Bicycle accidents and traumatic brain injury in Pennsylvania

The Brain Injury Association of America observes Brain Injury Awareness Month annually throughout March. The theme this year is Change Your Mind, dedicated to empowerment and support of brain-injury victims and caregivers. At McDonald at Law in Lancaster, we advocate fiercely for our clients who have suffered brain injuries through the negligence of others, including those who have endured the aftereffects of bicycle accidents.

A local bike collision story

On March 22, The Philadelphia Inquirer published a feature article about a Berwyn woman who survived a horrific brain injury in 2005. She was biking in Willistown Township wearing a helmet when a trailer holding a cement mixer pulled by a “construction vehicle” sideswiped her. She was thrown from her bike, striking a pole and a fence.

After brain surgery and a coma, she began the excruciatingly slow process of rehabilitation, which took many years. She also shares that TBI can cause severe depression. Her immediate family members all had counseling for post-traumatic stress syndrome or PTSD.

Well before the need for related medical care ended, her medical insurance coverage ran out and she had to pay privately. Her intense search for resources to support her ongoing rehabilitation led her to understand there was a need for distribution of this information.

She decided to launch the Mind Your Brain Foundation, which organizes conferences for people with brain injury and their families, presenting materials about medical research, support resources, rehabilitation and therapies. This year, a Mind Your Brain Conference will be held at Lancaster General Hospital on October 5.

Legal advocacy

This story illustrates the need for strong legal advocacy for bicycle accident victims. An experienced personal injury lawyer will launch a thorough investigation of the incident to identify all potentially responsible parties, which could include vehicle drivers, parties responsible for dangerous road design or negligent road maintenance, parties who negligently maintained or repaired the bicycle or other vehicles, those responsible for faulty bicycle design or manufacture, and involved insurers.

A crucial component of a serious bike injury claim is the assessment of full compensation for costs that can continue permanently in severe injury cases, including those for:

Past and future medical costs
Therapy for mental health ramifications
Lost wages, past and future
Decreased earning capacity
Modifications to home and vehicle
Long-term care
Medical equipment
Housekeeping assistance
Personal care attendant services
And others, depending on the injuries
As the Pennsylvania weather improves and spring brings great biking weather, be careful as you enjoy your bicycle and be sure to seek medical attention and then legal consultation should you experience an unfortunate accident.