Christensen & Hymas Law Firm

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Head Trauma

Motorcycle accidents, more often than not, are devastating. Because motorcyclists are exposed and motorcycles do not have the same safety features that come in cars, riders are at greater risk of head injuries. Because the head is considered the most prominent part of the body, head and brain damage can go beyond just the physical. It is important to understand your options and find someone you can trust to help you heal completely. While reconstructive surgery can physically and functionally repair damaged body structures, good surgeons are needed to help you along in the healing process.

Maxillofacial Trauma

Maxillofacial trauma refers to any physical trauma to the face. Facial trauma, or serious injury as a result of impact includes soft tissue injuries such as burns, lacerations, bruises, nasal fractures, maxila and mandible (jaw) fractures, ocular fractures, zygoma (cheekbone),  and frontal (forehead) fractures.

Doctors and Surgeries

After stabilizing the victim after an accident, doctors will typically wait until the swelling goes down (which could be a significant amount of time) before beginning a reconstructive surgery. This will certainly mean months and years of recovery, and possibly several surgeries. Different doctors and specialists work together when dealing with head trauma.  Trauma caused in motorcycle accidents can severely damage the skin and the bone structure underneath, and the nasal and oral lining and dental structures. The injuries, of course, are accident specific, and depending on the severity of the injuries, the team of head trauma doctors may end up including plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons, oral surgeons, orthodontists, opthamologists, otolaryngologist, and even psychologists.

Insurance and Paying for Medical Costs

Utah law mandates that each driver have liability coverage and a minimum of $3,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) included in their auto insurance. In the event of an accident where you sustain severe injuries including brain injuries, the responsible party’s insurance company will pay the $3,000 to help with medical costs. Unfortunately, this will probably not cover the total cost in severe cases. You will probably be facing medical tests, fees for different doctors, multiple procedures, hospital and facility fees, medication co-payments, etc. Once your PIP has been used up, your health insurance will be the next to be used up to pay for medical bills. You should have your medical provider forward those bills directly to the health insurance provider.

The Aftermath

Victims of traumatic head injury can continue to suffer for years after their accident. They will suffer emotionally from the accident, and often their physical suffering can continue long afterward. After the physical wounds have healed but before reconstructive surgery has taken place, people are often left with obstacles to overcome; they do not look the same as they used to and in many cases can not function the same as they did before the accident. This loss of function could include not being able to walk, or move limbs, or physically perform like you used to. But it can also mean that they cannot perform the same tasks they used to because they are still suffering emotionally from the accident. Physical therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists may be needed to help the victim get back to performing to their best ability.

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