Head injuries and brain injuries can cause permanent damage after a car accident. When an Uber driver, Uber passenger, or pedestrian is involved in an Uber accident, any head injury should be addressed by a doctor as soon as possible. Even if the injury victim is able to walk away from the accident, the symptoms of a head injury may take hours or days to develop.
If you were injured in an accident involving an Uber ride, talk to a Colorado personal injury lawyer about your rights. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will investigate your case, deal with the rideshare company, and work to get you the maximum compensation after a head injury accident in Denver. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Causes of Head Injury and Brain Injury in a Car Accident
Most head injuries for drivers or passengers in a car accident occur when the head strikes an object inside the vehicle. This can include striking the steering wheel, dashboard, window, or door frame. A head injury can also occur in a serious accident where the impact from an object or another vehicle strikes the victim directly.
Brain injuries can occur even when the head does not strike an object. Extreme force, such as a sudden stop after traveling at speed or a head-on collision can create movement of the brain inside the skull, resulting in trauma to the brain where there is no outside evidence of an injury. Crash speed and angle of impact can be important in helping to predict the likelihood of a brain injury after an accident.
Pedestrian and Cyclists Hit by an Uber Driver
Pedestrians and cyclists hit by an Uber driver are much more likely to suffer a brain injury than the driver or passenger. Even a low-speed impact can knock a person to the ground where hitting their head could cause a serious brain injury.
Cyclists may or may not have a helmet to provide some protection in an accident. However, even with a helmet, getting hit by a car can still cause a head injury.
Distracted driving (including one or multiple distractions) is among the most common causes of Uber drivers hitting pedestrians or cyclists. A pedestrian can be hit by an Uber driver who is not paying attention, distracted by their phone or Uber app, looking for a passenger, speeding, or failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
Identifying a Head or Brain Injury After a Car Accident
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) accounts for about 30% of all injury deaths in the U.S. It can be difficult to identify or diagnose a TBI immediately after an accident. Early diagnosis and treatment of a TBI is one of the most important ways to prevent death caused by a head-injury accident.
A computer tomography (CT) scan is one of the best ways to evaluate a patient with a suspected TBI. Another common way to evaluate brain damage or head injury with the Glasgow coma score (GCS). The GCS is a 15 point scale that is based on motor response, verbal response, and eye response. Delayed response, lack of response, or other unresponsive reactions may be a sign of head injury.
Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Injury
Signs and symptoms of a brain injury can vary greatly, with some injury victims showing signs of injury immediately and others not showing signs until hours later. Some signs can also be indicative of other problems and the victim may not identify the symptoms as related to a brain injury. Some of the signs and symptoms of brain injury after a car accident could include:
- Loss of consciousness,
- Nausea or vomiting,
- Difficulty speaking,
- Difficulty thinking,
- Difficulty sleeping,
- Fatigue or drowsiness,
- Dizziness or loss of balance,
- Blurred vision,
- Sensitivity to light or sound,
- Confusion, and
- Clear fluid coming from the nose or ears.
Damage Caused by a Head Injury
The damage caused by a head injury can range from temporary to permanent. A minor head injury that is diagnosed and treated by a medical professional may result in no serious damage and the symptoms may be temporary. However, more serious head injuries may require extensive treatment, surgery, and ongoing therapy.
A head injury victim may have difficulty concentrating, be unable to do complex tasks, have vertigo or balance issues, have vision problems, or suffer nerve damage. This can all require expensive medical treatment for years to come.
A head injury can also limit what jobs a person can do after they recover. Head injury victims may not be able to drive, operate heavy machinery, or stand for long periods of time. This could mean the loss of someone's profession, loss of an income, and loss of future earning potential.
Liability for Head and Brain Injuries After an Uber Accident
Liability for a head injury after an Uber accident may depend on who was to blame for the accident. Most car accidents involve a claim of negligence against one or multiple parties. Negligence is a breach of the duty of care that causes injury or harm. Negligence in a car accident can also be demonstrated by violating traffic laws.
For example, an Uber driver who is going 30 miles per hour in a 25 MPH zone and turns right at a red light intersection without coming to a stop, hits a pedestrian, causing the pedestrian to suffer a head injury. The Uber driver may be liable for the injury because the driver violated the traffic speed restrictions and failed to come to a complete stop at a controlled intersection.
A head injury can be costly, requiring expensive medical care and loss of income. An individual driver's insurance coverage may not be enough to cover a head injury accident. However, under Colorado's Transportation Network Companies (TNC) laws, Uber must provide coverage over the minimum individual liability during rideshare driving, with a limit of $1 million. Uber maximum coverage when the driver has accepted a ride, is on the way to pick up the rider, or has the rider in the vehicle.
Denver Uber Accident Injury Lawyers
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented Uber passengers, drivers, and pedestrians who suffered a head injury in a car accident in Denver, Boulder, Aurora, and throughout Colorado. Our experienced attorneys will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.