Being in a car accident is bad enough. Add injuries to the mix and the accident becomes far more than just an annoyance. As we all know, injuries due to car accidents can range from minor bruising and aches to serious injuries and even death. Traumatic brain injuries are too often a serious result of an automobile accident. In fact, according to the traumatic brain injury website, over half of all reported traumatic brain injuries are the result of an automobile accident.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a result of a sudden damaging act to the brain. The American Speech-Language Hearing Association describes TBI as falling into one of these two distinct categories:
- Closed Head Injuries: These are a result of direct blows to the head. Examples of closed head injuries include: a head hitting the dashboard, windshield or steering wheel of a car.
- Open Head Injuries: These occur when objects enter the brain, causing trauma. In car accidents, this occurs when a foreign object enters the head. An example of this is a foreign object enters the head; for example, road debris or metal shards from the airbag.
Primary and Secondary Injuries
Open and closed head injuries fall into two types of damage categorized as primary and secondary brain damage. As the name implies, primary damage occurs at the time of the accident and can be manifested as bleeding, clots or fractures. Secondary brain damage takes some time to rear its ugly head. Over time it can show up as blood pressure increases within the skull, brain swelling and seizures.
As we mentioned, primary injuries occur at the time of the accident. There is nothing that can be done to reverse the injuries, but immediate emergency treatment can help prevent injuries from getting worse and also help prevent secondary injuries from occurring. Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) lists the most common primary injuries as:
- Localized Injuries: A certain portion of the brain is injured. It can involve bruising and bleeding on or within the brain.
- Fractures: These occur when the skull experiences denting or breaking resulting in pieces of bone becoming pressed into the brain.
- Diffuse axonal injury (DAI): This involves damage throughout the brain and a loss of consciousness.
Traumatic Brain Injury Signs To Watch For
Our “skulls” are very susceptible during car accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that at least 1.7 million TBIs occur every year in the United States. They go on to report that about one third of those injuries result in death. And often, especially in closed head injuries, the level of severity isn’t easily noticeable. Symptoms to watch for include:
- Communication Issues: A sudden difficulty in understanding, speech, spelling, writing, and reading.
- Behavioral Issues: Noticeable changes in the expression of emotions including agitation, stress levels, depression, and mood swings.
- Physical Issues: Sudden appearance of episodes of fainting, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, decreased balance and seizures can all be indications of TBI.
Brain injuries are serious business. Your personal injury attorney can help you wade through all of the details surrounding automobile accidents, especially ones where traumatic brain injuries have occurred. There will be medical and insurance issues to deal with. Don’t try to deal with this on your own. Instead, depend on the experts in personal injury issues to do the work for you.
Call Carey Leisure & Neal for Legal Services in Clearwater, FL
Contact us at (727) 799-3900 for a free no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.