try the case on a cellular level. The key is to compare before and after the accident and the symptoms thereof.

Symptoms of Brain Damage

Some cognitive symptoms of brain damage are forgetfulness, lack of concentration, slowed work performance, poor reading comprehension, problem solving problems and fatigue. Other symptoms include job demotion, functional release, loss of libido, unconsciousness, cadence of speech, and slowed mental process. Also, depression due to a chemical reaction, headaches, cognitive symptoms, fatigue and emotional issues may surface. The Olfactory region deals with the sense of smell and taste, which if affected is evidence of a traumatic brain injury.

Symptoms can develop when the soft lobe hits the rigid brain bones. This may cause a cerebral contusion. The brain tissue becomes swollen and bruised. Blood vessels break and combine with swollen tissue. A contrecoup is a form of brain contusion that results when the brain comes in contact with the skull.

Diagnostic Tools

When diagnosing a traumatic brain injury, an MRI is used, but it’s not sensitive enough to detect damaged axons. If you suffer a contusion, you may also experience a diffused axonal injury; when nerves in the brain tissue are damaged.

Whereas a CAT scan will determine a blood trail, but not a mild traumatic brain injury, a PET scan is sensitive to cellular damage, and a Spec Scan defines the course of treatment. EEG’s are also used. It’s a medical issue.


Brain injuries are serious and warrant appropriate compensation. Part of my role as your experienced trial lawyer is to research similar jury verdicts to your injuries and any loss of income flowing from your disabilities.

I’m very interested in this process and would value the opportunity to assist you and your family.

Mr. Richard L. Duquette is a local Carlsbad, California Personal Injury Trial Attorney who since 1983 has mixed law with his love of Bicycling and Surfing from Baja to Bali. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] His phone number is (760) 730-0500.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like
Read More

Lost Earning Capacity Part I: General Principals

There are two basic categories of damages in a personal injury case: special damages and general damages. Special damages refer to the direct, quantifiable pecuniary loss that can be traced to the accident. General damages, on the other hand, refer to other, less readily quantifiable losses such as pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, and emotional distress.
Read More
Read More

The Economics of Justice in a Small Bicycle Injury Case

As the insurance industry pumped millions of dollars into tort reform by way of advertising and politics, life changed for consumers, including bicycle crash victims. Currently it’s common place to see a settlement offer of only $1,000.00 on a $3,000.00 case, with an offer to pay only your medical bills. Attorney fees and victim pain and suffering have taken a big hit.
Read More
Read More

Bicycles and Wrongful Death Part I: Proving Fault

This three-part article addresses the question of what legal remedies exist for the surviving family of a bicyclist who is killed by a negligent driver. Part one of this article discusses proving fault, and the distinction between wrongful death claims and a survival action. Part two discusses the classes of plaintiffs who may bring a wrongful death action. Part three explains the types of damages that are available to them.
Read More
Read More

DMV Justice: The Department of Motor Vehicles Re-Examination Process

What can you do when hit and seriously injured by a motorist you believe should not be driving to due to age or a mental or physical disability in order to protect others using the roads in the future? Following a fatal or serious injury accident, the Department of Motor Vehicles has authority to investigate and require a re-examination to determine whether the negligent drivers driving privileges should be revoked, suspended, restricted, or placed on probation.
Read More