Serious Head Injury Sustained by Motorcyclist Not Wearing Helmet
Two motorcyclists were seriously injured in a traffic accident on Sunday afternoon in Corpus Christi when a woman driving a minivan failed to yield the right of way. The woman pulled out from a parking lot, darted across three lanes of traffic, and suddenly made a u-turn. A motorcyclist who was travelling in the center lane swerved to avoid getting hit by the minivan. The driver of the motorcycle lost control and crashed, throwing him and his female passenger off the bike.
Both victims were transported to a local hospital. The woman, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered serious head injuries.
This kind of collision happens far too often in North Texas.
Helmet Not Required, But Smart in Texas
Texas law does not require use of a helmet by riders older than 21 years as long as they have successfully completed the rider training program or have medical insurance that covers motorcycle accident related injuries. However, regardless of Texas statutes, motorcyclists of all ages should wear a helmet to avoid head and face injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a 2009 report titled, “Motorcycle Helmet Use and Head and Facial Injuries.” Researchers found that the rate of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and face injuries was lower for helmeted motorcyclists than for unhelmeted motorcyclists. Also, the higher incidence and severity of TBI in unhelmeted motorcyclists resulted in higher costs of care associated with their treatment and greater need for rehabilitation and long-term care.
Unfortunately, the NHTSA report did not persuade the Texas Legislature or Governor of the need to toughen laws on helmet use. Instead, the same year that the NHTSA report was released, Gov. Rick Perry signed into law a Senate bill that repealed the helmet sticker program.
Prior to its repeal, the program granted exemptions to helmet requirements for riders who carried at least $10,000 in health insurance for motorcycle crash-related injuries. The minimum coverage requirement may have been an important deterrent to non-use and provided a more appropriate level of compensation for motorcycle injuries.
The lifetime cost of TBI to victims and their families is devastating. Those who survive can expect to pay lifetime costs of $85,000 for milder cases of TBI and more than $3 million for the most severe brain damage. The monetary costs, however, pale compared to heartbreak of losing memory, cognitive abilities, sensations and movement, in addition to the other symptoms of TBI.
Berenson Law Supports Helmet Use Laws
The driver of the minivan appears to be at fault for the Corpus Christi accident last Saturday, but the motorcyclists are the ones who sustained injuries. This fact highlights that just operating a motorcycle with care is not enough to avoid an accident and potential head injuries. Even the most careful rider, should wear a helmet.
My Dallas/ Fort Worth motor vehicle injury law firm helps victims of motorcycle accidents recover. Call my office at 888-801-8585 for a free consultation.