In this article: We’ll discuss the relationship between car accidents and brain injuries, the types of brain injuries that can occur, and how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a brain injury.
Brain injuries, also referred to as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), are serious injuries that often require expensive medical treatments and can lead to short and long-term health problems and complications. In severe cases, TBIs can lead to coma, vegetative states, paralysis, and even death.
In 2019, over 60,000 TBI-related deaths were reported in the United States. While brain injuries can occur due to various situations, such as falls and sporting accidents, car accidents remain one of the top causes.
If you sustain a TBI in a car accident, you may need to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you with your case. Dealing with a personal injury claim and trying to get the compensation you need to cover medical expenses and other damages can be challenging. However, if you hire an attorney, they can take on all of the “heavy lifting” and guide you through the process to ensure you are adequately compensated for suffering.
Traumatic Brain Injuries and Car Accidents
Traumatic brain injuries most often occur when the head experiences trauma from an impact or other external force. However, brain injuries can also occur when an object penetrates the skull. In a car accident, TBIs happen as a result of the force of impact that jolts the head, sometimes causing it to come into contact with something like the steering wheel, dashboard, headrest, window, or car door. Victims can also experience more severe brain injuries when they are thrown from the vehicle and hit their head on some other object outside the car or on the ground.
Open Brain Injuries
Open or penetrating brain injuries occur when the skull is compromised and an object or material, such as glass or metal, pierces the brain. Open brain injuries are critical and dangerous as they result in extensive bleeding and swelling of the brain. Also, depending on the area of the brain that was affected, they can lead to permanent brain damage. If open TBIs are not treated immediately, the brain will continue to swell, and the wound can become infected, which can lead to death.
Closed Brain Injuries
Closed injuries are difficult to immediately identify and diagnose as these types of TBIs occur internally without any skull penetration. Closed TBIs result from rapid head movements that occur when the body experiences an outside force or impact. These types of brain injuries are most often the result of car accidents.
Types of Closed Brain Injuries
The type or classification of closed brain injuries can vary depending on how the injury occurred and what area of the brain was affected. Common closed brain injuries that result from car accidents include:
- Concussions: Concussions occur when the brain is traumatized from an impact or a violent shaking/back and forth motion.
- Contusions: Contusions are when there is a mild bruising or bleeding that occurs in the brain tissue.
- Hematomas: Hematomas happen when the blood vessels in the brain rupture and cause a pooling of blood.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAJ): DAJs occur when the connections between the cells in the brain tear as a result of being stretched when impacted or rotated.
Signs You Are Suffering From a Brain Injury
The signs and symptoms of a TBI can vary depending on the exact type of injury and the extent of the damage. It’s important to note that not all symptoms of brain injuries are immediately apparent, but if left untreated, they can cause permanent damage or death. Even if you feel fine, if you hit your head in a car accident or suspect that you may have suffered a closed brain injury, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Common symptoms of brain injuries include:
- Changes in vision/blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Pupil dilation
- Changes in smell or taste
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping for extended periods
- Loss of consciousness
- Weakness or numbness in extremities
- Loss of coordination
- Slurred speech
Traumatic brain injuries are not to be taken lightly. If you are injured in an accident, you should always seek immediate medical attention to ensure there is nothing more serious going on internally that is not immediately apparent. Brain injuries that are left untreated can have severe consequences.
You should additionally consult with a lawyer after your accident. Brain injuries can result in costly medical bills and other damages that can drastically affect your life. Working with an attorney can give you peace of mind that your case is being handled by a professional that will do everything in their power to advocate for your rights and get you the compensation you need and deserve.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus On Your Life
After a personal injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including accidents that result in traumatic brain injuries. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Call us at 877-380-8852 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.