You try to drive defensively. You purchased a car that was fully equipped with sophisticated safety features. However, car accidents still occur. The sudden force of an accident can cause significant injuries, especially to the head and cervical spine.
Furthermore, traumatic brain injury often proves more complicated than other injuries resulting from car accidents. After all, the brain is responsible for everything the body does. For some, recovery from a traumatic brain injury can last years beyond the initial accident.
If you've been involved in a car accident and suffered a blow to the head, seek medical attention immediately. It's impossible to accurately diagnose a head injury based on initial symptoms and the force with which the head is struck. Seeking treatment promptly can save your life and prevent the long-term effects of a head injury.
Of course, once you begin undergoing treatment for a severe head injury, new challenges tend to arise. You may be out of work, grappling with significant medical bills, and struggling to put food on the table.
It can indeed be a very frightening time.
First, let's take a closer look at how car accidents affect the brain and what it's like to suffer a traumatic brain injury.
EVERY CAR ACCIDENT INVOLVES THREE COLLISIONS
Three collisions? Yes, you read that correctly. Even simple rear-end accidents involve three collisions.
It's about kinetic energy. This is the energy of any given object while it's in motion. If the energy isn't adequately absorbed (like applying brakes and gradually slowing down), the object (i.e., the body) keeps moving until an external force stops it. In the case of a car accident, the forced stop leads to a damaged car and often physical injuries.
Your car: as your vehicle collides with another car or object, it can cause significant damage to the car's body and frame. Thankfully, many cars have safety features to help absorb most of the kinetic energy needed during a crash. While your car may sustain significant damage, it ultimately protects you.
Your body: even the safest cars can't absorb all the kinetic energy from a crash. During a car accident, your body keeps moving until something stops it. For many, seat belts absorb the impact. However, those not wearing seat belts may collide with the steering wheel, windshield, or dashboard.
Your internal organs: once the seat belt stops your body's movement, your internal organs keep moving until something makes them stop. In head injuries, your brain may collide with the skull as your body stops. This can lead to a traumatic brain injury.
DEFINITION OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
When the head experiences a jolt or blow, it can disrupt the brain's normal function. This is considered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These are serious injuries. In fact, TBIs are a leading cause of death and disability in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in every 5 traumatic brain injuries are caused by car accidents.
The symptoms of traumatic brain injury depend on the type of injury. Some may be mild, while others can be long-term and debilitating.
COMMON Head INJURIES In CAR ACCIDENTS
The impact and sudden change in momentum of a car accident can cause a concussion. During the collision, cranial nerves and blood vessels can be damaged. Concussions are serious injuries that can take months or even years to fully heal. If you suffer a concussion, you may lose consciousness or simply experience a feeling of dizziness.
Our lawyers can get you a good settlement for a concussion in a car accident.
Contusion is another word for bruising. In the case of head injuries, this means bruising on the brain. Blood in the brain after a car accident may require surgery if the bleeding doesn't stop on its own. The severity of a contusion depends on the size and location of the hemorrhage, how long it lasts, and whether surgery is necessary.
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, and even forming sentences.
- Numbness or tingling near the affected area of the brain.
- Problems with balance or coordination. Slurred speech.
COUNTERCOUP OR BRAIN INJURY
This occurs when a significant collision causes the brain to bounce from one side of the skull and hit the opposite side. The result: bruises on both sides of the brain. Since multiple areas of the brain are traumatized, these are often very serious TBIs.
DIFFUSE AXONAL BRAIN INJURY
Shaking or violently rotating the head during a car accident can cause diffuse axonal injuries. When the brain lags behind the movement of the skull, it can tear brain structures. Some of these tears may be microscopic, while others are quite severe. This brain alteration can cause widespread brain damage.
PENETRATION AND BRAIN INJURY
As your car comes to a complete stop, anything insecurely attached to the car can turn into dangerous projectiles. These projectiles can force skin, hair, or bones into the brain. The objects themselves may lodge into your brain. Whenever a foreign object comes into contact with the brain, it's a serious injury.
As you can see, many of these traumatic brain injuries share some similar symptoms.
Comprehensive medical evaluation and often emergency medical care are required to see the extent of your head injury and determine the best treatments. If you suffer a head injury, you're likely not thinking clearly and rationally. Don't try to "tough it out" and think that even minor symptoms of a head injury will heal on their own.
THE AFTERMATH OF A HEAD INJURY
Significant traumas to the brain require time, rehabilitation, and expert medical attention. For many, the fastest improvements occur during the first six months after an injury. Improvements may also gradually appear up to two years after an injury. After two years, progress isn't out of the question, but it may only occur sporadically.
Of course, even if you fully recover within six months, you likely have faced significant hurdles. Financially, medical bills can be overwhelming. Pain and suffering have likely brought you through some very dark days. And let's not forget your family. The entire family's dynamics likely changed while you were out of work recovering from your injuries.
If the car accident that led to your head injury wasn't your fault, you might be entitled to significant compensation. This includes money for your mounting bills, pain and suffering, and loss of wages or earning potential. Of course, the complicated process of filing an insurance claim is the last thing you should be dealing with while recovering from your injuries.
The Ward Law Group is a dedicated team of accident attorneys who assist English and Spanish speakers in their time of need after a car accident. Our attorneys have an intimate understanding of how the insurance claims process can truly work for you. We allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries and ensure you get every penny you deserve for your head injury.
Call us today at 855-DOLOR-55 so we can help you secure a successful claim!