In late May of 2019, Orlando Weekly reported that Florida continues to have the most bicycle accident fatalities per capita in the US. As the state and local governments seek solutions, it’s important that bikers stay alert and take bike accidents seriously.
If you are injured while riding your bike, the most important first step is assessing the damage. If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, the second step is hiring an attorney.
One concern we often have after a bike accident occurs is that not all injuries make themselves immediately apparent. One of the hardest to spot is a concussion.
Read on for signs and symptoms that could mean that you have a concussion.
What Is a Concussion?
According to the CDC, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury. It is caused by a bump or hard blow to the head.
A concussion occurs when the brain moves rapidly around the skull. It may bounce or twist around which creates chemical changes in the brain. In serious cases, your brain cells may become stretched or damaged.
Concussions are not usually considered life-threatening but they should still be taken seriously. A doctor may advise you to restrict activity for a few days or even weeks as your brain recovers. That means limited screen-time, limited work, and limited socialization.
Symptoms of a Concussion
Concussions can cause physical, mental, and emotional disturbances. Many people are able to self-identify these symptoms as long as they know what to look for. Read on for a detailed breakdown of what may occur if you get a concussion from a bike accident.
Recurring or persistent headaches are one of the biggest symptoms of a concussion. They may be more severe if you were knocked unconscious during the bike accident.
Concussion-related headaches may not clear up with the use of OTC pain relievers. If nothing seems to alleviate your headache, there’s a good chance you are suffering from a concussion.
Disturbed Sleeping Patterns
In the first few days after getting a concussion, you may notice disturbances in your sleeping pattern. For example, you may find yourself napping too much during the day and failing to fall asleep or stay asleep at night.
We often hear that people should not sleep with a concussion. However, this is only true in some circumstances. As long as you can speak properly when awake, your pupils are not dilated, and you can walk normally, you may sleep without worry.
Do you feel like you’re walking around in a dream-like state? Is it hard for you to remember what you were saying, where you were going, or why you picked up your phone? Is it difficult to focus on what people are saying to you in a conversation?
If your concentration is broken and you feel tired or “out of it” after a bike accident, you likely have a concussion.
Nausea and Dizziness
Nausea and dizziness often go hand in hand. It may feel as though the room is spinning which, in turn, causes your stomach to churn.
Many people with concussions experience mild to severe vomiting. The odds that you caught a stomach bug the same day that you got into a bike accident are low and it’s safer to assume that you have a concussion.
Slurred or delayed speech can indicate a severe concussion. While you may not always notice it yourself, your friends and family will.
Note that slurred speech does not sound like common speech impediments. Instead, it sounds like your individual words have become one long, unending word. In some cases, it will involve the improper pronunciation of vowel sounds.
If you’ve ever chatted with someone who is quite intoxicated, you’ve probably heard what we’re referring to here.
Our senses are our faculties for sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. Sensory sensitivity refers to an abnormal level of discomfort or aversion to any or all of the senses.
After a concussion, some people experience specific sensory sensitivity to sight and sound. Light becomes more bothersome than normal. Noises are more startling and headache-inducing, especially if they are high in pitch.
Sensory sensitivity can cause distress, which is why most doctors recommend that concussion patients recover in a room that is both dim and quiet.
Irritability or Mood Swings
As we mentioned earlier, concussions can cause emotional disturbance. If you think you have a concussion, pay close attention to your mood.
Are you agitated for no obvious reason? Is your patience wearing thin when you interact with others? Do you find that one moment you feel okay and the next you feel down or angry?
In some cases, it is the chemical reaction causing irritability or moodiness. In others, it may simply be a side effect of dealing with other symptoms. Physical discomfort and disrupted sleep often lead to irritability.
Seek Legal Help After a Bike Accident
If you’ve been injured in a bike accident, seek legal help. You may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical bills and lost income during recovery.
While a concussion may not result in massive medical bills, it can cause you to miss one or several days of work. If another bicyclist, driver, or pedestrian caused the accident, it is their responsibility to make up for your financial loss.
If you are in Miami, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, or Jupiter, FL, we can help. Contact our bike accident attorneys by calling, texting, or using our live chat feature.