According to the findings of a new study, bicyclists who ride without a helmet are nearly six times more likely to sustain a major head injury than a helmeted rider. The study, conducted by researchers in Australia, adds to growing research supporting mandatory helmet laws for bicycle and motorcycle riders, as more light is shed on the risk of long-term disability or death related to severe head injuries among non-helmeted riders. If a serious car accident or Tennessee motorcycle accident has left you with a devastating head injury, or if you lost a loved one in a collision with a motor vehicle, consult our lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates to discuss your legal options. Our law firm is located in Nashville, and our attorneys have extensive experience protecting the legal rights of accident victims throughout Tennessee.
Increased Risk of Head Injuries Without Helmet Use
The new study examines the protective effect of helmets by analyzing the connection between helmet use and severe head injury in an accident. The study authors based their findings on a study of 348 patients over the age of 15 who were admitted to seven trauma hospitals in Sydney during a 12-month period, beginning in July 2008. Their findings indicated that bicyclists without helmets were 5.6 times more likely to suffer any kind of head injury than cyclists wearing a helmet, and 5.5 times more likely to suffer a severe head injury in particular. For motorcyclists, the benefit of wearing a helmet was not as pronounced, but those without helmets were still 2.2 times more likely to sustain any head injury than helmeted riders, and 3.5 times more likely to sustain a severe head injury.
Costly Treatment for Serious Head Injuries
In addition to the increased risk of head injuries among bicycle and motorcycle riders without helmets, the researchers also examined the cost of medical treatment for patients with severe head injuries, which was a whopping three times higher for non-helmeted riders. For the 50 study participants with severe head injuries, in-hospital costs for non-helmeted cyclists reached a median of $72,000, compared to an average of $24,000 in medical costs for helmeted cyclists. This finding suggests that head injuries among non-helmeted bicycle and motorcycle riders are more extensive and costly.
Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
A main goal of the researchers in the head injury study was to shed light on the importance of mandatory helmet laws, which was the topic of another study presented in May at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Washington D.C. According to the findings of this other study, U.S. states with mandatory helmet laws had considerably lower rates of fatalities and incapacitating injuries after collisions involving bicycles and motor vehicles than those without. If you have suffered a serious head injury in a motorcycle accident or another type of accident in Tennessee, contact our attorneys at Michael D. Ponce & Associates for legal help. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and medical bills, which our lawyers can help you pursue.