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Head Injury Evaluation After Being Hit by a Car on Your Bike

A concussion occurs when the brain slams against the skull during the course of acute or sustained trauma. Depending on the time frame of this event, underlying medical or neurological problems, the quality of medical care provided, and luck (or lack thereof), concussions lead to substantial problems, including edema and bleeding in the brain, memory loss, personality changes, lifelong brain damage and death.

Unfortunately for those of us who love bike riding, head trauma threatens anyone who hops on a bicycle, even those who deliberately avoid traffic and only bike on trails or mountain paths.

Here’s how medical professionals determine the seriousness of a head injury after an accident:

When You’ve Been Hit by a Car on Your Bike

After being hit by a car, doctors should immediately evaluate you for a head injury, even if you were wearing a helmet. A concussion evaluation consists of:

Neurological Testing

Your provider will conduct a neurological assessment designed to check your basic functions, including:

  • Balance and Coordination
  • Vision
  • Strength
  • Hearing
  • Reflexes


Cognitive Evaluation

Next, your doctor should ask you a series of questions to evaluate whether your cognitive function has been affected. Cognitive assessments include tests of your:

  • Memory, such as the date, current president, or other facts you should be able to remember
  • Concentration, or your ability to focus on a certain object
  • Your ability to recall a set of information recited to you


Your cognitive and neurological examination results will help your physician determine a set of appropriate next steps. As a precaution, he or she will likely order some imaging of your brain. If you experience physical symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or seizures, this imaging will be a priority. The most common types of imaging tools are CT scans and MRIs.

The first step will likely be a CT scan, which will tell your doctor if your brain has been bruised, since head trauma can lead to bruising or bleeding of the brain’s delicate tissue. An MRI will be conducted if the CT results are inconclusive or if your physician suspects bleeding in the brain.

Next Steps

If you’ve suffered a concussion, it’s imperative you follow qualified medical advice. Your doctor will likely suggest that you avoid sleeping for a pre-determined time frame. You may be hospitalized overnight, so someone can watch to make sure your symptoms don’t worsen.

Your physician will also likely mandate physical and mental rest. This rest time can be challenging; you may be unable to read, watch television, play video games, or use your phone. The less strain your brain sustains, the more quickly you’ll heal. Following your doctor’s instructions gives you the best likelihood of making a full recovery.

Do you need legal guidance following a scary or injurious bicycle accident? Call our experienced accident lawyers today for a free, strategic consultation.