Ontario Olympian faces recovery after cycling accident, traumatic brain injury

According to an article in The Record, Canadian Olympic cyclist Leigh Hobson remains on the slow road to recovery after a bike accident in March left her with a severe concussion and brain injury. The accident apparently occurred when a dog bolted from behind a hedge and collided with Hobson's bicycle as she was riding down a hill in Cambridge. Although she was wearing a helmet, the impact and resulting injury were serious enough that she had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital.

As a result of the traumatic brain injury, Hobson could not get back on a bike for months. According to the Record, the former Olympian athlete experienced nausea, vertigo, lethargy, and noise and light sensitivity. She suffered from an inability to move or exercise due to intense pain. She also faced the psychological impacts that often accompany such a traumatic event.

Serious Financial Consequences

All of these symptoms forced Hobson to quit her job as head coach for Ontario's junior cycling team and go on long-term disability. This incident, with such a high-profile figure, brings to light the potential danger involved with cycling, particularly where traumatic brain injuries are concerned. Even while wearing a helmet a accident can occur with the potential for significant injuries and ongoing medical issues.

Hobson was faced with medical bills for treating her immediate injuries as well as the longer term physical therapy and medications needed to manage her symptoms. At the same time she was forced to take a leave of absence from her job as an athlete and coach. All of these consequences arose as a result of the incident that was not her fault. It is unclear whether Hobson intends to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the dog.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation's 2010 Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, there were an average of 2,000 injuries resulting from bicycle accidents in Ontario between 2006 and 2010. Around 20 of these resulted in deaths each year. A report from the Office of the Chief Coroner in Ontario shows that brain injuries are the most common injury leading to death in bicycle accidents. According to the report, 71 of 129 deaths between 2006 and 2010 involved a cyclist who sustained a brain injury. Of those 71, nearly 60 percent of the deaths were directly caused by the brain injury.

The number of non-fatal bicycle accidents each year is also a grave concern. This is especially the case when the study shows that in about half of the cases, the cyclists were riding properly, with no mechanical defects, and during clear visibility.

When a cyclist is injured or killed the accident is often someone else's fault and a civil personal injury suit may be filed to recover compensation for their medical expenses and lost income from the at fault party.

Getting the help of a lawyer

A lawyer can bring a traumatic brain injury lawsuit against someone whose negligence caused you or a loved one to get hurt or killed during a cycling accident. The lawyer will undertake all of the necessary investigations and retain the appropriate accident reconstruction experts so that they can effectively represent you in court by proving that the accident was the fault of the other party.