Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is sudden damage caused by a jolt or blow to the head. A car accident TBI will disrupt the brain’s normal functioning, leading to loss of consciousness, amnesia, bleeding, bruising, or torn tissues.
Damage due to the immediate impact is known as a primary injury. Primary injuries often affect a specific lobe of the brain or can affect the entire brain. In other cases, the skull may be fractured. In contrast, when the brain undergoes a delayed trauma, it may swell and reduce oxygen flow in the blood. This type of injury is called a secondary injury. Secondary injuries can cause more damage to the brain than the primary injury.
If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury after a car accident, a car accident lawyer may help you clarify how to pursue compensation.
What Types of Accidents Cause a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The degree of damage affecting the brain’s functioning depends on various factors, such as the force of the impact and the nature of the injury. Some of the accidents that lead to brain injury are:
- Motor vehicle accidents: Accidents involving cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians may cause traumatic brain injury to drivers, passengers, and walkers. Sometimes, wrongful death may be the outcome of brain injury.
- Falls: One of the most common causes of TBI, affecting young and older adults, is falling from stairs, ladders, and other high places.
- Sports injuries: Various sports may lead to brain injury, including baseball, soccer, boxing, hockey, and other extreme sports. These accidents especially affect youth.
- Blasts: Blasts are common for military personnel and veterans, resulting in TBI. The pressure wave of an explosion passing through the brain affects its functioning.
- Assaults: Violence such as gunshots, physical assaults, and other wounds can also cause traumatic brain injury.
Other causes of TBI are severe blows, penetrating wounds, and collisions with objects.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Traumatic Brain Injury?
The symptoms of TBI can range from mild to moderate or severe, and which vary, depending on the force and impact of the collision. Some symptoms may begin to surface immediately after the accident, while others may take time.
Some symptoms of mild brain trauma from car accidents are light-headedness, headache, memory loss, blurred vision, fatigue, and mood or behavioral changes. Some injuries may lead to life-long impairment that affects the brain’s cognitive or psychological functioning. Other signs of brain injury are convulsions, seizures, dilation of the pupils of eyes, and inability to awaken from sleep.
What Are the Main Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Fundamentally, brain injuries are of two types:
Closed brain injury
Closed brain injuries occur when there is no breakage in the skull, meaning there was also no penetrating injury in the brain. This type of injury is due to forward and backward movement, shaking the brain violently. This motion results resulting bruising or tearing of the brain. Car accidents, sports, or falls cause this type of injury.
Penetrating brain injury
Also known as open-head injuries, penetrating brain injuries occur when an object pierces the skull, and possibly the brain, causing brain damage.
Other types of TBIs are
- Concussions: A concussion is a mild head injury causing loss of consciousness. A concussion does not usually cause permanent injury.
- Contusion: A contusion is a brain bruise caused due to the head’s impact by a blow or compression in the underlying tissues causing blood vessels to break that can lead to bleeding, known as coup and contrecoup injuries.
- Diffuse axonal injury (DAI): DAI causes stretching and shearing of the nerve cells at the cellular level. It causes widespread damage to the axons. These are long nerve fibers in the brain that will transmit signals between different parts of the brain.
- Hematoma: A hematoma is a blood clot that can form when blood vessels rupture. Blood begins to coagulate. A hematoma may be small in the beginning resulting in the compression of the brain, but if unchecked it can grow to do considerable harm.
- Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (TSAH): This type of damage may occur when small arteries tear during the initial injury. TSAH results in bleeding that may occur in the area surrounding the brain.
Who Is At Risk For Traumatic Brain Injuries?
The people primarily at risk of brain damage after car accidents are children, such as newborns to 4 years, young adults between 15 years to 24 years, and adults 60 and older.
Can I Sue For TBI After A Car Accident?
Yes, you may be able to sue for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that you sustained in a car accident if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.
To file a personal injury lawsuit, you must establish that the other driver had a duty to drive safely, that they breached that duty by acting negligently, and that their negligence caused your TBI. You must also be able to prove the extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
To establish negligence, you may need to gather evidence such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, and expert testimony. In some cases, insurance companies may offer a settlement to compensate you for your damages without going to court. It is also essential to have an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process on your behalf.
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After experiencing a TBI it may be challenging to deal with the complexities of your insurance claim and negotiations. Schedule a free case consultation or fill out our contact form online.