You may be biking your way to the beach down Encinitas Boulevard when a pickup truck comes too close, forcing you off the road.
When you regain consciousness, you find you are on your way to the hospital instead of the beach with what medics say is a head injury.
About traumatic brain injury
You might have a concussion, which is a mild traumatic brain injury. But TBI can be more serious and it does not always result from a blow to the head. Any severe impact can cause your brain to crash into your skull, which can result in bleeding, bruising and damage to nerve fibers.
Your loss of consciousness could be the initial indication that you have a brain injury. However, some symptoms do not appear right away. In the hours or days to follow, you might experience fatigue, headaches, dizziness, sleep disruption, problems with memory or concentration, sensitivity to light or sound or even depression and mood swings.
What to expect
Following a minor brain injury such as a concussion, you might only need medication and time to rest and recover. A more severe TBI may require surgery followed by a rehabilitation program. A brain injury at any level will leave you with certain challenges to your physical or mental abilities. Life-long impairment is also a possibility with a serious TBI requiring ongoing therapy to help you relearn skills.
You may not fully recall how the accident occurred on your way to the beach. Although a concussion is more common, bicyclists can experience serious head injuries. Keep in mind that if you are the injured victim in a vehicle-bicycle collision, you have the right to expect full compensation to cover your medical expenses and more.