Brain injuries can occur any time a person is involved in an accident where the brain suddenly strikes against the inside of the skull, as this causes a disruption in its normal functioning.
For this reason, car accidents, which are distinguished by sudden and violent impacts are the perfect breeding ground for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that car accidents are the leading cause of hospitalization for those between the ages of 15 and 44. Car accidents were second only to serious falls in causing the majority of TBI-related hospitalizations across the U.S.
Brain injuries from car accidents often have devastating consequences for those who sustain them, as these individuals may experience everything from headaches and nausea to memory loss and permanent brain damage. To learn more about your legal options following a brain injury diagnosis, please contact an experienced Georgia car accident lawyer who can advise you.
- The Types of Car Accidents that Result in Brain Injuries
- Common Brain Injuries From Car Accidents
- Coup-Contrecoup Injuries
- Diffuse Axonal Injuries (DAI)
- Penetrating TBI
- Symptoms of a Brain Injury
- Schedule a Free Case Review with Our Dedicated Attorneys
The Types of Car Accidents that Result in Brain Injuries
Most car accidents, even minor collisions, involve some sort of abrupt impact. In serious cases, this movement can cause a person’s head to come into contact with other surfaces or objects, or even snap forward and backward in an abrupt fashion.
Certain types of accidents, however, are especially well-known for causing TBIs.
Rear-end collisions, for instance, often result in whiplash injuries, which occur when the brain strikes the inside of the skull at a high rate of speed.
Head-on collisions are also responsible for a high number of TBIs, as these collisions often cause occupants to strike the windshield, dashboard, or steering wheel with great force. This too can cause the brain to come into contact with the inside of the skull, causing more serious brain injuries.
Finally, side-impact crashes, where a vehicle’s occupants heads are thrown sideways, forcing the brain to move horizontally, often result in brain injuries.
Generally, being struck directly in the side between the vehicle’s wheels has more destructive consequences, as it increases a person’s chances of colliding with the window. Accident victims who are injured in this way also often sustain lacerations to the scalp and skull fractures from coming into contact with shattered glass.
Common Brain Injuries From Car Accidents
TBIs are often classified as mild, moderate, or severe. However, almost all TBIs require some form of medical evaluation and treatment. The most common car accident head injuries are closed brain injuries, meaning the skull remains intact.
Concussions are the most common TBI suffered in car collisions. In car collisions, the force of a collision causes a driver or passenger’s head to jerk back and forth suddenly. A concussion occurs when sudden movement or impact causes the brain to bounce against the inside of the skull. Concussions range in severity from minor to severe. But even minor concussions require medical treatment. Concussions often cause victims to suffer long-term effects. For many, these symptoms may make returning to everyday life impossible.
A contusion is another word for a bruise on the brain. Contusions vary significantly in severity. A doctor must perform a CT scan to confirm a contusion diagnosis.
Coup-contrecoup results in contusions on opposite sides of the brain, typically occurring when the brain bounces off one side of the skull and then hits the other side. Whether a crash occurs by rear-ending, side-impact, or head-on collision, all car crashes can cause coup-contrecoup.
Diffuse Axonal Injuries (DAI)
Diffuse axonal injuries (DAI) result from the tearing of the brain’s long connecting nerve. A DAI usually occurs when the brain is injured as it shifts and rotates inside the skull. DAI is a serious injury often resulting in a coma and injury to many parts of the brain.
A hematoma is a blood clot that occurs in various locations in the brain. This type of car accident brain injury results in excess blood pooling in the layers of tissue surrounding the brain, creating a dangerous increase in intracranial pressure. When left untreated, a hematoma can have life-altering consequences and can even be fatal.
Another traumatic brain injury often resulting from a car collision is a hemorrhage. Hemorrhages involve bleeding in the brain or in the dura mater. The dura mater is the thick membrane located directly under your skull. Hemorrhages are serious injuries often requiring surgical intervention.
Four common types of brain hemorrhage include the following:
- Epidural hemorrhage. This occurs when there is bleeding between the inside of the skull and the dura mater. Symptoms include confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, an enlarged pupil in one eye, and severe headache.
- Subdural hemorrhage. This type of hemorrhage occurs when there is bleeding just under the dura mater. Symptoms include headache, confusion, vomiting, and slurred speech.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage. This occurs when there is bleeding in the space between the brain and the surrounding membrane. The primary symptom is a sudden and severe headache.
- Intraparenchymal hemorrhage. This type of hemorrhage occurs when there is bleeding inside the brain. Symptoms typically include a sudden onset of stroke symptoms like headache, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, weakness, and vertigo.
Many of these hemorrhages share similar symptoms. All hemorrhages are very serious. It’s vital to seek medical attention immediately after a car collision to rule out TBIs like hemorrhages.
Penetrating traumatic brain injuries occur when a foreign object pierces the skull and enters the brain. These are extremely dangerous TBIs that are, in most cases, life-threatening.
Car crashes cause penetrating TBIs through various means, including:
- Broken glass or metal,
- Airbag deployment,
- Flying objects inside the vehicle cabin, and
- Foreign objects entering the car.
Anyone suffering from head trauma from a car accident should know they have a right to seek compensation for their injuries. You and your family may be enduring a disruption to your daily lives for the foreseeable future. Obtaining compensation can help you get the medical treatment and financial resources you need to heal.
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
The symptoms of a brain injury may vary. However, those who are involved in vehicle crashes are generally encouraged to keep an eye out for certain symptoms, which are good indicators of at least a mild head injury. You should seek medical attention immediately following a car collision. Many symptoms may take hours, days, or even weeks to present. A doctor can identify injuries you might not yet be aware of. Connecting your car crash to your physical injury is also key to recovering the compensation you deserve.
Common traumatic brain injury symptoms from a car accident include:
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Bruising or swelling
- Vision impairment
- Memory loss
In especially severe cases, an injured party could even suffer from seizures and drainage from the nose and ears. These symptoms are often indicative of swelling and bleeding in the brain, which could require surgical intervention to repair damage, remove blood clots, or reduce swelling. TBIs are serious regardless of the symptoms you experience or whether your TBI is mild or severe. These injuries are considered a medical emergency and must be assessed by a doctor. Don’t risk suffering further, irreversible brain damage by not seeking assistance and support from a medical professional.
Schedule a Free Case Review with Our Dedicated Attorneys
Since 1984, the attorneys at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., have dedicated their practice to providing clients with exceptional legal services for complex issues. Our skilled attorneys will craft a unique approach tailored to your case and needs.
We take time to listen to you and understand your desired outcome before strategizing a personalized plan of action. With over 200 years of combined legal experience, we’ve secured over $800 million in compensation for our clients in the past decade.
If you suffered a brain injury from a car accident, you could be entitled to damages for related losses.