Your face, head and brain are vulnerable in a motorcycle accident. Without a helmet, nothing will stand between your skull and a source of impact, such as the pavement. Even if you wear a safety-approved helmet, the impact could still be strong enough to cause a serious brain injury. If a doctor diagnoses you with a brain injury after a motorcycle accident, put your physical and emotional wellbeing first. Then, when you are ready, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Kansas City for assistance bringing a brain injury claim.
Recognize the Symptoms of a Brain Injury
First, determine whether you have a brain injury after a motorcycle accident. Stay still after a motorcycle wreck if you are in a safe place. Check yourself for injuries, considering whether you are experiencing any pain in your head or neck, disorientation, or if you blacked out. These are some possible signs of a brain injury.
- Persistent headache
- Mood changes
- Nausea or vomiting
- Memory loss
- Loss of balance
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Loss of consciousness
If you are exhibiting brain injury symptoms, or if you have any other injuries from the motorcycle accident, call 911 and request an ambulance right away. Remain at the scene of the motorcycle crash until the police appear to investigate the accident. Try to get the other driver’s contact information and photographs of the crash scene, if possible.
Seek Immediate Medical Care
Brain injuries of all types and degrees are serious. They can have long-term effects such as changes to the way you think, speak, act, communicate, eat, move and behave. Going to a hospital immediately for a brain injury could give you the medical care and emergency treatments you need for a more positive prognosis. A surgeon may need to open your skull to relieve pressure from swelling in the brain, for example, to reduce the risk of long-term brain damage. Follow your physician’s treatment plan and recommendations exactly after a brain injury diagnosis. Keep copies of all your brain injury medical records and accident reports.
Understand Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Brain Injury Claims
Once you are on a treatment plan for your brain injury, contact an attorney near you to retain legal services for your motorcycle crash case. You do not want to struggle through your claim alone while you are simultaneously trying to heal from a brain injury. Hiring a lawyer in Kansas City can give you all the resources and information you need to bring a claim and fight for fair compensation. This includes knowledge of how your state’s motorcycle helmet and comparative negligence laws could affect your claim.
Currently, Missouri has a universal law requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets when they ride as operators or passengers. In Kansas, the law only requires the use of motorcycle helmets for riders under the age of 18. If you broke your state’s motorcycle helmet law by not wearing one and suffered a brain injury, the defendant could use this against you to argue that you deserve less compensation because of your legal infraction. The courts might reduce your compensatory award under the doctrine of comparative negligence.
Missouri and Kansas both use versions of the comparative fault law. Comparative fault means you could still recover partial compensation even if you were somewhat responsible for causing the motorcycle accident. Missouri is a pure comparative fault state, with no cap on the amount of fault to still be eligible for damages. You could be 90% responsible for your brain injury in Missouri and still recover compensation. Kansas imposes a cap at 50%. If the courts find you 50% or more at-fault for your brain injury in Kansas, you will not be eligible for any compensation. Hire a brain injury lawyer in Kansas City to help you navigate your state’s laws and fight for maximum compensation.