Most people who ride ATVs are aware of many of the dangers that accompany such a hobby. Even so, there is one possibility that we do not always take into account. It is normal to expect broken arms and legs, and even a small chance of death, but many people are unprepared for the possibility of traumatic brain injury, or TBI.
In 2010, there were more than 2.5 million cases of Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States alone. The most mild form of TBI is the well-known concussion, where the brain rattles in the skull and does damage to the soft tissue. Many concussions go unnoticed, especially at first. More serious concussions are less common and difficult not to notice, frequently accompanied by grogginess, light sensitivity, and pain.
Severe TBI, while uncommon, is associated with high velocity head trauma, such as what can happen during an ATV accident. This is especially true of Closed Traumatic Brain Injury, where there is no penetrating damage to the skull. The possible effects of severe TBI are debilitating, and can include:
- Impaired cognitive ability
- Impaired motor function
- Loss of hearing or vision
- Severe depression or anxiety
The most important thing you can do when riding an ATV is to put safety first. This means making sure the vehicle is in good repair, that there are others around in case you get hurt, and that you always wear a high quality helmet.
Even precautions such as these will not prevent all injuries, especially if there is an undetectable mechanical defect in the vehicle or the terrain is dangerous. If you or someone you love has been injured in an ATV accident, and you are unsure if there was mechanical defect or negligence on the part of the manufacturer or the owners of the location where the injury occurred, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer to help you get all the facts, and help you settle your case.