Motorcycle laying on the ground after an accident

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

Traumatic brain injuries are among the most devastating types of injuries that riders may suffer in motorcycle accidents. Severe TBIs can have long-lasting or permanent consequences and health complications that linger for years or even a lifetime.

Understanding TBIs in Motorcycle Accidents

Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a blow or jolt to the head that results in physical damage to brain tissue or changes in brain function. A motorcyclist may suffer a TBI in an accident if their head violently shakes with the force of a collision, they hit their head on the pavement or an object, or something penetrates their skull and enters the brain, such as debris from the accident. Motorcycle helmets can reduce the risk of suffering a TBI in a crash or the severity of a TBI caused by a motorcycle accident. Riders who choose not to wear helmets put themselves at significant risk of a severe traumatic brain injury in an accident.

Common Types of TBIs in Motorcycle Accidents 

Here are some of the most common TBIs associated with motorcycle accidents:


A concussion is a mild brain injury characterized by temporary changes in brain function. Symptoms of concussions can last for several hours to several weeks. Concussions usually require no treatment aside from rest and taking time off work or school and physically or mentally taxing activities. However, medical providers and family members should monitor people who have suffered concussions for persistent or worsening symptoms, which may indicate that the injury is more severe than a concussion.

Although people usually make a full recovery from concussions, suffering multiple concussions, especially in a short period, may put a person at risk of more severe brain injuries or developing degenerative brain conditions.


A brain contusion or “brain bruise” occurs when a violent blow causes the brain to strike the inside of the skull. Specific types of brain contusions include coup-contrecoup injuries, which involve the brain hitting the inside of the skull with enough force to rebound and strike the other side of the skull, causing bruises on opposing sides of the brain.

Penetrating Brain Injuries

A penetrating brain injury occurs when an object breaks through the skull and enters the brain or when broken skull fragments penetrate the brain. Penetrating brain injuries can permanently damage brain tissues, potentially causing disabilities or comas and increasing the risk of uncontrolled bleeding, blood clots, or stroke.

Diffuse Axonal Injuries 

A diffuse axonal injury occurs when shearing forces twist the brain in opposing directions, which can sever the connections between nerve cells called axons. Axons may also disconnect as a secondary effect of the injury. Extensive severing of axons can lead to severe or life-threatening complications such as permanent disabilities, coma, or vegetative state. 


Brain hemorrhage typically refers to a condition where a person suffers uncontrolled bleeding on the surface of the brain or inside the brain. Hemorrhages can lead to dangerous hematomas or may increase the risk of medical conditions such as blood clots or stroke. In many cases, a person suffering a brain hemorrhage may need surgery to repair the broken blood vessels causing the uncontrolled bleeding. 


A brain hematoma results from blood pooling on the brain’s surface or inside the brain due to broken blood vessels. Common types of hematomas include epidural, subdural, and subarachnoid. A hematoma can put damaging pressure on brain tissue. Although the body usually reabsorbs the blood in a hematoma, a patient may require surgery to clean out a hematoma.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today After Suffering a TBI

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident, you may have the right to seek financial recovery and justice from the driver or other parties at fault for the crash. Contact Chatham Gilder Howell & Pittman today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options for pursuing the compensation you need to rebuild your life.

About the Author
Jefferson D. Gilder is a Partner at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman and was admitted to the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars in 1990. Mr. Gilder is admitted to practice in all courts in Mississippi and Tennessee including Federal Court, the Fifth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gilder's areas of practice include personal injury, criminal, medical malpractice, civil rights, and product liability. Mr. Gilder spent his first ten years as an attorney practicing with his father, Robert G. Gilder, at Gilder Law Firm in Southaven, Mississippi before forming Gilder, Howell & Assoc., P.A. with Jamie W. Howell, Jr. in June of 2000. This firm although as another legal entity has now combined their resources and experience with Chatham – Pittman, to form Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Jefferson through our contact page.